Small Black Dog is Hefted to the Shoot

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by David, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

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    It seems to me that experience also counts in the training stakes.

    The SBD came with me yesterday for her first outing this season. She works these days as a peg dog but has more experience in general picking up duties. To be quite frank about things she is nowhere near adequately trained but the only shoot she works on is a farm shoot where we all know each other, it's quite informal, and she's not the only dog in her situation. She gets by, but to do things half properly requires me to be fully on the case and not shooting at the same time. This is Lady's 5th season on the shoot.

    Yesterday I started her off tethered but then gave up on that idea when she found that she could pull the screw out of the soft ground. She didn't run-in but I was worried that if she did she might get injured dragging the tether around. I found she seemed to know the form without me worrying about it. I got on my peg and just let Lady off the lead (but keeping an eye on the situation), She took up station about 5 yards to my left and lay down. I got ready and looked in the direction of where the drive would be coming from. Lady did the same! Some early shots and Lady sat up.

    There was a sudden flush of pheasants but not in my direction, then a pheasant came over but I rushed the shot and missed behind. Lady stayed put. I thought I'd done the same with the next bird as it glided over behind me but Lady gave chase. She wasn't going anywhere where she would get into trouble so I let her go. A little while later I looked behind to see where the SBD had got to and she was lying down about 50 yds behind me watching and that's where she stayed until the horn went to signal the end of the drive. I unloaded and turned to put the gun back in it's slip in time to see the SBD stand, pick a bird up out of the long grass in front of her and back she trotted with it and handed it over very nicely.

    Now none of this is in anyway indicative of any acceptable level of training, but here was a 7 year old small black Labrador who seems to know just what's going on and when the drive is over. She also seems to be able to pick out a hit bird from a miss, and I'm impressed that there is a lot more going on in her mind than I would have otherwise given her credit for.

    Thought I would just pass that on as a bit of "experience" training and nothing to do with anything I've taught her to do.
     
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  2. Granca

    Granca Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well done, Lady! :)
     
  3. Beanwood

    Beanwood Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Good girl! I do love reading about your adventures with Lady.I do wonder if some dogs just have an instinct for it :)
     
  4. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    SBD has taught herself what to do and sounds as if she does it very well, I hope you are justly proud of her :star:
     
  5. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    They just amaze me they don't miss a thing. What's clever little dog. You must feel so proud.
     
  6. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    I also enjoy your "shoot" stories. It's so far out of my realm of experience so it's lovely to hear about what others do with their dogs.
     
  7. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Well done Lady!
     
  8. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Oh bless the SBD.

    I'm sure her reward is doing the job she was born to do, but I reckon she got an extra special dinner for that xx
     
  9. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

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    She's got the routine down to pat hasn't she,what a good girl x
     
  10. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Owww, not so great when she ran after the shot pheasant... but good that she stayed put afterwards and just waited quietly to bring it back at the end of the drive!
     
  11. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Yes. I know she's hopeless as far as proper peg work is concerned. No question the all the proper gun dog owners will be tearing their hair out. I'm going to have to put a disclaimer at the top of each post I think. Perhaps along the lines of "Do not try this in the field. Gun dogs should be properly trained or you will be tossed out on your ear!" :D

    I decided to post under Gundog Training, Field Work and Field Trials so the reader would know the post might involve shooting before they read it. It's all meant to be entirely lighthearted stuff around my relationship with my dog. The day out on Saturday highlighted to me that dogs are a lot brighter than it's easy to give them credit for. She has become accustomed to the workings of the shoot and knows the form and what's happening. After the second drive, for example, we stop for 11's. As soon as the horn goes and I tell her to "get on", ie in this case have some free time, she's off like a rocket to the Keeper's truck on the pester for a snack!

    We had 7 drives on Saturday. She ran in on three of them as far as I recall. The rest of the time there wasn't much for anyone to complain about. She does have an annoying habit, though, of sitting right behind me so I don't see her when I look around. I wasted a lot of breath peeping my lungs out at someone else's black Lab pestering a gun only to look round and find a very puzzled SBD looking up at me where she was sitting neatly behind. o_O

    YES FOLKS - THIS IS NOT A PROPER GUNDOG WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. SHE IS JUST A SMALL BLACK ONE!

    :D:D:D
     
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  12. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    I think you have rose coloured specs on re a lot of shoots, SBD would not have disgraced you as a gun's dog :)
     
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  13. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Maybe I worry to much about annoying the others! :oops:
     
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  14. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Too right - someone once told me Charlie would be fine on a shoot because most dogs going were as badly trained. :D :D :D
     
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  15. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    From your description it didn't sound as if she could be annoying :) Unless of course she is running around pinching other guns birds from under their dog's noses :D
     
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  16. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

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    She's not that quick - or brave! :)
     
  17. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    Quick and brave is over rated. She sounds a smart little dog
     
  18. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    I think it's very interesting to hear your experiences David from a small, privately run shoot. It sounds a lot different to the highly organized professional shoots - I mean, I've only been on one, but I really much more enjoy small shoots, or rough shooting. That's my personal opinion!
     
  19. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    The funny thing is, David, is there are absolutely stacks of us on the forum taking pets to gundog training, but the people who actually take their dogs shooting can be counted on the fingers of one hand!

    You are really quite a rare person, to have a working line dog who actually works in any capacity (shooting wise, I mean). So if I were you, I'd tell Lady she is more than a proper Gundog!
     
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  20. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Karen, I actually don't have any experience other than on my own shoot. But more than happy to do a diary of the stupid things the dog and I get up to. We have 10 guns plus the occasional guest and we are all local. I'm very much the junior gun and I'm going up a steep learning curve......

    Julie, I think my dog is the bees knees! I just need to keep things on an even keel and not suggest she can do the really clever stuff that you see on field trials. She does what she does and I don't expect her to be any different now. The thing I respect in her most is the way she puts her heart and soul into the day. When I was seriously picking up before I got one of the gun slots I had to watch her carefully as she would work herself until she dropped if I let her (which I didn't). Dogs are great!
     
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