This is cross-posted in Hunting, but a couple of people had asked what the results of our first try were . Not good.
It was very disappointing. We ran Sat and Sunday at the hunt test in D'Hanis. Sat it was heavy cover, but he went out straight as an arrow. I think I blew the come back too soon. I couldn't tell when he had his mouth on the duck because the grass was so high. Next thing I know here he comes without it. Gets almost back, realized he doesn't have what he's supposed to, goes back and gets it. Still too bad. Auto disqualify.
Sunday morning the conditions were slightly worse. Still very tall cover (for me!) About 1.5 feet high. Still wet with dew, and absolutely no wind. His manners coming to the line were beautiful, no wiggling in the holding blind, beautiful marking, went to get it straight, back in perfectly, heeled up, delivered to hand. No sticking, no grabbing at it, no nothing wrong. I turn for the second mark. Send him. He stops short, and smells the girl dog pee that the previous contestant had so thoughtfully left. Then he can't find the bird, and since he doesn't handle there is nothing I can do. He hunts for a while and then comes back in. I was so disappointed. I saw dogs who threw their handlers all over getting to the line, who romped all over the field before stumbling on the duck, who played keep away with it when they got back! But I understand that at this level the object is get out there, get it, and get back. We didn't manage to do that.
We may try again on the 28th in Giddings, if not then, then on May 5 in Buckholtz.
I'm sorry it didn't work out. Good luck for the next one! I'm eager to hear your report.
Ah, sorry you guys weren't successful. Good luck next time, and enjoy the training.
Bummer, but now you know what to work on. The cover sounds rather tough for a JH! Be sure to read or re-read the rule book too. If the dog comes all the way back to you w/o the bird and you resend him, it's considered a recast, which is not allowed. Same goes if the judges think he "blinked" the bird. Most of our judges out here have really tightened up policies on the line manners and delivery issues. I've seen lots of dogs failed for that!
I started training my 6 mos old Sonya yesterday w/ my wingers (duck call remote). She was like a rocket blasting off. Very cute.... hope that drive continues! We're going out to train w/ a friend tomorrow who's getting his 13 mo old ready for a Jh test coming up. HGe failed the first test as the dog wasn't stretched out enough on land and they had ~100 yds for their very first one. It's hard to train alone so if you have some friends, hopefully they'll throw for you too. Even w/ my wingers, I still need a good training group. Have 2 that I worked some SH concepts with as well-- they were really excited to do that again! -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Sorry Frances. We went this past weekend & Abby got one pass out of two tests. She could not find the duck in the water in heavy cover. She hunted her little heart out & it took her a long time, SU had to finally whistle her in.
I know Sam will get his passes.
Most importantly, Sam has his foundation down and his skills there are strong. Pups that are making their passes now but are loosey goosey on the basics are going to falter...very quickly and Sam will fly past them.
I'm sure youll make it the next time. It's always easier after being there once and seeing how things work. I think the first try shouldnt even "count'...just chalk it up to a learning experience which I know you do.
Sorry to hear you didn't get a pass but I think the experience is most important your first time out. Now you know what to work on and what to expect next time. Good luck!
Aw, I'm sorry. But I tell you, I am very impressed with what he DID do! I would have loved to see that. I can't imagine doing something like that with Angus.
You'll do better next time! And even better the time after that! ;D
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Sorry to hear that. Look on the positive side -- it was a great experience. The more experience you have, the better. I'm sure Sam will improve next time around. Make sure you have a laugh about it afterwards and you will feel so much better. I think of failure as a route to success.
Is there a local trainer you can work with? If not a trainer, is there a training group near you that could help you prepare for hunt tests? I've been running tests for years and I can tell you that without my trainer I would not be anywhere near as prepared for tests as I am. A pro will help you be ready for any contingency - high cover, winds, a road, etc. You really need to train for everything that you can possibly think of, and then some.