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Thread: Long time - no chat

  1. #1
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    Default Long time - no chat

    Hi, Been a while since I've checked in and thought I would give a hunting partner report that might be encouraging to amateurs like me!

    My girl (3rd lab for me) is now just 7, it has been quite a ride to what I would consider success and enjoyment. I'm just a one-dog guy that, when the pup comes home, it is instantly part of the family and if it doesn't perform, too bad. There are no options, other than the dog stays and dad gets sent down the road!

    We had quite a ride, from her becoming gun shy as a pup due to a bunch of neighbors touching off fireworks, and and a retrieving desire that didn't really develop until 11 months of age. I kept it fun while working on obedience, one day it clicked. From there we continued with training and she now loves to retrieve. Occasional gunfire during training was OK, but I could tell it bothered her. I foolishly hit the duck blind with her and witnessed a meltdown that crushed me. But she loved birds, she loved to retrieve, and as I said, I'm just a one-dog guy with no other options, so back to having fun and lots of praise with frozen ducks and a blank pistol. And a lot of it. Her 3rd season I hit the point of "time to fish or cut bait", and headed to the fields with a partner to drop some geese, where I could handle the dog a moderate distance from my buddy doing the shooting. The hope was for her to connect the shot with birds dropping, while not being so close to the gun. It took a season of encouragement, me not getting to shoot much, a lot of excitement and running with her on a line out to the downed bird, dragging the bird and getting her fired up, etc. BUT - it worked! The sound of a shotgun is now music to her ears believe it or not.

    I finally have a hunting partner that is quiet in the blind, steady to shot, has since never failed to make a retrieve on land or water. She now hunts for multiple guns, is an example to a couple buddy's new pups that are still developing (she even knows where the donuts are kept, but hasn't showed the pups that trick yet), and does a hell of job in the pheasant field too. She handles multiple water retrieves routinely, and stays with diving cripples until the job is done or I call her off if I think a finishing shot is possible and necessary. This year we have worked a dog blind into the mix for field hunting and she adapted very well. She gets the idea that she has to hide in order to get some birds.

    Which brings to this past weekend, her longest and best retrieve to date. Hunting alone, I somehow stunk up the place with poor shooting on geese (well within range, just one of those days). I barely hit one that I didn't think was going to come down. But it sailed a long way into a cut corn field about 450 yards away, where it looked like it finally hit the ground. I sent her, stopped her twice for correction, and handled her to near the fall, when the bird "flushed", got some air but not enough and she was able to grab it. Straight back to heal and delivered a feisty cripple to hand. To me, that's what it's all about.

    So that's my update. We've had several great seasons after our bumps in the road and I've lost count of the numbers for ducks, geese, and pheasants she's brought to my side. Many of which would not have been recovered without a good dog. I guess my message is to the average guy struggling - don't give up! Couple of pics for proof.

    Hope your hunting season has been as enjoyable, and you and your family have a great holiday season.

    Brad
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member 8mmag's Avatar
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    That's what its all about, thanks for sharing Brad.
    Tom Rogers; Owned and Handled by Al Capone's Magic Patriot Son - Riot
    [FC/AFC Big Alfonse Capone of Mo-Kan x Dominators Magic Avalon]

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    Senior Member Matt McKenzie's Avatar
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    Very nice.
    Matt McKenzie

    "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it." Henry Ford

  4. #4
    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    Wow. Great story!
    Kelly Cassidy (person)

    HR Maple Cassidy CDX JH RE (golden retriever)
    Alder Cassidy CDX RE (standard poodle chipmunk chaser)
    plus whacked-out weird Burka (elderly mix-breed rescue girl)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Great photos and story!
    fireworks suck!
    thank you for the update
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    Nice to hear from you. Sounds like all has turned out well. You didn't miss much while you were gone. Couple people got banned, old guys continue to need their walkers taken away to avoid fighting in potus forum, tri-tronics customer service sucks for one guy and is great for another, someone switched dog food, another dog is noisey, one has runny stool, one pup won't listen while anothe isn't interested in birds. I think that about sums it up here.

  7. #7
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    oh, and Bubba doesn't post jokes on Friday anymore.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for sharing. Perseverance pays off. A gun shy dog is hard to overcome. You should be very proud of yourself & pup.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Happy" Gilmore View Post
    oh, and Bubba doesn't post jokes on Friday anymore.
    Glad I didn't miss much, but no more jokes? Bummer.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Davis View Post
    Thanks for sharing. Perseverance pays off. A gun shy dog is hard to overcome. You should be very proud of yourself & pup.
    Thanks, it did take some perseverance. I had noticed Emma was always sensitive to certain noises, one in particular - the "ding" on the toaster oven. At the time both kids were teenagers and we used the oven a lot. Every time the timer went off, she would slink up the stairs and go hide for a while. I told the family if the dog was going to live in the house, she would simply have to get over it. Then I noticed, slowly, that she was getting over it. Usually because it involved the kids dropping something good. With time, she got over it completely and I figured that to be a behavioral trait that could be in my favor. So we moved forward with tackling the gun shyness in much the same way, repeated controlled exposures with rewards. Everything from praise, treats, getting to make a retrieve, and frozen ducks. It paid off. Does it work for every dog? I'm told absolutely not. But it is worth a try!

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