Fall is definitely in the air around here. When I got up this morning and started my dog chores I was surprised at how chilly it was, there was a nip in the air that I hadn't noticed before. The fog hung low over the trees with beams of sunlight shining through and all the leaves and grasses were damp. Both Ella and Marshall went off to school together this morning (that felt so strange) and I decided it was the perfect morning to do a little bird training with the GSPs. They thought that was a great idea.
Hardy had never seen a bird before so I was very curious to see what she would do. In typical bird dog fashion her nose was on the ground and in the bushes looking for scent as soon as we were outside...
And then she found the bird....she held this point well with gentle reminders from me, and then there was a lot of pulling and jumping while trying to get that very tempting pigeon.
We came in again slowly and she held her point again when I asked her to and I was able to stroke her tail while quietly telling her to whoa. She was very into the bird and I was happy.
Next I brought out Vinnie for a little work. He comes from a very strong hunting pedigree on his sire's side and is very focused on the birds, but has a few gun issues from a poor start as a puppy (you have to be very careful introducing gunfire). He really wants to work though and I am confident we can work through this together. I suspect I will learn a lot as I bring him along and it will be good training experience for me. Slow, steady and careful training will be key here.
Last but not least was Libby who has her Field Dog Junior Title and very clearly remembered her previous training. She found the bird quickly and whoa'd right away when I told her to, and held her point. She will be working towards her Field Dog title.
Field training is pretty new to me and I'm learning as I go. I really really love it though and can definitely see myself pursuing it hard. It's pretty easy to love doing something the dogs are so into. Watching them do what they were bred to do give me such a thrill, and when I see a dog lock on point the hair raises up on my arms. It's the same thing watching a schutzhund trail with the Dobermans and I imagine it will be the same watching the Smooths at an Earth Dog trial. The built in instinct in each dog breed from years and years of specific breeding for their appointed task(s) is absolutely amazing. I feel really lucky to be able to experience this, and to do my part so that the next generation is able to as well.