Latest Lexi …

I was up in northern NH last weekend visiting Lexi. She’s about 1/2 through her summer training program, and she’s just starting to get out in the woods to chase wild birds. She turning int great bird dog — very easy handling and a real strong bird finder.

I took her out for a couple hours and hit a few spots. Lexi moved 3-4 grouse. I only heard the birds. The woods were too thick for me to see a thing. Here’s a quick vid of Lexi plus some pics of what we saw (and a vid of a slithering little guy we came across). Enjoy.

Wild Thistle
Wild Thistle
Wild rasberries
Wild rasberries
The woods were thick with waist-high patches of wild rasberries
The woods were thick with waist-high patches of wild rasberries

Latest Lexi: An update on my pointer…

Lexi last winter, before the snow
Lexi last winter, before the snow

It’s time to put some more “dog” in Dogs and Doubles. It has been while since I posted any updates on my pointer Lexi.

Here are pics and videos to catch you up on her.

Lexi was born on April 31, 2014. We’ve had her since July 3. We’ve been thrilled with her since day one. Right now, Lexi’s up in northern NH with Craig Doherty at Wild Apple Kennels.

 

 

A little lap time last February.
A little lap time last February.
Lexi doesn't like riding "in" her box.
Lexi doesn’t like riding “in” her box.

I shot this video last March.

And these are  from last weekend up at Wild Apple Kennels.

Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels
Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels
Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels
Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels

Training your pup to retrieve? Don’t be a dummy…

Look great to us, but practically invisible to your pup.
Looks great to us, but practically invisible to your pup.

Everyone knows that dogs have incredible noses. But how much do you know about their eyes?

As it turns out, a dog’s sight is no where near as good. Instead of seeing things as we do or in black and white, dogs are “color blind”. They do see some colors, but not the same ones we do, or in the same way. This video and article from ShootingUK.co.uk explain a little but about what’s going on.

Check both out for some interesting insights into what your dog really sees. You’ll learn some interesting stuff, including why purple training dummies may be the right choice for teaching your pup to fetch.

How your dog’s vision affects , by Nick Ridley, ShootingUK.co.uk.

“Now here’s an interesting question — when you are starting your puppy’s training, which colour of dummy is it best to use? To answer we need to go back to basics: most professional trainers will tell you to make these early retrieving lessons fun and easy. The aim is to get the puppy used to fetching an object and bringing it back to you. To help achieve this you wouldn’t hide dummies in long grass or rough cover.

So to come back to my original question — which colour dummy is best? Believe it or not, blue or purple seems to be best. If we examine how and what a dog can see this may make more sense.”

Read all of How your dog’s vision affects its training now to learn more about the three aspects of a gundog’s sight, the evolution of sight, a dog’s natural instincts, dummy colors, and the why blue — yes blue — tennis balls.

A great tribute to a great trainer: Tom Davis on Sherry Ebert…

Sherry Ebert, one the nation's top gundog trainers. From sherryebert.com
Sherry Ebert, one the nation’s top gundog trainers. From sherryebert.com

Back when I first bought Lexi,  there was one trainer the breeder recommended to me over and over again: Sherry Ebert.

Sherry is one of the top trainers in the country, and she turns out great bird dogs. Unfortunately, she’s booked up solid. I’ll find wild grouse in Manhattan before I ever get a training slot with her.

You can read more about Sherry Ebert in this great tribute Tom Davis wrote about her in Sporting Classics. And be sure to check out the video below, too. In it, Sherry gives some good tips and advice on training bird dogs.

Sherry Ebert: On Top of the Bird-Dog World for Decades, by Tom Davine, Sporting Classics 

In 1963 a 17-year-old New Jersey girl named Sherry married a 21-year-old Pennsylvania man named Harold. Horses she knew, dogs she didn’t, but her husband, a wiry redhead with dreams of making it big in the bird-dog world, was fixing to change that. He took Sherry to Georgia, where since 1959 he’d worked for Fred Bevan, a professional trainer with a considerable reputation and a kennel operation to match.

