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Thread: Alf's Adventures and Aspirations

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
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    Freshly Shot Game Retrieves

    Alf doesn't really have any hang-ups that I can see. He has plenty of confidence, he's happy and bouncy although his table manners need some brushing up on. The slightest whiff of food leaves him drooling and bubbling around his mouth and typically as most Labradors are he's a right greedy little ******. That said he's not backwards in coming forwards so because of that I like to push him a little bit to see how he reacts to certain situations.
    I'm talking about a dog that hasn't even started formal training yet but he seems to have naturally slipped into a training routine and he's moving forward with it so why hold him back if he want's to get on with it.
    Last Saturday I was out rabbiting over Spaniels. I have a young bi tch who I'm hoping to trial before the end of the season so I'm giving her plenty of practice on good gamey ground to really get some fire in her belly and she's going well. She had a few find's and presented me with some nice straightforward shots for her to retrieve so the morning was a success.
    Alf always comes along for the ride anyway so I thought I'd give him a go with a dead rabbit just to see what he'd do with it.
    He's a nice natural retriever and although still inexperienced he always manages to find a way of bringing a retrieve back. A ball is straightforward enough but dummies sometimes present a bit of a problem as he hasn't quite got the hang of picking them up in the middle so they either come back by the toggle or by the other end but either way he gets it back.
    His sitting and staying is coming on really well so I had him sat on a long tarmac track that goes up through the moor. I walked back 50 yards or so and dropped the rabbit.
    After returning to him and giving him a fuss for being a good lad I gave it a few seconds before sending him out for the rabbit which he was eying so he knew exactly where he was going to hopefully this was going to be a straight run out and a straight run back hopefully with a rabbit in his mouth.
    Out he went...Back he came...









    Not to bad for a first retrieve of a warmish rabbit
    Butter wouldn't melt would it....
    Last edited by simon grace; 08-12-2016 at 03:07 PM.
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  2. #22
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    Sep 2008
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    Marshfield Nr Bath
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    He's balancing that rabbit really well for a young'un Simon

    Looks a natural to me!

    Paul
    stuckinlondon and simon grace like this.

  3. #23
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    Nov 2007
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    Near Kelso, Roxburghshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckinlondon View Post
    Though my neck is now ****** looking at everything sideways ....


    tempted to turn it 180 - that would have cured it!

    But, just for you!

    20161115_092344.jpg
    stuckinlondon and simon grace like this.

  4. #24
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    Nov 2007
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    Near Kelso, Roxburghshire
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    [I, too, was stuckinlondon - but I escaped 11 years ago!]

    That is a grand dog you have there; he looks great and also to be 100% honest.

    Simon gives very good advice earlier in the thread regarding the fact that a dog has to also learn to trust its owner.

    Despite having trained quite a few Labs and Pointers - many for other people - during my rural Ireland incarnation - I made a BIG mistake on a fishing trip a few years ago!

    Each morning the gillies would assemble outside the Lodge - they usually had their dogs with them. One in particular, a black Lab, picked me out for treatment by worrying me with a stick. I threw it for him a few times and back it came to hand. Then I pretended to throw it one place - dog ran-in and the stick went 90 deg.

    Another member of the party, a very keen shooting man who was in fact Egyptian, came over and told me that he was very surprised to see the above 'deceitful' throw from a dog-man because a gun dog has to have a 100% honest handler.

    I felt small! But the rebuke was well deserved and not forgotten.

    The point is [and I am guessing] if one has a family they too must be trained to be 100% straight with a working dog.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
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    Default Light Nights - New Heights

    I've had a few PMs asking how Alf is doing so here's just a quick report on the latest.

    Have you noticed the light is appearing a little earlier in the morning and it's not getting dark until 5:30-5:45pm now. That's always a good feeling as it means there are more daylight hours for dog training!!
    Alf has had a bit of a break from training over the last few weeks as the shooting/trialling has taken up quite a lot of time and I needed to get a win for one of my Spaniels before the end of January so it was a case of going for it all guns blazing literally as I had to shoot plenty of stuff for her to get her fit after having pups in November and then get the trial entries in. It worked out though as we succeeded in a win on the last trial of the season. What with pups and picking up and training days for the other dogs it's been a busy few months.
    That said Alf hasn't been stuck in his box. He's been doing his normal routine and I've been keeping on top of his training by going over and over the things he knows already.
    He will be 12 months old in May so he is still very young but he's growing up into a very nice biddable grand dog indeed. We'll be having some fun this Summer but before that and now another busy shooting season has finished we're all going on a post-shooting season holiday next week up to Sandsend in North Yorkshire where they can do what the hell they like.
    No training,no pressures,no hassle just miles of beach where they can bust their lungs running in the cold air and swim to Norway and back if they feel like it.
    Photos to follow.....
    Last edited by simon grace; 08-02-2017 at 11:01 AM.
    Tyke777, MCXFisher and Lamson v10 like this.
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