It all starts out with great intentions. You get yourself ready to go dog training and you have a little plan in your head, which is all about what to do with your dog today. You get ready looking forward to a bit of down time with your canine, coat on, whistle round your neck and a very excited dog. All the other dogs reluctantly have to stay at home on their dog beds looking miserable while the “chosen one” jumps triumphantly in to the back of the car knowing what this is all about. So this happened today and off we went in the extended lunch hour looking forward to great success. And then it all more or less goes to pot. Little dog, who should be hunting carefully and pointing started off well with her stylish running making it in and out between fields and woodland. I was pleased to see how bright she is in terms of remembering where she has been, how to get into a field and out again through the gates. She uses the wind instinctively and works into it in a nice ground covering pattern. Not a lot of need for whistling, which is even better. She is not worried about the other dogs lying on their dog beds in the garden, this is now purely her and me and the hunting she is bred for. So I am all alert and happy till she runs right over a woodcock. OK, you can miss a bird, it’s very normal and she is young. Also, it’s easy to have a mistake made first thing until she has got into the swing of things. She hunted away and I was actually trying to get her to be particularly thorough with one part of the wood, so I made her hunt tight by turning her frequently on the whistle and not move forward too fast. She tends to get too far ahead, so by slowing down, I get her to come back. I couldn’t believe it when I nearly stood on a pheasant that she had totally missed. What??? She had been right across that area and not noticed the bird at all. Ah well, one can miss. So we carried on and I couldn’t believe how she kept missing birds. I tried to blow the whistle and put her back to where she should have stopped on point in the first place, but she just seemed absent minded. This is testing ones patience and I just counted my self lucky that I had not got someone with me to show my fabulous dog.
Maybe dogs also just have bad days and I have to say that the wind is rather swirling round in the trees on that piece of ground. There are deep gullies where the pheasants like to sit and lots of rhododendron bushes for the woodcock. It is difficult to get a clear wind that wafts bird smell, but still, very frustrating. I put her back in her luxury dog beds in the truck and drove home. There definitely are days where one should have left all the dogs at home on their dog beds OR just taken them all for a WALK, not training.