August --- September
Well, Keith arrived with the dogs and His oldest son, Daniel on the 29th of June. They have been busy doing chores. Getting grass mowed, quail pens repaired, and repairing kennels.
If you want to contact him you can call him, probably in the evenings for sure, at 605-865-3275.
Keith told me on the phone that the cover looks quite nice and he has seen quite a few young birds aroun the place. Hopefully Keith will soon have his internet up and running so he can give you the information himself.
Under the Rusty Windmill 2008
July 3, 2008
Well, I hope you all have been enjoying the Puppies on the Prairies posts. Hope that you enjoy the 4th annual installment of Under the Rusty Windmill stories.
Last night we had some company arrive - Scott and Fran Seagren arrived with their load of irish setters and labs. So, almost all of the principle players are here now - so a brief introduction may be in order, of the llewellins here in camp.
Tanner - Well known and accomplished llewellin setter shooting dog champion owned by Chuck Wilson and loved by many others.
Mali - Up and coming 1st year shooting dog and multiple field trial winner.
Nikki - Son of Tanner and Polly - a bit over a year old and already a field trial winner himself.
Rhemy - Littermate sister to Nikki and a running dog that will be a force to be reckoned with herself - but for a couple bad breaks she would be a field trial winner herself.
Cooper - Owned by Mr Nelson from Tulsa - a fine young dog that is adjusting well to life on the prairies.
Kane - Brother to Blizzards Fletch - accomplished field trial dog with numerous wins in Washington and Oregon - this is his first summer on the prairies.
Ben - A fine young tricolor and relative of two previous dogs I had here last year. He is a very fine young fellow that I sense greatness in.
Jake - Hardmans Smilin Jake - Strong running Blizzard dog, that rolls bigger than any llewellin setter I have ever seen, he is the dad of the litter of puppies we brought up here to evaluate.
Sammie - Daughter of Tanner and Sadie - This is a fine little bitch that we broke steady to wing and shot in two months - she is up here to gain experience on wild pheasants
Sadie - She is a King dog that is owned by Stan Copeland (one of three dogs up here) that is a very nice chestnut bitch that we also have up here for experience on wild birds and was very easy to break out in Texas.
Blaze - Accomplished field trial dog with a litter of 6, plus 2 adopted llewellin setters from Polly's litter - These puppies are roaming all over the yard and soon will see them roaming over the prairie I am certain.
Diva - Rhemy and Nikki's Sister owned by Randy Herman that should be arriving soon.
Then now to introduce the rest of the cast of dogs at summercamp.
Hunter - Irish setter field trial winner - owned and bred by Georgia Brown.
Katie - Young Irish setter from a very distinguished and accomplished field trial line - and closely related to my own young pup Cullen.
Gus - Very nice young derby that will be here for experience and running on the prairies to develop as a potential field trial dog.
Alex - Very nice pointer back for another year on the prairies - this dog is a serious wild bird dog.
Maggie - Back for another summer on the prairies - she is the black and white pointer puppy that here last summer as a puppy.
Jazz - Small Moonster bitch that will be training for utility testing.
Aura - A very nice brittany that we broke in TX this spring that will be gaining invaluable experience on wild birds on the prairies.
And of course we have the puppies - Breezy, Cullen, Cam, Lucy, Diamond, Garnet
Due to our ATV being in the shop we have been roading the old fashioned way off horses. Although, this is time consuming it allows us to really watch the dogs and make a better connection .
We ran some young derbies along with the big dogs today - moved a couple bunches of sharptails and the prairies are looking great. The day was cool and conditions ideal.
Jake - Proved himself to be a huge running dog again, but we managed to have him in front at the end of an hour.
Nikki - Made some great moves today working well to the front and at extreme range.
Blaze - Even with 8 pups - proved herself to be a great bird finder, blessed with outstanding stamina, she was joined by Ellie and Rhemy - it was very nice to watch
Ellie - Pointed a couple sharptails and back her big aunt on two occasions.
Rhemy - Was running well, to the front and at a big shooting dog range - perhaps even All age - time will tell how that sorts itself out
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill
Jul-9 1:48 pm
Hello - I hope ya'll will indulge me on a trip down memory lane - for those newcomers that hadn't followed or are just arriving to this site to bring you up to date on how my posts Under the Rusty Windmill started.
