You’ve heard of Pointing Labs. Well, I my dog Sky could be the foundation for a similar line of hunting dogs: Retrieving Pointers.
Sky’s nuts about anything round and mouth size: Tennis balls, lacrosse balls, slimy round things that may be shrunken heads. She finds these things on our daily walks and if I throw them, she brings them back–whether I want her to or not–over and over and over…and over.
I’ll be taking orders for pups soon. Like Pointing Labs, the prices will be stupid high. And yes, I’m kidding…
We used to have one big bed for both Lexi & Sky (the green one to the left). But that didn’t work. Sharing was not something they wanted to do. So I bought another bed. Now they fight over the new one, even though the older one is bigger. Go figure.
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.
For the next installment in our “cocker spaniel, you’ve-got-to-see-this video series”, check out this one from Nick Ridley over in the UK. Over there, they use spaniels to hunt rabbits. The vid is shot with a drone, and if you watch closely you’ll spot bunnies bolting from the cover, unseen by the shooter.
Sky and I headed up to northern NH on Saturday to say “hello” to Lexi and Craig Doherty. Craig runs Wild Apple Kennel, and this is the second season he has worked with Lexi.
Lexi left for training camp at the end of June, and this was the first time the Sky has seen her since then. After they had a moment to reacquaint, we put took some pigeons out for them and ran a couple other dogs Craig has in his kennel this summer. Overall, a great day.
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.
Lexi and I headed down to Cape Cod on Sat to check out the Setter Club of New England’s spring field trial. I entered Lexi in two stakes: the Amateur Derby and Gundog. She took 3rd in both. Here are some pics from the day.
Lexi and I headed out last Friday afternoon to see if we could find some woodcock. The little guys are migrating north now, and I’ve heard they’re as far up Massachusetts and even into Maine.
We had had warm weather most of last week with a couple days in the 60s, but on Thursday temps dropped and then on Friday a snowstorm rolled in. By the time Lexi and I reached the cover we were going to check out, a couple inches of snow had fallen.
Woodock are ground feeders and worms make up most their diet. So these birds need to find clear areas of frost-free ground to eat. In these pics, you can see how a couple woodcock found this type of cover in a wet seep. They were waddling around in the snow, feeding. The holes and from their beaks, probing into the soft ground for earthworms.
It’s just about field trial season here in New England. I try to make it to a couple of these each spring. I really enjoy walking the course and seeing the dogs run. This year I’m going to run Lexi in one or two of these trials, beginning with the one put on by the Setter Club of New England.
BTW: These field trials are for pointing dogs, and they’re run on planted quail (which are not shot or harmed). Any breed of pointing dog can be entered. That being said, pointers and setters win most of these events.
Paul Fuller of Bird Dogs Afield just posted this great interview with legendary pointer breeder and field trialer Ferrell Miller. If you’re into bird dogs, you should make time to watch the whole thing.
And if you don’t know much about Pointers, this short video is a nice introduction to the breed. It also features Ferrell Miller, and is worth watching just to see Mr Miller in the field working his dogs.
If you spent much time with hunting dogs, you’ve probably wondered about their noses. A recent piece called BIRD DOGS, SCENT AND FINDING BIRDSfrom the Pheasants Forever blog gave some insights into scent and into how dogs process it. It’s short, but talks about:
“I spent a number of days this spring running my German shorthaired pointer, Trammell, through woods I know hold timberdoodle on their migration north. It was interesting to watch Trammell navigate the scent determining when to point and when to press. It got me thinking about the incredible ability of a dog’s nose, so I reached out to Bob West of Purina Dog Foods and a professional trainer with 50 years of experience to teach me more about bird dogs and scent…”