Lola's Blind Retrieves

Just watch Lola go.........2 weeks ago she was hesitant to go in the water on just a command. She always wanted to see the fall. Well 2 weeks later she'll jump right in on the "fetch" command!

We headed out to Lee Kay (of course) for some training last night. Had to work with both Hessian and Lola on some test related subjects. Zac was a little hesitant at first when i started walking to the other side of the pond to toss a frozen duck or 2. Wasn't positive she would do it. Well to his surprise, she nailed it! These were farther than she had ever done before and hard. These were nestled in some good cover. She jumps in the water and starts her quest. She needed a little help on the way back, with ONE command to "come". Thats all she gets, no problem,she comes in and deliveres duck to hand! We did 3 of these and she shined on every one!

We worked on the Gun Sensitivity in water. That too went well. She heads right out for the duck, i fire at the duck, she stops for 1 second to stare at the duck and keeps on going. We need to do some more of this, as this was really only number 2 for her.

This is where the story gets good. If you know anything about Lola then you know that rumor has it " she doesn't like rabbits". This has affected her tracking scores. So we are on a mission now to change all that. This is a dog that hasn't seen one drag since VJP training. No drags during the FF training. No drags since completing FF. So we did 3. The first one was off. Zac showed her the start...."suk,suk,suk"....releases the slip lead and off she goes. Ignoring the track and finding my return scent,followed that to the rabbit. Got reminded once to fetch and here she comes,delivering rabbit to hand.Next drag, i placed two markers. One for the start of the track, the second marker was for Zac. He started her on the track and walked with her on the sliplead to the second marker and then released her. She followed for a minute than ventured off, only to be called back and restarted again. Much better this time, except a little cheating. Again picking up my scent and finding the rabbit. One reminder to fetch and again rabbit in hand.

So number three is a little different. 2 markers, one for the start and one for Zac to walk with her to and then release her. Up to the line, command given, her nose is down she's pulling Zac along the track. Second marker, Zac releases her on her own. She follows the track a few yards, bails off it,sniffs around a bush, begins to go into search mode...........then suddenly, she whips around, nose back down, finds the track again and follows to the end where the rabbit is placed. Without any hesitation or reminders she picked the rabbit up and delivered to Zac! Hell Ya!

We did a little field search with her, fired a couple shots during. Did a fresh shot bird,blind retrieve on land scenario. She nailed it all. She is becoming quite the superstar. It is always nice to see the light really come on, especially when the dog is so amped and ready to do it all.

Did some water work and steadiness work with Hessian but this is Lolas post so i will post on Hessians progress another time.


Sorry these are camera phone videos......but you get it...

Wild West Chapter Meeting.

