Personality and my two Pointers …

Lexi, always sweet and loving
Lexi, always sweet and loving

I was some pictures of yesterday, and I fired off a few shots of my girls. These two pics do a great job of capturing who they are and what sets them apart.

Lexi and Sky are Elhew-bred Pointers out of Superior Pointers in Bayfield, WI. They share a father, and Lexi is the elder by about two years now.

Sky, always a rascal
Sky, always the mischievous rascal

The pure joy of Pointers …

Can't catch me, Sky chasing Lexi
Can’t catch me, Sky chasing Lexi

My first bird dog was a Brittany spaniel. He knew a bit more about bird huntign than I did, but together, we still had almost no idea what we were doing.

Years later, I was getting back into bird hunting and dogs and I was interested in a Springer. An ad in Pointing Dogs Journal led me to visit with a breeder near me who had some Pointers. We took a few of them out for a run and I was hooked. They were they most incredible dogs I had ever seen.

Looking back on that day, I realize it was the Pointer’s athleticism that thrilled and excited me. Watching then run and leap is an impressive experience. I took these photos at a local beach. It was a low-tide sunrise–something I try to always take advantage of–and Lexi, Sky, and I had a great morning.

 

Lift off
Lift off
Dog smile!
Dog smile!
Every which way
Every which way
Poise
Poise

Pointers aren’t supposed to do this….

You hear all sorts of “truths” about Pointers: They’re not personable; they make lousy house dogs; they don’t retrieve (not naturally, anyway). Sky is my third pointer, and just like my first two, she has shown me that all these “truths” are total BS. Watch this video to see her dispel the third.

The pointer sisters: An update…

Time flies, and as it does, our little puppy is getting bigger! Here are some more recent pics of Lexi & Sky.

Sky, one of our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky, one of our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky, one of our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky, one of our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Lexi, one our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Lexi, one our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky & Lexi, our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky & Lexi, our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky & Lexi, our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Sky & Lexi, our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Lexi, our Pointer out of Superior Pointers
Lexi, our Pointer out of Superior Pointers

Meet Sky, our new pointer…

Meet Sky, our new pointer
Meet Sky, our new pointer

A couple Saturdays ago, the latest addition to our team arrived. Meet out new pointer pup: Striking Elhew Sky.

Sky’s out of Superior Pointers. She’s half-sister to Lexi by the father. We’re thrilled to have her, and I’m more excited than ever to have another bird dog for this fall.

 

 

 

The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky
The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky
The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky
The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky

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

The latest on Lexi. She’s growing fast….

My new English Pointer Lexi is almost 21 weeks old now, and she’s growing fast. She’s up to 20lbs – almost 1/2 of how much she’ll eventually weigh – and her dexterity and coordination is improving. Training wise, she knows her name, and she’s picking up some basic commands: Come, Down, and NO (she hear’s that one a lot). I’ve been working on getting her to turn and quarter on command, too, and she’s picked it up very quickly.

Here are a couple videos of her. I shot this first one last Sunday. This was Lexi’s first time in thick, weedy cover, with limited visibility, and it took her a little while to get used to it.

I shot this next video on Tuesday. This is Lexi’s first visit to the local doggie daycare facility. While Lexi has been exposed to lots of other dogs, she’s seen this many at once. This video was shot within minutes of her being introduced to the pack. Lexi handled the situation very well.

 

Raising a pup right: What are your tips?

Books. Chairs. Cabinet counters. My wife’s toes.

These are all things our new pup Lexi loves to chew on. We’re on day six with her, and so far Lexi is sleeping through the night, and we’re not having any messes in her crate or in the house. The chewing and the nipping is a bit of an issue, but I’m sure it will resolve itself soon.

For all you out there who’ve raised a pup before:  What tips and advice do you have for us? What did you do right? And what do you wish you had done differently? Please let us know.

Lexi loving the sun and clover in the back yard.
Lexi loving the sun and clover in the back yard.
Lexi loving the sun and clover in the back yard.
Lexi loving the sun and clover in the back yard.

New pics of the pups…

Here are the latest pics of the pups. These were taking on June 8th. These pups are from Superior Pointers in Bayfield, WI, and they’re just about over 5 weeks old. We’re going with the orange one. Her name will be Lexey.

Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014

More puppy pics! Our new pointer is getting big….

Here are the latest pics of the puppies. These pics were taking a few days ago when the pups were 25 days old. They should be starting on solid food soon.

