Welcome to my blog about life with my three Barbets ( French water-dog ) Martha, Snoopdogg ,Roobarb and Moby, not forgetting my Bobby, a rescued poodle cross and whichever other dogs are visiting.
Sunday 21 October 2012
Dog training or Gundog training or socialisation
Yesterday was a big day for Hallie as she went out on her first shoot. Hallie will be 7 months old in November. It didn't occur to me that she was too young, but one could tell on our arrival that when I mentioned her age there was an element of doubt about whether she should be there or not. Luckily, I am used to people doubting my judgement and with the explanation that Hallie was Bepops' grandaughter, there was a sigh of relief from most. We had a wonderful morning, I was in charge of Hallie, and I made myself aware of where all the guns were, so that we could avoid being too close. That worked well, although a couple of times we found ourselves rather near to a gun, and it took a quick shout to ask for clearance so that we could move away as I had a young dog.....teamwork on a friendly shoot.... Anyway back to Hallie, at the sound of any gunfire, she was praised, asked to sit and rewarded and I am pleased to say that after 3 shots she had learnt that we were sort of doing training which meant a cheese reward after a big bang as long as she sat down....Bingo. So first test achieved, and now my job is to maintain her confidence which is harder, one wrong move could ruin a dog so she will only go back to the shoot when I know that I can totally focus on her. What I found interesting is that when Hallie and I investigated a bit of fur in the grass, and it jumped into the air and ran off, we were as surprised as each other and out came the cheese and she was rewarded as she showed no desire to chase, the same happened with a deer that headed straight at us, Hallie hid behind me (which nearly threw me to the ground) I remained still as deer in theory go round you not through you, and yep you have guessed...out came the cheese, Hallie soon learnt that anything weird all you do is sit and cheese appears. My best moment was hitching a ride on the trailer, Bepop knows that you get lifted in and lie down as it is a bumpy ride and you can see the ground rush by, it is scary for them but dear Hallie even accepted the trailer, and learnt within seconds that life was more stable lying down than trying to stand, more cheese......So my summary of the day would be, her age was perfect and she learnt alot, she had fun and she enjoyed it and where ever you take a pup you need to watch their reactions, a gunshot is no more scary than airbrakes on a bus, or a youngster appearing round the corner on a skateboard. The downside of yesterday were the BURRS, Bepop as shown in the photo was covered, and Hallie and I didn't escape either but hey it did keep Bepops' fringe away from her eyes. I am pleased to say that Bepop was fantastic yesterday, although she was a little grumpy over all the male attention she was getting as all the dogs on the shoot are males, she didn't deserve the attention she was getting and she did get a tad bored with it, it must be her doggy perfume, but she worked exceptional well and lifted the birds, she worked close to Julian and no running in.......so well done to Bepop as it is hard for a dog that one week picks up, the next week will be beating and as most of you may realise, Bepop is a free thinker and generally thinks her way is best, but not yesterday all it took was a quick reminder of her name and she returned. Gold star Bepop and Hallie. So is nearly 7 months too young to go on a shoot, I think it depends whether you know your dog or not........