It started with an orange and white llewellin setter - that I was given by Joe Noe - I had to pay the shipping to get him to Washington, and it continued with being mentored along the way by a variety of people - Joe Schaeffer (encouraged me to enter my first horseback trials) Joe Noe, Mike Eades, RJ Marquart and of course my main mentor - Master Yoda - aka Lou Gleber. Along the way I was able to purchase with Joe Noe's help a trailer and most especially Mr Codeman aka Cody - who babysat me and many others and is still my main handling/scouting horse.
Reflecting on it - I have come along way in 4 yrs - as a trainer, handler, and most especially personally. I attribute much of that to support from friends/clients like Chuck Wilson, Gary Wente, Ernie Hardman, Randy Herman, KK Lafleur and others to numerous to mention - without the well wishes and financial and personal support from these people - Under the Rusty Windmill would have ended after the first summer.
When I first got here in the summer of 2005 I was as green as the prairie grass that abounds on the prairies here. I brought 10 dogs - Lou carried me as his assistant and paid all the bills and worked me and taught me how to train and handle dogs on the prairie - along the way spending hours in the saddle and being taught what dogs should be doing and looking like on the prairies - gait, endurance, carriage and other helpful hints too numerous to mention. I learned how to road dogs off horseback and quad. This summer was taxing and draining and I thought about quitting. But, Chuck encouraged me and we kept at it.
The following year my horse handling and dog handling skills were such that Lou put me up on Bob, and I was able to handle/scout from a young horse and my confidence as a handler/rider grew - I brought 15 client dogs to the prairie that year - some of which I have entered in trials and the are still on my string. We broke lots of dogs together and I learned more about handling shooting dog and all age dogs under the watchful eye of Master Yoda. I had graduated from assistant trainer to paying my own way and handling my own dogs.
The third year - Lou offered to have me buy him out which was accomplished and in doing so - Lou had the option to come up 2 or 3 more years. That year was the first year I was truly on my own. I continued to train with Lou and learn more and I am truly grateful that he was here and patient with me. This year Lou opted not to come up and retired from dog training essentially. So, here we are Daniel and I - on our own - making things work without the great ability and experience of Master Yoda.
This year I am learning new stuff and having to alter our training regimen - Because we had one of our atv's stolen and the other needed to go to the shop to get worked on. In order to facilitate this and be as efficient as possible - I put Daniel on old, reliable and steadfast Cody. This is the first time Daniel has had to road dogs off of horses. My confidence has grown to the point that I am riding a green horse and roading green dogs off a new mare we have here in SD.
Four years ago I would never have dreamed of doing that. Back to the dogs tomorrow - thanks for indulging me and much thanks for those that helped me along the way . Lou Gleber, Chuck Wilson, Gary Wente, KK Lafleur, Scot and Fran Seagren, Ernie Hardman, Mike Eades and Joe Noe.
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill
Jul-11 4:31 pm
Well, we are finishing our 2nd week at camp now. We are heavy into bird work and yard work. Several of the dogs are making good progress on steadiness. We finally have a working ATV and we started roading with the quad instead of off horses - we had to fix a couple glitches but we managed to make it work - progress should be made more rapidly now.
I am pleased with the progress of Mali, Jazz, Ben, and several of the dogs are coming along fine. Nothing more right now - more next week.
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill
Jul-13 5:04 am
Well, we are going to be starting our 3rd week here in Timber Lake. We have some good prospects coming up. I am pleased with the puppies. The Polly/Bodhi puppies are starting to follow me down the road and the Blaze/Jake pups are starting to wander about the immediate yard. They are mostly weaned now.
I have divided as is my usual custom the dogs into two groups for roading - field trial and hunting dogs. We now have two quads - the one I had to purchase and the one I took to the shop to be repaired, which we picked up yesterday. The field trial dogs will eventually road a longer time over a greater distance. But, right now they are roading 6 miles. I also sent my first pics of the prairie and sent them to Teresa to get put up on the website. I also divided the dogs into young dogs and those that I will be breaking.
For the young dogs we are using a double set of two tethered chukar and working them singularly - one of the birds is closer and the other a bit further - once the young dog is on point with the first bird - either by scent or sight. Daniel walks forward and flushes the chukar - the noisy flush gets the attention of the young dog and Daniel fires the gun - because the young dog is still in the presence of the first bird - they are inclined to stand - correction is simple and generally is just a easy word and restraint with the check cord - Scott and Fran Seagren - clients/friends here from Washington - comment on how quiet and calm the whole process is. We do that 3 times a week.