Good times up Logan Canyon for the Wild West Chapter Meeting. The meeting was held in a nice area, with river nearby and lots of wide open country to roam and train. We arrived Friday afternoon to a few trucks, trailers and smiling faces. Not to mention a few Drahts! Most of the camp was out working on the VGP essentials that day and from the sounds of it were pretty satisfied with the overall outlook of how it turned out. A lot of chit chat and “dog talk” went on and I was able to purchase a few T shirts with a VDD-GNA WILD WEST CHAPTER logo! They will soon be available on the upcoming chapter website and I can link you there soon. For now these are available by contacting me and I can steer you in the right direction or give you price info etc. After shopping I went with Mike and Scott to lay a blood track for Scott’s dog Gracie, who passed her VGP last year with an exceptional performance and mothered a litter of fine looking pups! There are some pictures of those pups included in this post. Thanks to Gil and John we had a fantastic Dutch oven feast with chicken and potatoes and all the fixins’. Even had some tasty peach, apple, and cherry chocolate (I think) cobblers. Then it was meeting time. We discussed last years meeting and where we have come from there. Planned out some dates for tests and breed shows, discussed the new chapter merchandise and plans for more. We talked about the upcoming Armbruster and how we can help out. I am exciting to be planning on attending as a spectator and volunteer any way I can. I encourage anyone who can, to get involved and see what it’s all about. It was time to elect new Chapter Board members; Shane and Phil had been doing it a long time and were ready to pass the torch. Paul Trout is the new Chairman, and I the new Business Manager. Cal Bambrough maintains Breed Warden and Jason Wilde Vice Chairman. I look forward to working with these guys and learning alot from them.Congrats guys! There was quite a bit that was discussed that evening but I have been sworn to secrecy by an ancient German code and must remain silent! : ) Some gathered together to talk and mingle more, others sat back and enjoyed a late Mountain Matinee of the film “Taken”. Some of us, knowing we would have an early and long day ahead, hit the tent for a slumber. The next morning, we woke up early and headed out to the VGP testing site to run through some forest work. We worked on blood tracking of course, fox in the box, and drive hunt. Went back and was treated to a great breakfast thanks to Gil and John once again. Dogs were evaluated on the coat and confirmation to prepare for the Armbruster. Some went to the nearby pond and worked on water retrieves. Always fun for the pooch on a hot day. We went back up to the hills to put our dogs on track. Matt and Chad did theirs, and all seemed to go well. Mike had laid a track for me, so this was my first blind track! I had know idea where it was or went……I had to actually trust my dog to get me to the end with no help from me? ! Oh no! Put Hessian on the track and off we went. Mike trailed behind for fun and Hessian led us through the forest. Along the way I was able to actually spot blood. Something that is hard to find when you know it should be there, but easier to find when you trust your dog! Made it to the end, all on the dog. Imagine that! Mike said we followed the track along just fine. I felt real good walking away from that one! That was the end of that. Camp was packed up and the only destination now was home. The rest of the crew headed down to the HZP testing area to evaluate the dogs for the Armbruster, and then home from there. Thanks guys for helping out with the training. Great job to everyone involved in planning and attending the meeting! Can’t wait till next year. I should stop now, this is a long winded post! Enjoy the puppy pics.
By the way, the stickers are here! Waiting on shirts still.

Talking 27 Hour old Blood track!!!

