Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hunt Mode

I don't have any Winnie pictures from today so I'm posting a glimpse of my new Winchester 12 gauge over/under that arrived yesterday after a long wait!

But I wasn't the only one thinking of bird hunting today. Winnie and I went for a walk and I let her run free (with the check cord). She really looked like a bird dog out there! There weren't actually any birds in the field where we were, but she actually had a few very nice points anyway.

I know, that might not seem like progress, pointing nothing or field mice or deer poop. But it was fun to see her truly lock up on a point and hold it long enough for me to reach her and 'flush' the imaginary bird. She did it about four times. I don't know what she smelled, but the points were great. We'll try it again tomorrow and maybe get some pics.

And another note about the whistle. I've been using one long burst for 'Here' and she has that down. She will drop what she's doing and get to me in a straight line. I've been told you can also use the whistle to get her to change directions. Maybe that was supposed to be one whistle to change direction and two to recall. So I've already messed that up.

But what I did today was give her a very short whistle and I used it as sort of a 'check in' command. When she would come to my vicinity on the short whistle I wouldn't praise her as much as I do with the recall. I'd keep walking and she'd just run by in sort of a 'fly by.' She quickly learned that the short whistle just meant to check in with me, then she'd go right back out to hunting mice or whatever. But the longer whistle, especially combined with me making eye contact with her, means get your butt all the way here. She's a smart dog and a really good girl!

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