On the other days, these young dogs are brought out and we work them on "whoa" post. With the older dogs we use a similiar but slightly different set of 4 tethered chukar and we work two dogs at a time - these dogs have been through the "whoa" and young dog process or are more mature and can take increased training pressure.
We work the dogs alternately pointing and backing - so that each dog is the primary dog on pointing 2 birds and the secondary dog backing on two birds. Sometimes for the really bird crazy - hard to get stand still dogs we just work them on backing - it seems that not being in the immediate presence of the flushing bird they are more likely to stand broke.
Knikki - Young chestnut and white son of Tanner and Polly. He is a fine dog that loves birds and is standing well for flush and shot with great regularity As some of you have followed these posts he was one of the original "Puppies on the Prairie," last year and I continued to be convinced that his progress and biddability are due in large part to him being here as a baby puppy and the early exposure he got to the prairies and wild birds. He is a hard running, field trial winner already.
Rhemy - Young tricolor bitch and litter mate sister to Knikki. She is also doing awesome and this can also be attributed to early exposure and independence she got as a baby puppy here. This is a dog to watch in the future - I have highest hopes for her.
Gus - He is doing well, and we are working him a bit differently on birds and he is a sweet, young irish setter - we are beginning to get a handle on one another and he is warming up and worming his way into my good graces - in short it is very hard for me to get cross with him.
Millie - She is a fine black and white dog descended from Rock Acre dogs - She is one of the older of the dogs of the younger dogs. She is already standing broke steady to wing and shot using the method we outlined above. Next week this dog should be running well on the prairies.
Katie - Another of the red headed stepchildren that have found their way to the prairies - she is a sweet, stylish young irish setter that has been pointing birds here regularly for a week - she is one of the younger dogs that we are putting on chukar - not only by the method we outlined - but also like using johnny house quail in the coming weeks - where we kick a few young chukar out and let the pups work the birds with very little control.
Mandy - Daughter of Sassy Wind Em - she is one of the most independent and hard running young llewellin setters here at camp. She and Gus decided that a romp across the prairie was great fun today - I am super pleased with this dog and as the summer progresses I am confident she will emerge as one of the stars of the puppies on the prairie. When she and Gus returned - she and he got a car ride to town as I dropped off and checked my mail (Timber Lake Post Office is only open from 8:30 to 9:30 on Saturdays) and in short order she was snoring. Along with Gus.
Ben - This is a young dog that is built like a bull dog - strong, chiseled handsome features hide a mischievious streak that will be interesting to see how it will play out - whether he will break me (my shoulders take a beating with him on the end of the check cord) or whether he will let me win. The mischievious one - I can't stay mad at him because when I go to feed him or take him out of the kennel for training - he decides that a few licks on the face are needed to sooth me.
Cooper - This is a nice dog - he loves birds but the challenge is that he likes to sit when he doesn't get his way (which means he wants to chase and grab every bird flushed) we are working with a two point contact method to get him to stand his birds when working. A sweet, pleasing personality makes him a joy to have here.
White Boy - Nice male pointer - littermate to Maggie - he is gonna be challenging to work this summer - he is a bit on the stubborn side and so far has shown more interest in chasing birds than pointing them.
Maggie - Was one of the stars of the Puppies on the Prairie last year, back for another year on the prairie - she is here to break out and get on wild birds - she is pointing well, and still loves to chase birds - very stubborn and challenging - she has a exasperating way of getting out of her kennel, out of her roading harness and generally has a poor attitude and figures a way out of most things that try to restrain or contain her.
T- Bone - Wow, what a pup - he and Camulus are great friends and companions in crime - he is one to keep a close eye on in the coming months and years. The son of a champion - it would not surprise me to see him join his dam in those ranks in the future.
Auggie - Preparing for Natural Ability test - this small munsterlander - loves water work, and chasing birds - it will be challenging to get him to point long enough during the coming months to score well on the tests.
Then there are the big dogs
Kane - Broke - hard charging llewellin that we are busy putting the final polishing on to run in SD and MT at major trials. This tricolor male is a big going shooting dog, that continues to mature and is coming along nicely, and I am pleased to have him this summer on the prairies with me.
Tanner - Back for his 3rd summer on the prairie - showing strength and the enthusiasm of his youth has matured in application - and he is training harder than he had in the past.
