Well Brad can… and DID!!! Today’s training session wasn’t anything all that unusual, but it showed Brad that Roxie is steady. Steady enough to consider her “broke”, meaning she knows what she’s supposed to do and does it. What she is supposed to do is point, and stand there through the flush, shot and fall until released to go fetch. He said next session will start turning her loose and letting her do some real hunting. He said that I could start taking her hunting with other people and dogs and get some experience on her. He said he would guide a hunt with her any day!
This does not, however mean that she can go test in Senior or Master hunter right away. She has yet to be tested without a check cord for any length of time and has never been tested without an electronic collar which is necessary to test. First, she needs some more real life experience and continued consistancy on steadiness in other locations. Specifically, she needs to work in and around the fields in which the tests are run in so that she can recognize that this place still means that we’re hunting, not playing.
In today’s training session, I got to bring my own gun and shoot for her. Of course, I missed the pheasant, but that’s not what counts. What counts is that Roxie was steady while I went out front to flush the bird.
Mainly what I need to work on with Roxie is our relationship. While generally, she is a good dog. She is headstrong and while I think that I am the packleader, truly, Roxie doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to do. Yes, she will sit and wait to be fed, to be let outside, to be let on the bed, she will do whatever I want her to do as long as SHE gets something out of it. If there’s nothing in it for her, she could care less about me and what I want. How does this relate to the field? Well have you ever seen her yank me around the parking lot while waiting to go out? Well there ya go.
So, we’ll keep working, keep training and hopefully do some real hunting. I may sign us up to volunteer Roxie’s hunting skills for some youth hunts in our area to get some extra (free) exposure to birds. I’ll also be taking a women’s hunt class in September. It will be a 2 day event at which point, I will get my hunting license as well as get some experience of my own hunting and shooting pheasant without having to also handle Roxie at the same time.
Well, that’s all for now. Not much else going on. It’s fricken hot out there!