It’s the the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend.
If memory serves me, you started Thunder and Storm at older ages. Do you find Freighter is catching on faster than Thunder or Storm did? Or is working with an adult dog who already knows ‘the ways of the world’ easier?
You are right. Thunder was not force fetched until he was about 14 months old. After that he ran mostly single marks and earned his Junior Hunter title when he was 2 years old.
He did not start to learn handling until he was 4 years old but we really didn’t do the majority of this training until he was 5 years old. The only time Thunder ever spent with a professional trainer was for his force fetch. He was taught handling through a series of private lessons with our trainer who had a lot of patience teaching both Thunder and his handler the basics of handling.
Storm was not as old as Thunder when she learned handling. She was 3. Freighter started learning the basics right after he finished up force fetch last year. He is still learning, but is far ahead of where Thunder and Storm were at his age.
All of our dogs have been hunting from a young age but it is definitely better to do this kind of training while the dogs are younger. Thunder had several hunting seasons behind him and was pretty set in his ways. We had a difficult time teaching him water blinds in particular. Remember, the dog does not see the bird fall and the concept of following hand signals to a bird was a very difficult one for him to understand. He had been used to finding his own birds thank-you-very-much!
This type of training builds on itself. By that I mean that every time the dog runs marks or a blind, it learns something new and hopefully that experience can help the dog for the future. Because we did not really know how to set up challenging training for Thunder, he missed out on a lot of testing/training experience. Thank goodness he has hunting experience, but despite what anyone says, a hunt test is not at all like hunting. Of course hunt test training does benefit the dog immensely when hunting season rolls around.
We saw the training mistakes we made with Thunder, and to a lesser extent Storm, and we wanted Freighter to learn things the correct way from the start. This is the main reason we have sent him to a pro for his training. If it all goes as planned, he will be running higher level tests at a younger age than Thunder or Storm.
When our club held January tests we had a number of Northern trainers who brought groups of dogs down south to compete. does your trainer do this? Would you let your trainer take Freighter on the road for tests?
We are pretty lucky in Michigan because we have several hunt tests right in our state and there are also tests in Indiana and Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. We don’t have to travel too far to find tests. Our trainer is taking a truck full of Master level dogs to Indiana for a test next week. There may come a time when Freighter will go on one of these trips too. As far as going south, after this never-ending winter, we may all want to travel south next year.
I bet the Chessie people got my little joke.
We did not have an extra crate to put Freighter in for training, so one of our pals offered his empty dog box. The yellow dog is his dog Gunner. Thank you Craig for the use of your box.
Bethany wanted to know:
Can we see the photos of the fun had once out of the box soon?
There are photos of Freighter here, and here are some of Gunner:
Gunner is running at the Master level. He did a nice job on Saturday. Good luck in your upcoming test!
Lots of questions about Storm and her pups.
Hopefully, we will get some pictures to share and be able to visit and take pictures. Storm is expecting a lot of puppies based on the ultrasound. Of course she had the ultrasound a while ago. Sometimes the count seen on the ultrasound doesn’t always match up when the pups are born. I don’t want to say the number so as not to jinx. Maybe after the pups are born.
Will you be involved with the puppies at all? Or does the breeder keep them (and Storm?) the whole time until they’re adopted?
Storm will be with her breeders the entire time and they will take care of the puppies and place them in their new homes.
Miss Mindy and her Mom asked:
Will the breeder call when she is in labor?
If it is in the middle of the night, maybe not. But yes, we expect we will be updated on how she is doing.
Those are some lovely photos, is that where some of your training takes place?
The place where we bought our training membership, Omega Farms, is an actual farm. They have a lot of different livestock there. These pictures were taken around the Office and main buildings. They have extensive training grounds. Group training is over for this season, so we will be checking the training grounds out this weekend to do a little training with Thunder. I hope to get pictures, although I will also have to throw the bumpers too.
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Have a nice weekend!