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Message from the Director
by Frank O’Leary
Western Regional Members,
The Western Region held a VGP, in Condor, MT, on September 19th – 20th and a SOLMS/AZP/Zuchtschau on September 21st. The Test was certainly well received by the Judges and the participants. Test Coordinator Jerry Riewer did a great job organizing the test, securing the test grounds, and hosting the Leaders and Judges. Thank you to Jerry, the Leaders, and the Judges. There is an article about the test in this publication.
The day before the test Judge Jörg Kaltenegger, hunters Jerry Riewer and Randall Cherry went on a rabbit hunt. It was hoped the possibility of a VBR could happen. While Sadie vom Trocken Bach and I waited at the car the three hunted through the fields. We were fortunate and the rabbits cooperated, the hunters shot but not too well, thankfully. Most importantly, when Sadie and I were summoned to the field Sadie did her job and made a very impressive retrieve of approximately four hundred meters. It was a great opportunity to watch your dog make such a retrieve when they don’t see the game being shot or running off. Hopefully, we can do more VBR’s in the future.
On November 9th, in Denair, CA, the WR will be holding a Solms/AZP Denver Hodges is the test coordinator and can be reached at 209-485-0987 or at email@example.com. At this time there is still room in this test for additional dogs.
Also included in this publication is a request from the WR Board of Directors about the 2020 WR testing schedule. Please provide your information as soon as possible. The new WR Director will not be in place before our date request must be submitted so we are asking for your input to develop the best schedule possible.
The schedule for the 2019 NADKC Elections has been established by the NADKC Board of Directors. Nominations for Western Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, NADKC Secretary, and NADKC Vice-President opened on October 1st. I would encourage anyone interested in being the Western Regional Director to seek nomination.
Western Regional Director
Welcome to Conrad Montana
by Jorg Kaltenegger
The Western Region hosted a VGP, Solms/AZP and Zuchtschau on September 19 – 21, 2019 in Conrad, Montana. The weather was perfect for a fall test (65 F, partly cloudy, moist, 10 mph winds). The weather can be unpredictable in northern Montana at this time of year; sun, rain, snow or all of the above. A snowstorm with -14 F temperatures happened two weeks after we left.
The woods, fields and water were excellent for testing and all the dogs were prepared and performed well. There was plenty of wild game (rabbits, pheasants, quail, deer, and antelope) in the woods and fields. The large open fields with the mountain back drop were very beautiful.
Conrad is a small town and it was nice to spend the weekend with club members eating and laughing at the small diner. We also had a barbeque night. Our host Jerry Riewer, Northgate Motel, did a great job hosting the test and making it a successful and fun event.
We took advantage of the test location. Some brought family, went hunting in the local area, visited local sites and saw Glacier National Park. I recommend you consider this test location to enjoy some good dog work, have some fun time with family, enjoy local hunting and take a needed break from life.
The VGP participants were Randall Cherry with Hannah vom Canuck and Blair vom Riverwoods with Randy Blanchard. The Solms/AZP participants were Vito Caramia with Astor vom Barlager Forst, Jeff Martin with Kloe vom Adlerberg and Edie Stelkovics with Eva von den Donau-Wirbeln.
Thanks to the handlers, judges and host for making this a great event.
2020 WR Testing Schedule
The Western Region Board of Directors is putting together the 2020 Testing Schedule and needs your input. The schedule is only as good as the information we have when we determining where and when to have tests. Please submit your testing needs for 2020 at this time.
To make sure that we met the needs of our members we need to know what type of tests you need (Derby/Solms/AZP/VGP), your location, and the breeding (pedigree) of your dog (to avoid judging conflicts).
Tests are expensive to hold with the cost of Judges travel, Judges housing & meals, and birds so it is important that we plan our test efficiently. We want to meet the needs of our membership while controlling cost as much as possible.
Part 4: Fox Work and Retrieving
By Ken Dinn and Gary Hodson
“This series of VGP training articles was produced by VDD Group Canada and appeared in their newsletter “Drahthaar News” in 2010-2011. It is reprinted with their permission.”
Hunters in Germany who lease hunting land from a farmer—known as a Revier—are responsible for all damage done to the land, crops and farm animals. This includes any loss to predators, most particularly fox. Therefore, it is very important that their dogs be willing and able to handle such predators. To ensure this, JGHV includes fox work in the testing of utility dogs.
Fox may be taken in a number of ways. Often the hunter will shoot the fox from his/her stand and then send the dog to retrieve it. Alternatively, the dogs can be used to drive the fox out of woods to the hunters. And of course there are some occasions when the dog may dispatch the fox itself. In all cases the dog is expected to retrieve the fox to the hunter.
An interesting aside… The importance of having a dog that is spurlaut—loud on scent—is evident when driving game with the dogs. For example, in some areas there are fishing ponds that are drained in the fall and fox love to live in the banks. In this case the hunters will send the dogs in to roust the fox out. It will be difficult for the hunters to get a safe shot unless the dog is loud and indicates its location in relation to the fox coming over the bank of the pond. In general, the Germans do not put bells on their dogs when hunting as we often do in North America.
ORIENTATION TO THE FOX
In the VGP a dog must be able to retrieve a fox of at least 3.5 kg (almost 8 lbs), in one case carrying the fox over a substantial barrier and in the other case carrying it a distance of at least 300 m. Two things make these retrieves challenging: the weight and length of the animal, and the reluctance of some dogs to carry a dead animal of their own species. Clearly some preliminary work needs to be done before you can begin serious training for the subjects.
Preliminary Training: Once your dog is approaching a mature size you can introduce it to a fox training program with a commercial or homemade fox dummy. The dog needs to learn how to pick up such a long animal and carry it without tripping over the tail. And it needs to develop the neck muscles to manage the weight of the fox over the obstacle or the long distance. The fox dummy mimics the size and shape of a fox and can be gradually made heavier as the dog develops its strength.
There are some nice commercial fox dummies available. Gary got the one in the photo below years ago from Lynda Krull’s on-line company Hunters House. [Lynda is owner of DD Zwinger vom tapferen Herzen.] It is the perfect design. We contacted Lynda to see if they are still available. She says that she plans to re-launch Hunters House this coming spring and will carry the fox training dummy, case skinned foxes for training, leather blood tracking collars and leads, and “lots more stuff”. She will post a link on her kennel website www.tapferenherzen.com when the company is up and running again, or you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fox Dummy: Our fox dummy from Hunters House (see photo) came with a ruff of fox fur in the middle where the dog is to pick it up, but after loaning it out many times this went missing. Note the pocket on either side where additional weight can be added. We made up one pound bags of bird shot for ballast, adding another bag as necessary.
A German website that offers similar training devices is www.romneys.de. Click on the British flag and you will get the English version of the site. Then click on Dogtraining > Dummies > Page 3 to see the fox dummy. Personally we like Lynda’s design a bit better.....
Best quote of the month:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take."
by Wayne Gretzky
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