Blaze - Brought up to nurse puppies and as a diversion/house dog - she has other ideas and we have been calling her the "energizer bunny" even with nursing puppies she insists on going out with us and proving she still has it.
Sammie - Nice little bitch and sister to dogs owned by some on this forum - she is a Tanner/Sadie daughter and she has been one of the easiest dogs to train - it took about 2 months to break her steady to wing and shot in the spring and she is only up here to get in shape and for all the experience she can gain on wild birds.
Aura - Has been true to her training and continueing to be steady to wing and shot. She is roading and pulling hard in the harness. She is quite an eager bird dog and nice to have at summer camp - based on what I am seeing I expect good things from this nice little brittany.
Sadie - Chestnut and white young dog bred by King Kennels. She has a old style manner of working and lower style than some but makes up for it with a sweet personality and a nose that is top notch. She is here to gain experience on wild birds like Sammie, she was broke steady to wing and shot this spring in Texas and she is a kennel mate to another dog here in SD and the owner wants me to work them as a team to ensure a top flight pair of wild bird dogs for quail hunting in Texas.
Squirt - Young liver and white pointer - that is broke steady to wing and shot and will be gaining more experience with wild birds in the coming months.
Stitches - One of the nicest young hunting pointers here - she is broke steady to wing and shot, and has been since spring/winter in Texas. She is here for experience on wild birds and conditioning.
Alex - Another nice pointer - she was broke here last summer and is back again for conditioning and wild bird experience. She has a wonderful setter-like personality that is fun to have here.
Jake - The dog of lost youth and wonderous potential - his first summer on the prairie and now is closing in on 7 1/2 yrs old. Great style on his birds, and more than enough run to have been competitive in all age stakes - is very set in his ways and I am beginning to doubt if I will ever get him broke enough to compete in trials. When I look at his slightly graying face and enthusiasm for the chase - I can't help but wonder what might have been and think about how many more - if any - llewellins like him have come and gone over the years without the opportunity to show what they could do. The solace in this is that he has 6 pups on the ground with Blaze and I am sure he will get used more times in the coming months as a stud in Texas. For what it is worth - I think highly of this dog and would rate him as amongst the best llewellins I have seen.
Jazz - She is a nice SM that is working water and tracking and pointing and getting as much exposure to duck search and other concepts necessary to do well in NAVHDA. She is roading with the big dogs, and will be working with some of the llewellins on the prairies in brace to prepare for the tests.
Then there are the red demons!
Camulus - Has the blood of the great red setter champions coursing through his veins and shows it every time we put him on chukar out here on the prairie.
Garnet - he is a constant companion on my runs on the prairie - and a fine little hunting irish setter
Lucy - Littermate to Garnet - a fine little irish setter that has great fun and great point on chukar along the tree lines
Cullen - He like his kennel mate - has the blood of great irish setters flowing in him and although the same age as Camulus is developing a bit slower but is the constant companion of Daniel when we aren't training him or running him
Diamond - also littermate to Lucy and Garnet - loves to run with me and gets into mischief at every opportunity.
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill
Well, we have time to post something new because we have T-storms in the area
Tanner - Well, the old veteran still has it. He was running hard yesterday, his initial cast was 3/4 mile, and it was fun to watch. I kept singing to him and he showed to the front and settled into a nice shooting dog race. Several times he got very birdy and finally pointed - I walked in and as I walked forward a bird left - I continued to flush and several more birds left - fired the blank gun and Tanner maintained style and manners
Jake - Braced with the old veteran Tanner - Jake made some huge moves, with a huge initial move also. He backed Tanner with a slight correction and maintained composure as the 8-10 pheasants flushed in front of Tanner. This is very encouraging, we also maintained contact with Jake for most of the brace - but he was lost at 45 min and we had to use the tracker to gather him up. I am pleased with is continued improvement
Kane - After an initial backward cast that I was forced to gallop Cody to gather him up, Kane maintained a very nice shooting dog race, always to the front and looking in the likely places, he got very birdy several times and had one non-productive but finished well and I was pleased with his work - he was very stylish throughout.
Aura - Running hard, hunting in the likely places, she runs a very nice gun dog or shooting dog race. Here inexperience shows, and was charged with 2 stops to bumps, but she maintained good composure and only a minor correction was required. I am confident as the summer progress she will develop into a very nice gun dog to trial.
