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  1. #21
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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.
    "What do they know of fishing who know only one fish and one way to fish for him?"

    Jack Hargreaves OBE (31 December 191115 March 1994)

  2. #22
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    He's balancing that rabbit really well for a young'un Simon

    Looks a natural to me!

    Paul

  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

  4. #24
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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
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    Sep 2008
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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.
    "What do they know of fishing who know only one fish and one way to fish for him?"

    Jack Hargreaves OBE (31 December 191115 March 1994)

  6. #26
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    Sep 2008
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    It's been a while since my last report on Alf so after a successful morning I thought I'd give you all the latest.
    As the days have got longer and the nights are staying lighter me and Alf have been moving forward with his training.
    He's probably one of the most biddable straight forward dogs I've ever had. A no fuss dog that takes everything in his stride.
    Up until mid April we were concentrating on his heel work and doing straight forward easy marked retrieves.
    Sitting/staying, recall stopping/sitting at distance on the whistle, retrieving and his heel work are all "pretty" much set into his head and he walks to heel now and sits to a thrown retrieve without even thinking about it.
    Now moves are being made towards directional work on retrieves. Rights, lefts, get outs, blind retrieves and memory retrieves.
    As regards memory retrieves he certainly has a memory and the distance he'll go back for a memory retrieve is increasing.
    This morning I shot a few rabbits for the Spaniels and afterwards took Alf out for one of his sessions.
    As he was sat next to me I dropped a rabbit in the corner of a field.
    We walked back along the line of a dry stone wall probably 400 yrs.
    Turned around and he sat down. I left him sat while I walked on another 50 yards or so and after a few minutes I walked back to him.I gave him a direction and...'Get Out' He set off like a Stag and picked the rabbit and returned it to hand sat while doing so.
    Perfect..No fuss, no stopping or uncertainty. He knew the job and did it without a hitch.
    Now they don't always go like that but his confidence is building and with that so is his ability.
    Hopefully, and I'm not rushing him but by mid August I might be shooting some stuff for him or at least I would like to be. A nice brace of Grouse would be a lovely start but we'll see. It's not a race but there is a type of finish line where I would consider him to be a trained shooting dog. He'll get to that finish line in his own good time.At just a shade under 12 months old I'd say he's doing pretty well for himself.
    God knows what he'd be like if he had a half decent trainer..
    Next time I'll put some pictures up of him going through a training session but in the meantime here he is with his retrieves.
    He's big strong fit and healthy.He's a happy hell of a dog!!!

    20170520_100746_1.jpg

    Moving on from basics I would hope to be moving him onto more advanced training like retrieving over obstacles, working on runners and picking dead birds he's been sent for (not going out for a cock bird and coming back with a hen), long distance blind retrieves and most importantly being steady and quiet at the peg (before, during and after a drive). That's where a lot of Labs fail and typically it's one of the last things they undertake as part of their training.
    Onwards and upwards!!

    P.S-As a point of interest the background to the picture is Upper Wensleydale .The Bolton Castle Estate is on the very far horizon with the River Ure flowing through the dale below.
    In the dale just behind Alf is Walden Beck which along with Bishopdale Beck which Walden Beck joins further downstream is one of the many tributaries that the Ure Salmon spawn,breed and grow in.
    Over to the left up and over the crag and Buckden Pike is Upper Wharfedale leading down to the infant River Wharfe,Langstrothdale,Hubberholme,Buckden and Starbotton.
    It's not a bad part of the world. Wharfedale and Wensleydale are where I spend a lot of my time shooting & fishing . I'm a lucky fella
    Last edited by simon grace; 25-05-2017 at 08:59 PM.
    "What do they know of fishing who know only one fish and one way to fish for him?"

    Jack Hargreaves OBE (31 December 191115 March 1994)

  7. #27
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    A couple of pretty straight forward memory retrieves.

    "What do they know of fishing who know only one fish and one way to fish for him?"

    Jack Hargreaves OBE (31 December 191115 March 1994)

  8. #28
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    Mar 2013
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    North Yorks
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    Nice to watch: lovely little dog. Thanks for posting.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCXFisher View Post
    Nice to watch: lovely little dog. Thanks for posting.
    He is a nice dog Michael. Just a shade over 12 months old so still a fair way to go but for his age I think he's quite advanced with his ability and maturity which is unusual for a dog as dogs tend to be a little bit behind b itches when it come to their training.
    That said he's very straight forward. A real joy to be with even though he doesn't like mixing with the girls..or maybe he's just getting to big for the box and prefers to be out of the way.

    20170627_180013.jpg
    Last edited by simon grace; 28-06-2017 at 12:27 PM.
    "What do they know of fishing who know only one fish and one way to fish for him?"

    Jack Hargreaves OBE (31 December 191115 March 1994)

  10. #30
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    Sep 2008
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    Marshfield Nr Bath
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    You should of bought the TransK9 box I had for sale, your dogs would have fitted it perfectly!!

    Paul

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