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.
I didn’t know English Pointers spoke Swedish. But this orange-and-white female does (hahaha).
Check out these videos to see how much control this guy has over his dogs. He’s running up to four at once: Britta the Pointer plus a trio of Drahthaars. The relationship between them and the trainer is amazing to see. Find out more about the trainer and his dogs here.
HiFive Kennels in Beulah, MI, turns out some great looking English Pointers. Check out this short video to see one of them. It’s a young male named Chet. Notice how dynamic he is and how easily he handles. Also notice that he’s not wearing an e-collar.
Wide open country, a horse, some great birds dogs, and plenty of wild game — looks like heaven! Skydance Kennels in Dousman, WI, is well known for turning out rhigh quality English Setters. Check out this video to see some of the training that goes into their dogs.
The Braque de l’Ariège has had its ups and downs, and the fact that it exists today is a testament to how much passion of handful of men and women have had for the breed.
Even though the Braque de l’Ariège’s origins are disputed, what is agreed upon is that these bird dogs originated in southern France and that at least one of its ancestors was the BraquesFrançais. Standards for the breed were established in 1905. Over the next several decades the popularity of these large, easy hunting white and orange pointing dogs spread. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm petered out, and in 1960 the Braque de l’Ariège was considered dead.
Steady with Style is one of my favorite bird-dog blogs. Informed and well written, I always come away from it a bit more informed (and usually a bit chagrined by how ignorant I am). That’s why I’m excited to check out the author’s new book.
Bird hunters have always cross-bred dogs with the hopes of creating better four-legged companions. The Braque Français is a perfect example of this process. In Craig Koshyk’s superb book Pointing Dogs: Volume One, The Continentals, he explains how hunters modified this breed and developed two types of pointing dogs with a shared ancestry and the same first name.
Back in the early days of bird dogs, the Navarre region of Franch/Spain was ground zero for some of the earliest Braque Français pointers. These dogs were big bodied and short haired, with large ears, loose skin, and a hound-like look overall. They hunted close, at a trot, and were known for their all-day stamina in the field.
Of course some people thought these dogs could be improved. These hunters developed a smaller, quicker line of Braque Français, with a wider range and more athleticism. Soon fanciers had a dilemma: which dogs were the true Braque Français?
To solve the problem, the Braque Français club established two sub categories: the Braque Français Gascony and the Braque Français Pyrenean. You can read more about these dogs here on Craig’s blog.
What could be simple than a check cord? It’s just a chunk of rope. You attach it to your dog and train away. Of course, it’s not that simple. There are right and wrong ways to use this training essential. Here are a couple articles that point out some of those dos and don’t. If you’re training a bird dog, both are worth a read.
“Sometimes the more simple the tool, the harder it is to understand. The human mind seems to like making simple things more complicated. Maybe simple is more complicated. Take the check-cord. There are few pieces of training equipment as simple, yet this short piece of rope is the single most important tool you will own, and it is vastly misunderstood. Unlike a leash where the dog walks next to you, a dog should hunt in front of you while walking on the check-cord…”
“…In every dog’s training, there comes a time to ask the dog to work out away from us at a distance. This is best accomplished gradually and in small steps using a valuable tool called the check cord. Using a check cord gives us control over our dog’s movement at an increasing distance, reinforcing how and where we want the dog to work when hunting in front of us. This is simply an extension of the previous step, the command lead. If the lead work was done thoroughly and correctly, and we’ve developed a point of contact on the dog’s neck, then the check cord work will go easily. If it does not, it means more time is needed on the lead and development of the cue on the neck…”