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Message from the Director
by Frank O’Leary
Maggie vom Trocken Bach
Lead by Lotta Hansel and evaluated by Gerd Schad and Bernd Härter was the V1 female at the Klub Westfalen Zuchtschau June 2 ‘18. There were eighteen females in the class.
As we move into mid-summer our attention turns towards the Fall tests. The Western Region will host two Fall Tests.
On September 7th & 8th, we will be holding a Solms/AZP/Zuchtschau in Logan, UT. Tyler Smith is the test coordinator. As of this writing in Solms is full.
September 26th – 28th, there will be a Solms/AZP/ VGP/Zuchtschau held in Walla Walla, WA and Meacham, OR. At this time we only have one VGP dog. If we do not receive another entry the VGP will be cancelled. If you are interested in participating in this test please contact Frank O’Leary at 509-520-7483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have indicated you will be participating in a fall test, please submit your entry ASAP. The Fall Test in Utah is full at this time. If you have submitted your entry and realize you will be unable to participate please let the test coordinator know ASAP.
If you are a breeder I strongly encourage you to read the new DKV Breeding Regulations. There are many changes that will make registering your litters difficult if you do not follow the new procedures. You can read the regulations by clicking here.
On a personal note vom Trocken Bach has a great Zuchtschau season in German. In May and June we had three different females, from three different litters, lead by three different Leaders, at three different Klub Zuchtschau’s, evaluated as the V1 female. Although the emphasis of their education is the testing it is gratifying to have our girl’s conformation so highly regarded. Click here for more information.
Have a good summer and good of luck with your training.
Western Regional Director
The Importance of Cueing
by Jeff Martin
Wild dogs typically hunt in packs and because of this adaption, look to you as their hunting partner for visual and verbal cues. Very few domestic animals have this ability to look in the direction of where your arm is pointing. When judging I often see a complete lack of cueing with dogs being sent on a task with very little understanding of what’s expected of them and subsequently mixed performances.
From the very beginning of training a versatile dog you are building on the dogs experience and expanding on the tasks you ask of the dog , therefore it becomes even more important to be clear and consistent in how you set the dog up to do something . The VGP test is 36 or so separate tasks , some with conflicting instincts and good cueing is essential.
If you aspire to testing to Solms and VGP level (and as any self-respecting versatile dog owner you should) it’s an absolute necessity that you understand
“the importance of cueing” .
I am going to outline my system of physical and verbal cues that I use consistently and are not in any way conflicting with each other. You can use any cue you like just be sure they achieve the same.
Basic obedience is as follows
- “Sit” verbal command accompanied with a raised hand as per a traffic cop.
- “Come” verbal as you bend forward slightly and slap both arms on your thighs.
- “Heel” verbal as you wave across your front if the dog is sitting in front or a slap on your left thigh if the dog is already heeling on your left.
- “Halt” is accompanied with a flat palm in front of the dogs head and held at head height. If your dog mistakes this for sit, lift him up into the standing position along with a repeat of halt.
- “Drop” is accompanied with bending slightly and pointing at the very ground in front of the dog where you expect him to lie down.
These are the basic commands that allow the dog to be a good citizen and to get the dog to do as you want weather in the home, the restaurant in Germany or on a hunting trip.
by Jeff Tims
My name is Jeff Tims. I was born and raised in Mountain View, Wyoming and I am currently living in Rock Springs, Wyoming. My wife and I have 2 boys and another one the way. Some of my hobbies are fly fishing, hunting, and camping at Flaming Gorge.
I grew a love for dogs at a young age as we always had one growing up. The only breed we ever owned though were Rottweilers. I knew I wanted to have a dog when I grew up but I wanted one that did more than just scare the crap out of people. I kept hearing all of my friends tell stories of them going bird hunting with their families. This immediately caught my attention. That was the kind of dog I wanted to have. One that could create memories and traditions that I could do with my own family one day.
I started looking at dogs on KSL a couple of years ago and that's when my wife told me that we needed a house before we added a dog to the mix, so needless to say we had a house with in about 6 months.
Be Honest with Your Dog
by Scott Linden
This article is reprinted from the Newsletter of the National Shooting Sports Foundation's official TV series with the permission of Scott Linden.
This is the time of year for the "Three T's": training, testing, trialing ... all while counting the days to The Opener. It's a good time to reflect on how we handle our dogs, literally and figuratively. I hope this essay helps you both.
Neither of my dogs has a conniving bone in his wiry, hairy body. But humans are built of guile, wit, and cunning. It is tough some times, but I try to be honest, at least with my dogs (and spouse). Trust is a two-way street, and it starts with a dog having confidence in you and your actions, especially when it comes to interacting with him. Knowing how he thinks, we can help manage his expectations and deliver what he thinks should be delivered.
Remember the fable of the boy who cried wolf? If your deceptive actions create a dog that doesn't believe what you're saying or doing, you've eroded that underpinning of trust that is critical to a strong working partnership. If you ask your dog to retrieve a bird, make sure there's one out there for him. Shoot well, and mark your downed birds. In training, bring an extra bird just in case. In a rare case of brilliance, I lobbed a dead ringneck for a hard-working young shorthair when my partner whiffed on the flushing bird. "Duke" didn't know the difference, and was rewarded with the ultimate treat - a bird in his mouth and has since become that lodge manager's personal hunting partner.
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