Soon she was working for Bevan, too—and no employer, ever, got a better two-for-the-price-of-one deal than Fred Bevan did when he hired Harold and Sherry Ray. They worked long hours for short pay, their list of duties and responsibilities was endless, but they were the kind of people who couldn’t bear to leave a job unfinished and knew only one way to do it: the right way…

Read all of: Sherry Ebert: On Top of the Bird-Dog World for Decades, by Tom Davine, Sporting Classics

Come watch them run: Cover Dog Field Trial in Rhode Island…

The 2015 Region #1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship starts tomorrow, April 11, at the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter, RI. If you would like to see some great bird dogs, you should check it out.

Region #1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship, 4/11/2015
Region #1 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship, 4/11/2015

 

Alabama Hosts U.S. Championship for Pointing Dogs…

Gary Lester, Alabama Hosts U.S. Championship for Pointing Dogs
Gary Lester, Alabama Hosts U.S. Championship for Pointing Dogs

This video features the U.S. Championship for Pointing Dogs was held at Alabama’s M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area on December 1-6, 2012. Even though it ‘s from a few years ago, it’s worth watching if you want to learn more about how field trails are put together are run. There’s some nice dog work in it, too.

Great read: Dad Saw Himself in Setters, by Tom Davis…

4X CH TEKOA MOUNTAIN JETTSUN
4X CH TEKOA MOUNTAIN JETTSUN

Tom Davis is a great writer, and always check out anything I come across from him. This piece from the Sporting Classics Daily blog is a good example of why he’s worth reading. It’s short, and in very few word Davis touches hits on why we fall in love with bird dogs. Do yourself a favor and click through to read the entire piece.

Dad Saw Himself in Setters by Tom Davis now

“I picked him up at the condo he’d rented on the Lake Michigan beachfront. It was more like March than May, a raw wind blowing off the lake, scudding clouds that spat occasional volleys of needle-sharp rain. He wanted to see my dogs run.

“Jesus, Dad,” I said, scowling at his low-cut tennis shoes. “We’re going to be in woodcock cover. Where the hell are your boots?…”

Read all of Dad Saw Himself in Setters by Tom Davis now

Congrats to Miller’s Dialing In: The 2015 National Champion…

Miller's Dialing In. 2015 National Champion. Owned and handled by Gary Lester. Photo by Jamie Evans.
Miller’s Dialing In. 2015 National Champion. Owned and handled by Gary Lester. Photo by Jamie Evans.

The 116th running of the granddaddy of all field trial — the National Championship – started last month on Monday, February 9, 2015, at the Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, TN. Forty eight dogs were nominated to run this year — seven setters and forty one pointers, and when the trial was over, one rose to the top: Miller’s Dialing In.

The National Championship for Bird Dogs was first run in 1869, and it has been held at the Ames Plantation since 1915.

See videos from the 2015 National Championship here.

See pics and videos of the 2015 National Champion Miller’s Dialing In here.

In this video you can see a beautiful double point with Touch’s Adams County and handler, Randy Anderson (R) and Raelyn’s Skyy backing as handler Andy Daugherty looks on. Watch those quail fly.

Touch's Adams County and handler, Randy Anderson (R) and Raelyn's Skyy backing as handler Andy Daugherty looks on
Touch’s Adams County and handler, Randy Anderson (R) and Raelyn’s Skyy backing as handler Andy Daugherty looks on

 

In this video, you can see Audubon Americus on his first find with handler, Rich Robertson. I think you can hear another handler “singing” to his dog in the background.

Audubon Americus on his first find with handler, Rich Robertson
Audubon Americus on his first find with handler, Rich Robertson

 

This one shows Caladen’s Rail Hawk on his second find with handler, Dr. Fred Corder. Again, watch those birds bust out of there.

Caladen's Rail Hawk on his second find with handler, Dr. Fred Corder
Caladen’s Rail Hawk on his second find with handler, Dr. Fred Corder

 

In this last one, you can see 2015 National Champion Dialing In on his second find in the Horseshoe. A big, healthy covey flushes above Dialing In and Gary.

Dialing In on his second find in the Horseshoe. A big, healthy covey flushes above Dialing In and Gary.
Dialing In on his second find in the Horseshoe. A big, healthy covey flushes above Dialing In and Gary.

Goodbye to a great dog: Ch Beaver Meadow Benjamin has passed away…

Back when I first got into Pointers, Beaver Meadow Benjamin was THE hot dog on the New England field trial circuit. Even though an injury put an early end to Benny’s trial career, he went on to sire a bunch of winners. Born in 2001, Benny passed away a couple weeks ago. You can read more about Beaver Meadow Benjamin here on the Region 1 Field Trial Club site and in this string on the Cover Dog Field Trial Board.

