Freighter ran two Junior Hunter tests this weekend. We did not know what to expect since the plan was for my husband to take him off the pro trainer’s truck and run him. Oh boy!
Junior tests require the dogs to pick up back to back single marks on land, (one is usually a shot flyer) and back to back single marks on water. A single mark is where the dog marks and retrieves one bird at a time. The dog must deliver the birds to hand. The dogs must be somewhat steady, but the handler can restrain the dog gently by holding its buckle collar.
On Saturday Freighter ran the land clean but the water set up was a bit too complicated for him. The first bird on the water landed up on land in some high cover. He had to swim the pond, exit and then go a little bit to the cover for the bird. He got over to the land, but then got hung up in the gunner’s station, (which was close by) and the edge of the cover. He did not find the bird so was called in. Too bad. He still did a good job for a little guy. I did not get to watch him or take any pictures because I was working at another stake.
Sunday I was able to go and watch Freighter run. The flyer was to the left and up a hill. The dogs had to break through some sorghum and corn cover to get to were the birds where landing. Freighter did a little hunting, probably due to all of the feathers from the birds shot for the dogs before him. He quickly found and retrieved the bird. He got a little disoriented on his way back through the cover, but after a couple of whistles from his handler, he found his way out.
The second mark was a dead bird off to the right down a hill and fell in some high grass. Freighter absolutely pinned that bird and brought it back. It was tough to get pictures of the land series, but I did get a couple.
On to water!
To get to the water portion the dogs had to walk down a little strip of land. The first bird was off to the left. The water in many of the ponds around here is very low. The bird landed in some shallow water on the edge of pond mud/muck. This meant that the dogs had to go through mostly running water to get to it. I figured Freighter would have no problem marking the bird, but I was a bit concerned that if the bird was to covered in mud, he might not want to pick it up. Silly me. He had no problem picking up that bird.
The second bird was to the right and landed in swimming water. Freighter marked the bird and swam right out and picked it up. His handler called him back and he turned right around and brought it back. A few of the dogs ran the bank, but Freighter did not. He delivered the bird and earned his first Junior Hunter pass at 9 months old. Thank you Darrin for doing such a great job with our boy!
A few pictures from water:
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