Friday, September 17, 2010

Catching up...

I just got back from Montana, and got the warmest canine reception I've ever gotten in my life. Winnie especially was just SO glad to see me!! That's why we do it, isn't it? Wow.

If you're interested in seeing photos from my Montana trip, here's a link to a slideshow.

Since I've been away for almost a week, I took the dogs on a nice four mile walk along the C&O Canal path near our house. They did great, though they both needed near constant reminders not to pull on the leash. And when a jogger or bicycle came by I put them both into a heel (Winnie on the right) and they did great!

This is from this afternoon's training session and is noteworthy. Finn isn't big on 'Stay.' So we worked on this a while and got to the point where I could get pretty far back and wait a good while before either returning to him or calling him in. It's clear I think that, for now at least, his training sessions need to be pretty short. I could tell he was losing focus even after a few minutes, making it increasingly difficult to 'end on a good note,' as they say.

I was emailing with Peg, Winnie's breeder, about Finn's hunting potential (which is unknown). But he really looks like he's made for the field! Anyway, I happen to have a chukar wing in a plastic baggie and decided to hide it in a patch of tall grass I haven't mowed this year, and see if Finn could find it.

Sorry about the camera, I'm trying to walk and watch him, and couldn't see the screen on the camera anyway because of the glare. But I'll say this, he found that wing immediately!

And then he peed on it.

But then he grabbed it and brought it straight to me!

But then he tried to eat it along the way.

So I think at least he's tuned in to birdlike things. Not sure what my next step would be, but this is a promising start. Better than not noticing or caring there's a bird there.


hwvizsla said...

Thats great Ed! I'd say he certainly has some potential to be a good field dog with a little training. Nice job Finn! Cant wait to see his progress.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, he's only the second dog I've heard of that found the bird and peed on it. You could always bring him out to where I work and put him on some birds, or a bird and see what he does. If there is natural desire there. We may not be too far from you, Look up Braveheart Kennels and Game bird ( ). We will be getting birds probably in the next month, but have a couple left over from last year yet.
Sounds like you've been having fun with him. Look forward to hearing more.

Anonymous said...

Another note (should have watched video first) looks like he may have been tracking your path some to the wing. Next time mixing up and crossing your path and throwing the wing if you can. When I play hide and seek with luna and her wing bumper I found out pretty quick that she linked my path to the end result of the wing so I have to walk and plant it then walk around randomly so it didn't always end it in. He may not be doing this, just thought I would mention it

Ed. said...

Hi there! Braveheart is about six miles downstream of me, and I've gotten birds there several times. In fact Daniel(?) there has met Winnie, my other wirehair (the original!), when she was a pup.

I may be interested in evaluating Finn's natural desire on birds this fall. For now I'm focusing on his obedience, comfort and fun. I just happened to have this wing and thought I'd give it a shot.

He probably did start following my path, now that I watch the video again, but then it really looked to me like he was hunting. I've never seen him point, but Winnie can point and is really not much of a hunter.

Anyway, to me he looks like he's built for the field. Athletic, lots of energy, the right wire coat. But first things first, gotta get his obedience to where I want it.

Thanks for reading this blog and commenting! Small world!

Anonymous said...

Wow, indeed small world. Maybe we'll cross paths on the canal one day. I often walk there with friends and Luna. I have yet to see a wire haired in person, but follow quite a few on various blogs (like yours ;-) ) Always important to get obedience down before giving them to much freedom, especially with birds in the picture. I love when I can incooperate Luna into my lessons with Clients. Just yesterday she did me proud when she allowed the clients daughter to walk her around, as well as 'fetched" her leash for them when they asked. i find Stay is one of the hardest things for the "general public" to teach their dog, and have their dog do well, though I have a feeling you will do well. Nice weather always makes training more fun too.

Ed. said...

Hey AKG, email me at when you get a chance. Thanks!