Ellie - Nice running gun dog, she has great class and style and runs a moderate gun dog race, braced with her aunt - Blaze. She was credited with two nice backs of her aunt on sharptails and her race was forward with very little back casting.
Alex - Very nice running shooting dog, her race was forward and well applied. She was hunting hard and in the right places - her inexperience showed somewhat as she had the opportunity to stop to flush on two occasions (birds were rode up by the handlers) and showed great manners on style and one stop to bump (she was stopped without correction0 and a back with great manners - she was braced with a running little red setter named Ruby.
Blaze - Nicknamed the "energizer bunny" it is not uncommon for this great little setter to get up from nursing her (almost weaned now) puppies and run with us for 12 miles or more. Or to hunt hard from horseback for 1 hr and still want to go with us. She has found birds on several occasions - she has needed some corrections, but once corrected has maintained style and manners on several finds.
Knikki and Rhemy - Littermate brother and sister. They were the stars of the Puppies on the Prairie last year and this continues to be the case. Both are running hard and big - on several occasions they have been found pointed on birds and although yard work will continue they are maintaining derby manners and are progressing very well. Knikki's application is more mature and he looks in likely places. Rhemy is a larger running dog, but lacks application.
Sammie - Great little bird dog - she is pointing and backing well and roading and running very well, she has a neat little gun dog race. She exhibits classic english setter style on point with a nice running gait. I am looking forward to Sammie gaining more experience in the near future.
Ben - Nice little dog, he is progressing well on his yard work and I think it will not be long until his training has progressed to start running on the prairies. He is pointing and backing well and progressing in his "whoa" work in the yard - and I am very pleased with this dogs progress. He has personality plus and this dog has a eager to work attitude with lick and the face as I release him to work every day.
Cooper - Classic working english setter - his class and style could be the basis for a painting of the turn of the 20th century setter paintings. He is young and inexperienced but he is eager to work and a very nice dog to have here at camp.
Sadie - Nice little chestnut bitch - she has a great nose, has retained her training and is very attractive on the ground running. She shows a close to moderate gun dog range - and although inexperienced has handled her birds with great intutition of a much more experienced gun dog. She and her kennel mate will be a great team, I believe.
Jazz - A nice versatile dog that is progressing very well on her water work and duck search - she has been roading regularly, and will gain longer endurance as we go along. She was braced with Mali and will need more experience and training on her manners. She is a nice, close working dog that with more experience, should be a very nice, pheasant dog.
Mali - Nice dog that is running a very nice shooting dog race, she showed some inexperience at a wild flush of birds, but after a minor correction she stood well on a delayed flush and maintained composure as a blank was fired.
Polly/Bodhi pups are growing and we are starting to see hints of greatness there - including the little female carrying around dead birds and pointing.
Blaze/Jake - Love a couple of these young dogs - I have my eye on a couple of them.
Gus - Nice, big running irish setter that is free running regularly as we road the big dogs and is hanging with Cam, Knikki and Rhemy - he has pointed birds for extended periods of time on 3 occasions and been around flushing birds on several more.
Katie - Although, given several opportunities to come with us - yesterday was her first run on the prairies and amused herself by flushing and barking at meadowlarks, blackbirds and generally having a gay old time doing so. I think as the summer progresses she will find more birds and having a great time.
Cam - Big going - hard hunting pupppy - has pointed birds on many occasions, backed one time and been around flushing birds are several more occasions. He has found a good friend in T-Bone they are two peas in a pod (different colored ones though).
Lucy - Not as big going as the older irish setters but she makes up for it in perserverance and personality - she is the first one to come over to be petted when I stop at the water stations. She had been very close to many wild flushes and showed her first flash point yesterday.
Garnett- Will be a very nice companion gun dog. He is slower than his sisters but has personality in spades and has been in the near vicinity of several flushes - as the summer progresses and he gets more contact - I believe he will be quick to catch up to his siblings
Diamond - She and Lucy are nearly equal in ability with nice personality, eager working attitude and the ability to be in the vicinity of several birds. She is doing well.
T-Bone - The star of the young llewellins here - wow, nice dog finding and holding points on birds for a short period of time - he and Cam give the big dogs all they can handle with race.
Breezy - Youngest of the bigger puppies - at 4 months old this puppy is running well and finding birds. She is a fine little daughter of Erins Southern Justice - she is definately a keeper and I have named her - pending final approval by Chuck - Whiterocks Southern Breeze - we considered and then rejected Whiterocks Breaking Wind (VBG).
