Monday, November 1, 2010

Progress report

For the last several weeks my new dog has been with the trainer working out the bugs before the season starts.  Those who read the post know that I took a chance when I picked up this dog in July but it seemed like the odds were slightly in my favor and this dog needed a good home anyway, which was enough for me.

On Saturday my son and I went over to check on him and watch a few other dogs.  I confess I'm more than a little excited that at just shy of 3 yrs old he's very interested in bird dogs.  Hope I can stretch that into, oh, maybe a lifetime or so.

Wyatt's doing fairly well in his training but needs a little more polishing than I'd anticipated.  While initially crowding his birds he seems to be backing off of them a bit, a big relief given that wild quail don't usually condone the up close and personal stuff. He still has a lot of chase in him and that will consume a good bit of time to reign in.  As a result he may be staying a few weeks longer than I'd planned to get it all sorted out.

This week could be a bellwether as Maurice plans to shoot a few birds over him and take him to a larger field to see how he handles off of the check cord.  We'll be back over on Saturday morning and with a little luck we'll get a good report.

Not being a field trialer, I really only need a few things in a bird dog.  Pointing is non-negotiable; guys who hunt bobwhites with flushers get a bag full of frustration, not birds.  And since I don't hunt with other dogs very often, backing isn't a deal-breaker.  It's a nice plus, though.  Same with retrieving.  I'd place it slightly above backing, but as long as he'll find a dead bird I'm perfectly capable of picking it up.  So if we can get Wyatt steady to wing and shot I'll hunt him this year and leave the rest til the offseason.

All in all I'm feeling pretty good about this dog.  He has a lot of desire to hunt and is biddable enough that desire can be sculpted into something I can hunt with.  And he's quickly turned into a great dog to have around the house and office.  I'm looking forward to that first day in the field.


  1. Good luck with him...hope you hav emany fine days in the field with him...and your Son.

  2. Excellent approach! Set realistic expectations, enjoy the process as it unfolds, get a kid involved, anxiously await the finished product (defined by your terms), enjoy a loyal four legged friend that will provide memories to last a lifetime for you and your son. Now that's a man with his head screwed on straight.