NADKC Western Region
September 2019
In this issue
  • Message from the Director
    by Frank O'Leary
  • Member Profile
    by Michael Albert 
  • VGP 101
    by Ken Dinn & Gary Hodson
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Board of Directors
Frank O'Leary, NADKC Western Regional Director
Randall Cherry, Director
WR Board of Directors
Jeff Martin, Director
WR Board of Directors
Newsletter Editor
Marianne O'Leary
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Message from the Director
by Frank O’Leary  
Western Regional Members,
Congratulation to Susan and Gil Dueck on their success with Uschka vom Trocken Bach!!!  Uschka is with Stefan Middeke, in Germany, preparing for the AZP and VGP.  On August 25th, at the Weser Ems Zuchtschau, in a class of 30 Adult Females, Uschka was the V1 female.  Not only was this a very large class but there was a lot of quality dogs.  Fifteen of the thirty females received “V” ratings.  In all there were seventy dogs at the Zuchtschau.  The Judges for this Zuchtschau were Michael Hammerer, DKV President, Gerd Schad, DKV Breed Warden, and Andreas Thomschke, DKV Director of Testing.  When informed of this accomplishment Gil’s response was “Susan and I are living the Dream”.  Now Uschka needs to have the same success in the fall tests.
The Western Region will be holding a VGP, in Condor, MT, on September 19th – 20th.  There will be holding a Solms/AZP, on September 21st.  There will be a Zuchtschau on Saturday, September 21st.  Jerry Riewer is the test coordinator and can be reached at 406-450-1214 or at  Currently there is space available for one VGP dog. 
On November 9th, in Denair, CA, we will be holding a Solms/AZPDenver Hodges is the test coordinator and can be reached at 209-485-0987 or at  At this time there is still room in this test for additional dogs.
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 will open on Tuesday, October 1st.  I would encourage anyone interested in being the Western Regional Director to seek nomination.
Best Regards,
Frank O’Leary
Western Regional Director
Member Profile
by Michael Albert
My name is Michael Albert and I love the outdoors. I was born in a small town outside of Los Angeles, California but my parents were able to raise me as if we lived in the country. I grew up with horses, chickens, cows, goats, and rabbits in our back yard which made for a great field trip for my classmates in elementary school. Throughout my childhood, my parents had springer spaniels that were great at lying on the couch, but not so keen on hunting.
My father introduced me to hunting when I was about 8 and we would frequently go to the San Bernardino or Sierra Nevada mountains in search of mountain and valley quail, chukar, dove, and the occasional pheasant. I quickly became a fan of spending quality time in the field with my father and (a few years later) brother who enjoyed wing shooting as well. We never had the opportunity to hunt behind a dog, but I always had the desire to. Around my high school years, I was introduced to waterfowl hunting in addition to big game hunting and quickly became addicted. The thrill of a mixed bag of ducks was something I was and still am passionate about. Waterfowl hunting is really where I found myself wanting a four-legged companion to hunt with.
Fast forward 10 years and I have graduated with my MBA degree, I am married to the most amazing woman in the world, I relocated from California to Utah, I have a 1 year old son (Colt), and I own a wonderful Deutsch Kurzhaar; Briar von den Sieben.
I had always wanted a “German Shorthair Pointer”, and when my wife and I decided it was time to get a dog, we started researching breeders and kennels. We came across DK’s and were very intrigued as there appeared to be many benefits vs a GSP. The more we investigated DK’s the more we fell in love and that is when we found Max Barker’s kennel (Deutsch Kurzhaar von den Sieben Sohnen) in southern Utah..........
VGP 101
Part 3: An Overview
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.”
Gehorsam obedience – is defined in the VGPO as the expression of proper and thorough training and is a prerequisite for using the dog in the hunting field. It is considered the highest priority of all the accomplishments expected of the utility dog.
In the VGP there is a set of specific subjects that are categorized as Obedience on which the dog is scored. In addition, the dog is evaluated on its general obedience throughout the two-day test. Any lapses of obedience during other work or while waiting its turn will be noted and scored at the end of the test.
While obedience training is not as intriguing as many of the other subjects and could easily be taken for granted, it is important to remember that according to some long time judges there are more failures on Obedience subjects than any of the other subjects in the VGP.
Moreover, if a dog evades the influence of its handler for a long period of time during the test and thus delays the testing, it is not to be tested any further. Such a dog is not considered fit to be allowed in the hunting field.
Why is so much stress placed on obedience?
First, obedience forms the foundation for ethical hunting. The dog must work within the constraints of the hunting situation, producing and recovering game for its handler. If it cannot reliably do that for you it is of no use to you as a hunter.
Second, a disobedient dog presents a safety risk to itself and others, at home and during the hunt. The most common examples are the dog that runs into the road and is hit by a vehicle, or the dog that runs off on its own. In the hunting situation a misbehaving dog can interrupt the hunt or even interfere with safe shooting.
And finally, obedience training makes these high energy dogs easier to live with. It gives you methods for dealing with the dog that gets into things around the house, is rowdy and destructive, or is annoyingly noisy.
It is helpful to make a distinction between obedience and cooperation. It is often said that cooperation is what the dog gives to the handler; obedience is what the handler requires of the dog. Cooperation is the natural willingness of your dog to work with and for you. Obedience on the other hand is the trained behavior of your dog to comply with your commands. While these are two different factors, it is certainly easier to train obedience with a cooperative dog.
Training Principles
Obedience is taught like any other skill by shaping the behavior you want the dog to perform. In any complex behavior there will be a series of steps leading to the finished behavior. Once the dog has reliably mastered the first step you move on to the next one. Reinforcement of some kind should be used to motivate the dog. When required, correction should be brief and to the point. Try to make the learning experience as positive as possible for your dog.
Remember that a dog has to learn in many different locations and with different distractions. Start training in a controlled, quiet environment. When the dog is 100% reliable there, start over in another location, and then another. Once the dog has mastered the particular element in different locations, go back to the beginning and introduce distractions. Move the distractions to different locations just as you did when teaching the original command. Many new handlers think that just because the dog is 100% reliable in the back yard the training is finished. This is not the case. Training must be repeated in different locations with different distractions to be fully established.
Clarity will be important in your training. If you are uncertain about what you are doing, the dog will be as well. Under these circumstances many dogs will shut down for fear of making a mistake and incurring your wrath. So be sure to take the time to think through what you are trying to accomplish in any given training session before you start. If the training is going sour during a session, finish up with something the dog knows very well, give it a pat on the head and put it up. Then take time to sit back and think about what happened. Determine what went wrong and how you can do it better next session. Likewise, if your mind is not clear or your mood is not positive going into training, don’t train right then. You might only set your training back.........
Best quote of the month:
"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
by John Wooden
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