Anyway, hope I got everyone in this post.
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill
Jul-24 6:51 pm
Another wonderful day of training on the prairie. I got up early and roaded dogs - I had Breezy, Lacy, T-Bone, Gar, Lucy and Diamond along for the ride.
The pups had contact with about 50 birds in 4 groups - including a nice point by Lucy and T-Bone. It was great to see the pups running and hunting - it was a bit unusual - I planned to do some horseback work today so I took off early - the misty morning was cool for the puppies and the sunrise over the hill was beautiful.
After a quick bowl of cereal - I saddled up the horses and we proceeded to take the dogs out for work on wild birds on the prairie
The first brace of the morning was Tanner and Ruby - Tanner made his first very nice initial move and settled into a nice shooting dog race. Ruby at first was short but widened as the cover thinned and her confidence grew - she was making some nice moves and checking in likely places . She was rewarded and hit a beautiful point in tall prairie grass - Tanner was running well and I stopped him because he could not see Ruby in the tall grass and was approaching from in front and in the direction Ruby was pointed.
I managed to remember the camera and snapped a couple pictures - as I moved in a young pheasant flushed - Ruby maintained impeccable manners and at the shot several more birds - about 8 total flushed and flew over Tanners head - both dogs held steady until collared. After a brief break to water we sent them on and Ruby and Tanner finished the hour strong and to the front.
The second brace of the day was young derby's Rhemy and Knikki - both dogs made very nice shooting dog derby moves - and Rhemy widened considerably in her race. We were joined by Blaze - evidently she escaped the house and joined her niece and nephew running across the prairies - Blaze definately outshined her young charges and her race was big and to the front. Unfortunately, after the 30 minutes was up neither Rhemy or Knikki produced a bird.
The third brace of the day was Alex and Kane - at release both made some rather nice shooting dog moves and were mostly to the front and well ahead. We had put Blaze away but evidently Daniel opened the door and we were joined by Blaze at the 30 minute mark.
Blaze was hunting well with Alex and we found Blaze pointed in some short prairie grass - after a picture I moved in and flushed several pheasants and Blaze showed good manners only turning to mark the flight of the bird at the shot. As I was collaring her away and walking with her to the horse to water - several more birds flushed - Alex was well away and had no opportunity to honor.
What is amazing is this dog had already spent about 40 minutes on a previous brace and continued to hunt well too the front for another 30 minutes in this brace - coupled with the fact that she is off pups only 8 wks now. What a dog!
At about the 45 minute mark - Alex moved into a beautiful point - I dismounted and flushed - at the flush Alex took one step forward but stopped when cautioned and at the shot all was in good order. Kane did not have opportunity for birdwork but finished strong and well to the front.
The 4th brace of the day was Jake and a nice young brittany - Aura. We cast off Jake and Aura together down an edge near a fenceline - their initial cast was over 1/2 mile! Aura is a derby age brittany that is green broke - steady to wing and shot. As we topped a small rise we saw Jake put on a great move taking him over a 1/4 mile up the tree line - with Aura working well and settling into a nice AKC Gun Dog race in the tall grass.
We continued up a strip with Aura working well in front between a fenceline and tree line. After watering her at the water station we swung wide and lost contact with Jake - getting out my tracker - I had him well to the front as we turned at the 30 minute mark of the brace towards home. The day was starting to get hot and working through the tall prairie grass had taken it's toll on the young brittany, and her race shortened slightly. However, she pointed a mature rooster pheasant and at the flush she moved forward a step but stopped when I cautioned her - I got off my horse took a pic and flushed some more and heard another bird leave - I fired the shot and all was in order.
Aura finished the 3/4 hour and I was well pleased with her. Jake had found his way home by the time we got Aura to the kennel. It was a great day training - all braces had birdwork and I was well pleased with the dogs performance in spite of the heat and humidity as we went along. Just a great day of training!
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill
Jul-31 6:04 pm
Well, we are back on line and I have been amusing myself reading all the posts while I was off line.
This has been a truly great week (other than the computer problems) I am truly amazed at the progress the young dogs are making and the continued outstanding work of the older veterans. This may get a bit long as there has been so many good things happening to so many different dogs. I will start with the most recent braces/work and work back as best I can recall.