Time to talk about some blood tracking! One of the funnest things I have had the experience to train for would have to be the blood tracking. It is fascinating to me that you can take an upland and waterfowl dog and track big game that has been wounded. In the VGP test the blood track is 400 meters, 200 more are added for those that want to send the dog on a free track after the initial 400. This is for dead game guiding and baying. The amount of blood used is 8 oz and a little more for the extra 200-meter work if deciding to do that. It will be a squirting or dabbing method. As of now I use a drip method from a Bug Juice bottle. The track is aged for at least 14 hours for overnight testing and 2-5 hours for a day track test. I am planning for the day track so most of my tracks have been aged 3 to 7 hours so far. In my training I have been using a Bug Juice bottle to lay blood, Orange painted clothes pins to mark the trail for me, a storage bowl with dog food in it and a biscuit, placed inside a 3 gallon bucket that has an Elk Hide strapped to it. I lay the track and mark it as I walk along. Making sure to place blood on fallen timber, rocks etc along the way. I leave the bucket with the hide and the food behind and sometimes place the Bug Juice bottle in the bucket as well so I don’t carry it back to the truck and contaminate the track. Now lets get into my last experience…….The 27-Hour-Old Blood Track in Colorado! Aright! So in Colorado and doing some training with Hessian and Jaeger. Decided I wanted to do an overnight blood track to test Hessian and myself. I grab my gear all stated above and head into the woods. I mark the starting wound bed and progress along my way dripping blood and marking the way. As I am going along I realize I am getting closer to a drop-off edge so I decide to turn around and stopped laying blood until I reached my turn off and then continued on from there. So now I have like a T pattern where the one end is a dead end. I continue along the way putting I some turns and such. I reach the end,1/4 mile later and bungee the bucket to a small pine and head out of the woods.It is Noon. Track laid time to wait. It rained a bit that afternoon, not for long but hard. I wasn’t able to get to the track until 3 o clock the next day. A 27-hour-old track! Got Hess to the start, downed him, walked up and took a look at the starting wound bed, went back to Hess, slipped on the collar and lead, pointed to the blood on the ground, “BLOOD, BLOOD”, “Find the Buck”. Off we go, Hess is nose down and pulling me along the way. He is getting slower. He starts off hard but slows down after a few minutes and focuses on the track. We are moving along well. Remember my T, the dead end? Well, Hess followed the trail right up to the dead end and I let him, after all there was blood there. Got to the end and realized this was not the direction, Hess turned around, nose down and headed back out to the split off point. Found the track and continued along in the forward direction. Moving along, just pass the first wound bed, we pass a log that I had placed blood on. This log had been freshly disturbed, dug at, tore into. Hmm, I don’t remember it looking like that. Suddenly Hess just stops, lifts his head and begins looking around. Very amped, not wanting to put nose to ground at all. Wants to take me for a search. So I down him on the blood and wait about 5 minutes, getting him to settle down and focus. Back on track moving along, getting close to the end. We come out of the trees and into a small clearing and there is the end! Hess took me there in 50 minutes! We made it! Time to reward! Wait a minute…….Where is my bucket? I placed it right here. Hess is freaking out. Sniffing around, won’t stop fidgeting. Won’t lie down. Finally “PLATZ”. Hess is down. I began to look around a little and find the shredded Bug Juice bottle a few feet from the end of the track, chewed to bits. Spotted my bucket a few yards down the hill. Bungee off, hide gone, bowl and food gone, and teeth marks in the bucket! Released Hess and we are out of here! About 20 yards down the hill Hess finds the elk hide and delivered to hand. I looked around for a bit, never found the food bowl or any sign of it. Did see what looked to be cat paws. Big cat paws. No gun, I’m outta here! Headed out of the woods, back to the truck and feel better now. No wonder Hess was freaking out! We could have run right into that thing! Everyone I talked to that day swears it was a mountain lion. And that it was still around and that we probably spooked it coming up on the end of the track. I am just glad we didn’t see it, and super stoked that He found the end of the 27-Hour-old track. The longest and hardest of all so far. WHAT EXCITEMENT!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS TRAINING THING! MORE AND MORE ADDICTED WITH EVERY NEW EXPERIENCE. Good luck all. And watch your back on the blood trail.

Jager's stay at DA and Meeker Colorado trip

It has been a very busy and interesting few days. We had Jager vom Wasatch for 5 days as well as took off to Meeker, Colorado to visit some family over the 4th weekend. Had great time in a small little river town. Enjoyed the family, had great wilderness areas to play with and train the dogs. Met a lot of nice people, did some fishing and some floated the White River. Got to enjoy a parade that involved my nephews family and one heck of a fireworks show that puts the big city to shame! Thanks for the great time Nephew! Can’t wait to come again real soon. Great little town to get away to any time the big city gets too much. Had tons of fun with Jager and Hessian, I think Hess enjoys the company every so often. It takes a little of the heat off him for a few days. I let them run around quite a bit in the Colorado forest. Worked with Jager on some fetch work, sending him to piles and blind retrieves. He does a fine job, gets the idea well, keeps searching and searching until he finds the bumper. Worked a little on holding some fur with a coyote pelt my nephew hooked me up with. Both dogs did some swimming and a lot of searching. Jager found a burr bush at full speed, as if he knows any other speed. Hit it so hard he tumbled in it and burrs were all over him. He is so furry that his eye was burred shut! Thankful for the 50 cent comb that works great to remove them without losing or ripping out too much hair. Did some bloodtracking work with Hessian that ended to be a very interesting experience and a close call, more to come on that later. In the meantime enjoy the pics of the dogs, the mini horse and the parade. Had fun Jager, would do it again anytime.