After 30 days at Pine Hill Kennel & Sportsman’s Club “Bird Camp”, our girl Elsa has returned home today. We spent some time this morning at Pine Hill’s main training facility with Justin, our trainer, going over a number areas which were a focus of her training. These included steadiness on-point, on-wing, on-shot, and honoring points.
The transformation in Elsa was noticeable in her appearance and her behavior in the field. She was thinner but far more muscular. In terms of behavior, she typically bolted after the bird when hearing the report of the shotgun… she was now holding much more steady. However, not without a bit of protest such as a whine or yip (which will diminish over time.) Elsa has typically displayed a decent understanding the whoa command, but after today I saw her holding steady in front of live birds (on the ground and flushing.) This will be of great benefit for a number of reasons, namely safety in hunting situations.
A fake backing dog (see upper right corner of photo below) is essential when teaching pointing dogs to stop or back when another dog points. Elsa is seen here successfully honoring a point. Two birds were located in launchers in front of the false dog, and the wind was at Elsa’s back, so the point was based on seeing the “dog”. She continued to hold after the birds were released, and blanks were fired.
Elsa will focus on having a fun summer spending time with Stuka. When the days start getting somewhat shorter and the air a little cooler, we’re looking forward to building on this foundation. This coming fall season should be interesting…