My day started at 3:30 am with the blaring alarm clock. After I got my lazy butt out of bed - yes, it took me about 10 more minutes to get up after the alarm. We harnessed up 8 dogs, turned on the lights to the ATV and away we went.
This group included Katie (in an effort to tire her out enough for me to hold on to her and get her to handle on her first excursion from horseback). I was pleased to see my son, had the horses caught up and after a bite of breakfast (Lucky Charms) we saddled up and got going!
Jazz - She has been doing double duty, 70-80 yd retrieves in heavy cover along and in ponds to prepare for Utility test. Today, she ran in the first brace with Stitches - about 10 minutes into the brace - she started acting birdy and creeping into a point. I have always let the birds teach the dogs when they were getting too close - my usual statement to myself or the dog - depending - is "either knock them or point them," in this instance it was a knocked bird - a sharptail came up and Jazz was lightly corrected and stopped.
Her bracemate - Stitches - stopped on "whoa" I moved off and headed towards a water hole - along the way - Jazzy pointed again - Handler error - I was watching my bracemates dog and Jazzy jumped and was given a more severe correction. After we got done watering we continued on - after two corrections I was wondering what the young SMP would do on the next contact - it didn't take long to find out - she established a "classic arrow point" with Stitches backing - I flushed in front of her and she showed impeccable manners as multiple flushes of pheasants occurred and maintained correct manners at the shot. She finished the 45 minutes shorter than her bracemate but still working well.
Stitches - She was braced with a SMP and backed twice nicely before she managed to have her own find on sharptail's throughout her brace she was forward and working in a nice even gun dog range - she showed impeccable manners always and finished strong.
Millie / Sadie - This was the brace of young dogs - Sadie made several big back casts and had to be corralled and brought forward by Daniel several times. Millie was forward and big - she had been roaded 8 miles in an effort to take a bit of the edge off - and it worked - her race was nice, fluid and to the front and although in this brace both the dogs were not able to produce birds - in the past they have and are showing nice broke manners on most occasions.
Gus/Katie - The battle of the Irish Setters - These are nice dogs that ran big, too the front and finished strong. Katie was roaded 8 miles in an effort to tire her enough for me to be able to handle her and keep her in front - This worked nicely - although she had no contacts this run - she has pointed on several occasions and continues to improve on her application and most especially handling. Gus had a nice find on a pheasant - he was very stylish and classy and while I was making a flushing attempt in front a bird flushed behind the horses. Both dogs are closely related and very nice dogs.
Aura/Kane - This was by far the nicest brace overall of the day. We started them up a cover strip next to a wheat field. Aura scored first - with a nice stop to flush near a water hole, that she passed on the wrong side of the wind - Kane backed nicely when he came out of cover and saw her standing. All manners were in order at the shot and we collared both dogs watered them and sent them on.
We crossed into the prairie and shortly we had a stop to flush on a pair of pheasants we rode up (dogs passed upwind of the birds) both dogs maintained composure at the shot and we sent them on. Another 100 yds later, Aura stopped and pointed, with classic brittany style, Kane honored. I got off the horse and flushed 3 young pheasants on a delayed rise and Aura and Kane maintained impeccable manners through the flush and shot. We watered the dogs led them off a short ways and turned them loose again.
Several more stop to flushes occurred as birds were flushed between the horses and the dogs (wind was at the dogs backs all the time by now). We turned into a small depression sheltered by a hill and Kane feathered into a beautiful point with Aura honoring. Manners were maintained and dogs were sent on and finished strong and too the front.
Cam/Squirt - Beautiful race, to the front for both dogs and a pretty stop to flush for Squirt with impeccable manners at the shot.
White Boy/Maggie - Nice pair of littermate pointers they are still working in the yard but are nearly broke and will be going out with us on horses in a short period of time.
Diva - Nice dog - she is an unpolished gem that I look forward to continueing to work - we are starting the breaking process and she is doing great.
Alex - Impeccable manners - beautiful bird dog - always in birds and always perfect in handling birds.
Chase - New dog at camp - he is starting to get in condition and we are starting his bird work - his 1st day of training was wonderful - he should come along nicely.
Ben - Broke on pen raised birds - very nice dog - he will start taking his turn on the prairie starting next week . Great nose for birds.
Cooper - Nearly broke and pen raised birds - we will need another week or two before we start working him on the prairie - roads hard. Ben and he can practically pull the quad all by themselves.
Well, that is it for now.
Keith - Posting from Under the Rusty Windmill.