Another nice video: Beautiful English Pointers in the UK…

Has anyone ever seen pointers like this in the US? The ones in this video are fantastic looking dogs. Maybe I’m seeing things, but they look a bit different from most EPs I’ve seen over here – leggier, deeper in the chests, and with blockier, squarer heads. Their points are lot different, too. They do get the job done, though.

Desert Dogs: Another great photo essay by Craig Koshyk…

Here’s another great photo essay by writer, photographer  Craig Koshyk. He’s the author of : Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continental, one of the best books around about pointing dogs. If you want to learn more about dogs like the ones you’ll see in his pics, be sure to check it out

Desert Dogs: In Idaho with the WPCGA

Desert Dogs: In Idaho with the WPCGA, by Craig Koshyk
Desert Dogs: In Idaho with the WPCGA, by Craig Koshyk

Prairie Dogs: A must-see photo essay by Craig Koshyk…

Craig Koshyk is the author of one of my favorite dog books: Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continental. He’s also a talented photographer, and, of course, a passionate upland hunter. His photo essay Prairie Dogs: Under the Broomhill Sky takes a look at the people, horses, and dogs that make the Broomhill Field Trials so special. The pictures are beautiful, so click through and give yourself a treat.

Prairie Dogs Under the Broomhill Sky, by Craig Koshyk
Prairie Dogs Under the Broomhill Sky, by Craig Koshyk

A couple must-reads about birds dogs…

Pointing a Spring Woodcock
Puck pointing a woodcock in the spring

I used to read the magazine Sporting Classics regularly, but in the past few years I’ve stopped. Judging by the quality of these two stories, perhaps I should pick it up again. Both these stories are quick reads and, if you love bird dogs, well worth your time.

There’s Hardly a Man Who Can’t Be Improved By a Good Dog: By Robert Matthews

“At the time, I vowed that I wouldn’t get another dog. Life’s thread had grown too short, the grief too deep and the task too burdensome, I reasoned. And I knew for certain that I would never find another dog like Sam. A dog like that comes along only once in lifetime….”

“We think of ourselves as hunters, and of our pups as gun dogs. Yet as important as the hunting is—and make no mistake, it is important—the time we spend afield is only a part of it. There’s a bigger picture. It’s the tail thumps when we walk into the room, the gentle weight of his head on our knee, the absolute trust that shines in his eyes, the way that our hand seems to find his ear of its own volition. It’s the fact that, as every attentive dog owner knows, our dogs define the term “unconditional love.” Hell, if we had half their innate capacity for love—if we had a quarter of it—this magnificent world, which we treat with such studied indifference, would be a paradise.”

Our season begins…

Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers
Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers

Today is going to be a great day. This will Lexi first day in the fields, and I can’t say how excited I am to get her into some birds. Grouse and Woodock season opened in Maine on October 1. Normally, I would have been out last weekend. But a wedding and some previous got in the way. So I’ve been waiting….and waiting…and waiting for today.

We’re going to hit some woodcock covers right off, and with a little luck, Lexi will be into some birds right away. I hope the light bulb goes off in her head once she gets a bit of that scent. If I’m really lucky, maybe I’ll seen a bit of a point. Wish us luck. I’ll report back when we get home. Wish us luck. If you’re heading out, I hope you see some birds, too.

The gundogs of Downton Abbey…did the producers make a mistake?

Highclere Castle, where parts of Downton Abbey are filmed
Highclere Castle, the real Downton Abbey

Fans of the TV show Downton Abbey, you know that attention to detail is one of the things that makes this period drama so much fun. From the tea set used on Lady Mary’s breakfast table to the cut of Lord Grantham’s suit, Downton Abbey gets things right — most of the time, anyway.

In a passed episode, Lord Grantham was shown shooting with a yellow Labrador Retriever at his side. While most of went on in the scene was correct, the Lords loyal companion was not. According to this article in The Field, there’s almost no way the Lord Grantham would have had a yellow lab — or any lab– at his side. Why? And which breed of dog did most posh people in the UK favor around WW1? Click through and read The Downton Abbey Gundog to find out.

Flat Coated Retriever
Flat-Coated Retriever, once the breed of choice for shooters in the UK
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