Once again Thunder would like to thank everyone for all of the well wishes. He will get his staples out tonight…one step closer to no cone!
We appreciate all of the comments we receive and read each and every one. Every once in a while we make one the subject of a post.
Our friend lexy3587 over at Gone For A Walk asked the following question:
I know you do drills and tests about hunting, but do you actually duck-hunt and use your dogs for that?
The answer is yes we do! The 2 brown dawgs were originally purchased as hunting dogs. The Mr. is an avid waterfowl hunter and wanted dogs that could stand up to the harsh weather we can get up here toward the end of the season, (late November/early December). He is also an upland hunter, and wanted a breed that could do that too.
The breeders we got our dogs from breed conformationally correct, (meaning structure, coat, temperament) hunting dogs. Both Thunder and Storm’s breeders hunt their dogs, which was important to us. Both dogs have a mix of field and bench champions in their pedigrees, so while technically they were not bred as “hunt test” dogs, they have all of the natural ability to run them.
But most importantly, they are phenomenal hunting dogs. You can send Thunder into the thickest marsh after a bird and he will come up with it. Storm is an excellent upland dog and will thrash through the thickest cover to flush and retrieve the birds.
Hunt test training is a way to work with the dogs in the off-season. In fact, the Mr. was bitten by the “hunt test” bug after running Thunder in a “Working Dog” stake when Thunder was 16 months old. Most dogs would already be running Junior Hunter stakes at that age, so Thunder got into it a little late. However, Thunder already had a hunting season, (both waterfowl and upland) under his belt by the time he ever ran a test.
At first we just trained them for their Junior Hunter tests. Once they earned those titles and we knew they had the ability, we decided to try for their Senior Hunter titles. The Senior Test requires more skills than the Junior Hunter tests, (and we are novice trainers), so it has taken us some time to get them ready. However, the skills needed to pass the test, such as marking, steadiness, handling, and delivery to hand are all skills that you would want in a trained hunting dog.
Since they are hunting dogs, they take a good part of the Fall off from training. Grouse season starts September 15th and goes right into duck season which starts the beginning of October. This year they may run a few hunt tests in the Fall and of course we hope that Thunder is fully recovered in time for hunting season.
As much as the 2 brown dawgs enjoy hunt testing, once hunting season starts, they just want to get out in the marsh, or in the field, and do what they have been bred to do.
Thanks again to lexy3587 for the question which inspired this post.
See more pictures of them from hunting seasons past on the Hunting Page.
Read about my one and only “hunting” experience– “Things I Learned Pheasant Hunting”.