A video worth viewing: YETI Presents: SAM…

YETI Presents: Sam
YETI Presents: Sam

Hunting dogs can be frustrating, exhilarating, and, when they leave us, heartbreaking.

This video introduces you a lab named Sam and a duck hunter named Steve Koehly. I learned something from both of them. They may teach you something, too.

Warning: If you don’t want to be seen with wet eyes, don’t watch at work.

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

The wrong way to breed great hunting dogs…

Check out this ad. It’s from a small New England newspaper, and reproduced word for word.

“Stud wanted for my canoe sized black lab. she is not papered however she is well on her way to being an exceptional hunting dog. If you have male, who loves to hunt and is canoe sized. please call for possible spring tie.”

Is this guy’s lab as big as a canoe, or small enough to fit in a canoe? I can’t figure it out.

Canoe-Size Lab?
Canoe-Sized Black Lab?



Time for a check-cord check up…

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.

2” x 30’ Pro-Trainer Check Cord
2” x 30’ Pro-Trainer Check Cord

Understanding the Check Cord, by Martha Greenless, from Steady with Style.

“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…”

You can read the complete post here.

The Checkcord, from www.HuntSmith.com, the official site for Rick Smith, Inc.

“…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…”

You can read the rest of it here.