Friday, March 4, 2011
Jesse pointing, but not holding, quail
Jesse is going on 9 months this March. He finally has his new kennel built in the back yard. It's 20 feet long, 6 feet wide, and its covered; I can comfortably walk under the roof. Since I posted the first video of him in September, he has grown a lot. He has also chewed up and destroyed lots of things he wasn't supposed to.
I don't know why he hates my BBQ so bad, but he has chewed all the electronic start wires off of it as well as the gas hose that runs the whole thing. He then ripped all the rubber edges off the handles for turning the burners off and on as well as chewed up the handle to my wire brush I use for scrubbing the grill clean. He has also chewed all the plug-ins off the cars block heaters and the wire to my pump outside, that I use to water my yard. He found out how to push through the back fence and escape into the neighbor's yard, and he can jump the 4 foot chain link fence around the rest of the yard, like it was nothing. I love the puppy stage!
He LOVES birds and he LOVES our kids. Cole and I took him on a walk a few days ago and he pointed lots of quail and pheasants as well as a golden eye on the Grande Ronde River. I'm hoping to train him as a versatile dog, hunting and retrieving waterfowl and upland game birds. So far he likes both and has retrieved both, at home, in the back yard. He is more excited about retrieving now and doesn't tire of the game as fast. Whoa has been hard for him; he cowers when I make him whoa, so I have laid off of it, going back to it occasionally to see how he reacts; he is getting better. He likes water, but hasn't done any water retrieves yet.
The above video was taken today. I took Kim, Jared, and Lyndie out to watch him work. We saw quite a few quail, a handful of pheasants, and some huns. It was a good walk with some good dog work. He really needs polishing, but he is young and right now we are just trying to be excited about things. I'll start more formal training this summer.
I did take him chuckar hunting in January and it was VERY frustrating, at first. The fog was really heavy and visibility was 25 yards at best. He was typically out of sight and I had a hard time keeping track of him. He always found us again, but I wanted to see how he was reacting to birds. I shot a chuckar over Jesse's 1/2 brother and then shot two more birds around Jesse. He was below both groups of birds (30 yards or more) and the birds got up above me, so I shot one bird out of each covey. He tracked one bird over 60 yards to retrieve it; it was really cool. The other glided over a mile. Gus, Jesse's 1/2 brother got it for me. But just after shooting the bird Jess made the 60 yard trail/retrieve on, he pointed and held a bird for me. I shot it twice (sometimes I'm not a dead eye) and he trailed it 40 yards, picked it up, dropped it and headed off. I got him back to the bird, he picked it up again and dropped it in my hand, but didn't carry it. I was happy though. He pointed and help birds, trailed dead/live ones, and made attempts at retrieving. It was a very satisfying end to a long, frustrating day. He has a lot of potential and I look forward to finding and perfecting that potential in him.