Pup Hunts with a Tail Wind
Okay these are blurry -this is Super Pup, faster than a bolting rabbit and fleet as a fleeing pied wagtail (in other words he moved too fast my my camera to keep up with!)
Where did he go?
Boo – there he is! Nothing there going to try the next bit.
I was actually pleasantly surprised he was hunting as we walked back – on the way out he had the wind into his nose and he hunted, pointed and flushed a bird (I think a Jackdaw). He did chase but responded to his Stop and Recall whistles. So having turned round the wind was blowing right up his bottom and he really should have struggled to pick up any scent. It didn’t stop him … like the other day very steady speed and consistent quartering to cover the ground; some very deliberate movement as he picked up something and then very fluid again as he hunted on.
I tried a little direction control today – several times he dropped out onto the plough beside us and I pip-pipped (turn whistle) and gave him a hand signal to move to the left again. Several times he clearly found I am guessing rabbits because I could see little movements in the nettles but even though he realised there was something there he wasn’t getting the scent to know it was what he had been hunting. This had two benefits (1) he wasn’t going loopy trying to catch a live rabbit or digging it out of it’s warren; and (2) I could see him trying to solve his problem by moving round to head the thing off in a better position.
Finally as he hunted I saw a young rabbit jump up and run in front of him. He hadn’t seen it but he kept hunting and I dropped back a little to give him space. He suddenly stopped – puzzled then turned back and hunted up into wind to where the had been when the rabbit ran. I stopped him with a whistle and gave him a hand signal to turn back and then a second to keep going; he trusted me and hunted up to the end of the spinney. I am suitably impressed by this young dog. Watching him on these natural hunting sessions is telling me what I need to do training wise.
As we headed back up the lane he crossed onto the raked field and took himself off a ways. Suddenly he was off and running with a pied wagtail literally less than a dog length in front of his nose. He twisted and turned behind it and ignored the stop whistle. When he did stop he got a recall which was sternly enforced much to his disappointment, I was wanting to take pictures though not retrieve him from the next field … look at this lovely Alchemilla Mollis with it’s lime green bracts and those wonderful leaves that hold silver drops of water when it rains. And below that a lovely bracken in all it’s glory with forget me knots in the foreground.
The rest of my day has been revolved round creating a new community blog so it does what we want and then creating a newsletter version as a template so we can provide hard copy for those members of the community that don’t go online. Then helping out with questions on a creative site which is undergoing a transformation. Tomorrow I need to finish my first set of plans for Tick Tock because I have a meeting on Thursday and I still have a to do list a mile long!