These pups are from Superior Pointers’s Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley. They’re all females. My wife and I are loving that little yellow girl. The wife has picked a name, too: Lexey – a nice tribute to the parents.

Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014
Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014
Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014
Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014

Letting go, and starting over…..

Puck, portrait by Michael Thompsopn
Puck, portrait by Michael Thompson

Puck passed away almost 8 weeks ago. Her bed is still on the floor in my office, and I still glance over at it and expect to see her looking back. This spring has been strange. I didn’t realize how much my life built around on having Puck by my side. From chasing spring woodcock to daily walks in the woods, I did so much with her this time of year. I’ve missed all that since she has been gone, and that part of my life feels stagnant and empty.

Fortunately, I have a pup on the way. She should be here around July 3. I started looking for another pointer a couples years ago. The plan was for my wife and I to raise a pup and while we eased Puck into retirement. Life arranged things differently, though.

Our pup is coming from Superior Pointers in Bayfield, WI. She’s out of  Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley,  and we’re hoping she’s a lot like Puck. Her breeding is similar – almost all Elhew – with lots of Elhew Strike, Elhew Kiwi, Snakefoot, and Guardrail in her.

Mark and Kathy Wendling own Superior Pointers. They impressed me with their passion, dedication, and kindness . They “…hunt, and breed, only pure Elhew Pointers with lineage tracing exclusively to matings personally designed by Elhew Kennels’ founder, Robert G. Wehle.” If you have some time, I suggest checking out the “Rambling Thoughts” section on there website. There’s a lot of valuable advice there.

Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 9 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 9 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old

On his way to being a fantastic bird dog..

Here’s another video from Ross Callaway. Until this pointer blinked, I thought I was looking at a still image of rock-solid hunting dog covered in red dust. Then I realized what was going on – and saw just how steady this dog is. It’s nice to see a dog that’s trained to this level.

Must read puppy pointers from Superior Pointer Kennels…

Zeke, a 2007 Mack x Nell pup from Superior Pointers
Zeke, a 2007 Mack x Nell pup from Superior Pointers

The folks at Superior Pointers love fine grouse dogs from Robert Wehle’s incomparable Elhew Pointers, and they’re dedicated to improving this fine line of shooting dogs. Part of the improvement process includes breeding the best dogs they can find. Another crucial part is learning what goes it takes to create a fine bird dogs, from breeding to raising and training

If you’re picking up a pup this spring, you owe it to your new pal to read this piece from Superior Pointers about raising a young dog. The first 9 months of a gun dog’s life are crucial, and the advice in this article gives a lot of insights into how you can make sure your pup gets the most out of this time.

Early Puppy Development: The first 270 days

Fergie, a 3 month old Mack x Jessie pup owned by Nitro Kennels. Pic from Superio Pointers.
Fergie, a 3 month old Mack x Jessie pup owned by Nitro Kennels. Pic from Superior Pointers.

“The new puppy arriving at your home has been abruptly uprooted from a known, comfortable environment and the companionship of siblings, and immersed in a completely foreign setting. He is confronted by, and must adjust to, new sights, sounds, food, people, and often dogs. This can be a very intimidating situation for an eight to ten week old pup, the age at which most new prospects are acquired.

Puppies, therefore, require lots of attention – the more, the better. They need to be introduced to their new family, new home and/or kennel, car rides, and other dogs in a manner which ensures a safe, positive experience. It is extremely important that your puppy not be subjected to loud noises or other frightening – to a puppy – situations. He needs to feel that he is at the center of the universe, and in an exciting, wonderful, safe place. This early socialization is vitally important in shaping your pup’s personality. How it is handled will have long lasting implications for you and your gun dog. As Joan Bailey notes in How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves, “How a dog is brought along during the first months of life will largely determine his future as a useful gun dog…”

Read the rest of this excellent piece now.

Creating superior grouse dogs…

I’ve never met Mark and Kathy Wendling, but I know we share a passion for grouse dogs. The Wendlings own Superior Pointers and I’ve learned a lot about the ins-and-outs of Elhew Pointers from their website.

Puck Pointing
Puck Pointing

The site’s Rambling Thoughts section features 13 short articles of interest to anyone with a passion for bird dogs and upland hunting. Wing On A String is one of the pieces you’ll find there. Concise and to the points, it’s knowledgeable, opinionated, and typical of the kind articles you’ll find on the site. Here are the first two sentences.

“There is a fairly widely held misconception that puppies are “trained” to point birds by being encouraged to sight point a game bird wing on a string, manipulated with a stick or fishing pole. This belief is categorically false…”

I encourage you to read the rest.

 

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