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Message from the Director
by Frank O’Leary
As we move into mid-summer our attention turns towards the Fall tests. The Western Region will host two Fall Tests.
On September 29th – October 1, we be holding a Solms/AZP/HZP/VGP/BTR/Zuchtschau in Hysham, MT. Mike Kennedy is the test coordinator. As of this writing in Solms is full, however, there is still room in the VGP. If you are interested in participating in this test please contact Mike at 406-342-5616 or email@example.com.
October 13th – 15th, there will be a Solms/AZP/HZP/VGP/BTR/Zuchtschau held in Walla Walla, WA and Meacham, OR. At this time the VGP is full. There is still room in the Solms. If you are interested in participating in this test please contact Frank O’Leary at 509-520-7483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WR Board has appointed judging groups for each test to provide the opportunity for members to test without conflicts. Members are encouraged to review the Test Schedule on the WR web page at http://nadkc-wr.org/ to view the judges list and avoid conflicts.
The Western Region Board of Directors has announced the 2017 Western Region Annual Raffle. Again this year there is not one but TWO GREAT PRIZES and TWO LUCKY WINNERS. The first ticket holder drawn will have their choice of an Upland Bird Hunt for 4 persons or a Beretta Over/Under Shotgun. The second person drawn will receive the other prize.
Hunt Oregon, LLC, has graciously donated an upland bird hunt for four people, for three days, and four nights. Continue Reading . . .
Mastering the water blind
(aka the memory mark)
by Jeff Martin
This article is to help those handlers training for the Solms water tests. By necessity it is not a book version and for clarity, I will list the steps in point form.
The Fundamentals: You as the trainer control the training situation, where EVERY lesson should be set up for success. That is the dog breezes through the exercise where he gets his duck or rabbit and his handlers praise. It goes so smoothly he thinks it’s his idea and the lesson is crystal clear. The dogs love of working, his confidence, and training, progress very rapidly under this regime.
The worst type of training is when a dog is asked to do more than he understands, he gets into trouble, he is punished or corrected for his efforts (sometimes very heavily if the so called trainer is constantly blaming the dog). The end result is a confused, dejected dog that has no confidence or love for what he was bred for.
It’s absolutely critical that every task expected of a finished versatile dog is broken down to its SIMPLEST components, each then taught and mastered separately before ever expecting the dog to put them all together. For instance a simple marked retrieve requires entering water, swimming to the game; taking hold and returning to the start position; to then sit in front of the handler without shaking and gently holding the game without dropping until the handler takes it.
This simple mark retrieve should be broken down and trained in its separate steps of having a dog sit, it can swim, it has been taught on land to hold game without dropping, it will come when called and turn back immediately once grasping the game, it will exit water without shaking and will sit in front of the handler automatically within his reach to take the game. I routinely see dogs avoid picking up game at the end of the drag , some bury it , some runoff 200 meters to then dump it, standoff or hesitate 30 meters from the handler if they do return, drop the game at 30 meters and panic realising their in trouble . All these are dogs avoiding their inept trainer and are symptoms of a dog where the trainer has tried to train on the the whole task without ever mastering the individual components!!! Coming back to the handler with game always means trouble in the dogs mind. Continue Reading . . .
by Andrea Mahorney
My name is Andrea Mahorney and I love living life everyday with my dogs being a part of it.
My introduction to hunting came as a tomboy, a little wild haired girl running around the mountains of North Central Idaho determined to do anything and everything my brothers could do. When they were off on adventures in Boy Scouts of America learning to trap, tie knots, build shelter, and build fire’s well, by George, then I was going too but in my back yard. For a girl of 10 this “Back yard” was public and timber company land. It was endless acres of dark forest and mountain meadows and it filled me with adventure lust. I grew up appreciating its beauty, the lands bounty, and the gratitude of a clean harvest.
I was in hunter’s safety classes as soon as I was old enough and I’ve been hunting ever since.
Not until I came under the employment of a hunting lodge at 19 did I get the full scope of Upland hunting. I was a care taker for the lodges 40 German Shorthairs and English pointers.
It was here that my love affair with the GSP began. Now, I know that we are the DK club but my story begins with the GSP. I learned a lot, upland hunted any day I could and I bought my first pup. Tyme, was a perfect first bird dog, loads of great personality quirks but he was so natural at the hunting, the pointing, and retrieving that I thought it couldn’t get better, he was 3 for 3 on finding wounded deer for myself and friends and though he didn’t like frozen water retrieves for ducks he would begrudgingly go when sent. Continue Reading . . .
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