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One proud LBD!

One proud LBD!

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At last…..

Finally, the 2013 hunting season is now underway.  I don’t know about you and your dogs but Piper and I have about had it with bumpers, wingers and blinds.  It is time for the real thing…………

First bird of the 2013 season.

First bird of the 2013 season.

As usual Piper and I started off our season in the dove fields.  The birds were flying but not always close enough for a good shot so while we did get our birds it took a while.  This didn’t seem to matter to Piper who sat there steady as can be until the next bird hit the ground.  Our work over the summer honoring other dogs really showed as she never even thought about breaking even with all the shooting going on.  This bodes well for the duck season when she will be sharing the retrieving duties at the club with a number of other dogs.  All in all it was a great start to the the hunting season and I don’t see a sophomore slump in Piper’s future.

Smile tells the story!

Smile tells the story!

A good friend of mine reps a line of T-Shirts and I just found out that they chose one of my photos to use on their line of shirts.  This photo was taken on a trip to Eastern Oregon this past fall in search of pheasant and chukar.  As you can see we were successful.  Looking forward to getting my hands on one soon.

http://heybosouthern.com/product/shirts/boykin-tee/

hey125

Finally got up the courage to get Piper her first haircut.  I have to admit that I really like the look and the ease of keeping her groomed and clean.  Burrs don’t even stick any more, well at least not on her body, the ears are still a mess!

Before

Before

After

After

 

Piper just returned from her two week stay at Sauvie Island Kennels.  It is an amazing facility and I know Piper is well cared for during her stay but there is no question she was a bit rusty after her stay.  She was there because we took an amazing family vacation to the SE that had us visiting Savannah GA, Micky and the gang in Orlando and Amelia Island FL.  Three great spots with great weather and high humidity!  Needless to say we probably had a better time than Piper.

Training – After picking Piper up from the kennel I decided to treat her to some thawed out chukar I had in the freezer.  The smell of the real thing really get her excited but I have to admit that her marking suffered a bit as a result of her vacation from training.  She eventually found all the marks but it wasn’t the straight line and pick up that I had been used to leading up to our break from training.  I’m guessing that a few more sessions will tighten things back up and we will be once again marching towards the start of the hunting season with plenty of momentum.

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The Reilly Family’s schedule just got a whole lot easier.  Saturday marked the end of Baseball for Conner and last night marked the end of Softball for Sera.  Both kids had great seasons and their teams ended the year in victory.  I hope we can find thing to do to fill all this free time we will have……….Haha, don’t think that will be an issue as the summer is already booked solid.  Anyway, back to Piper.  Despite the busy schedule we have been able to find time to get out training.  Unfortunately, they haven’t been the group training session we got used to but those should start up again soon.  We haven’t been working on anything specific lately other than trying to keep ourselves sharp.  As you will see from the video there are a few things that we need to “sharpen”.  The biggest issue has to do with Piper’s blinds where she has started to pop.  I can keep her going with a quick “back” command and the occasional nick but I really need to work on improving her confidence when she is sent on a long blind.  I think she is starting to doubt that I sent her in the right direction and is turning around to make sure all is well.  With some focused sessions I think we can cure this little issue.  Will update you on our progress in the next post.  Happy training everyone! – Piper

First video is of Piper doing a long single followed by two blinds.

Second video is of Piper doing a double followed by a blind.  Notice her popping twice on the way out…

I know it has been awhile since our last post but Piper and I have been training.  There hasn’t been much “blog” worthy activity so we went silent.  Anyway, like most we are in the midst of baseball and softball season so we have been really busy racing from one field to the next.  Piper and I have been sneaking out in the mornings and evening doing simple tune up work but we haven’t been pushing hard or increasing our level of proficiency in the field.  I have plans to get this started soon but we will need to get through baseball and softball first so Piper and I can get on a more regular schedule.  I don’t want to ask her to learn new skills on an irregular training schedule, especially with my limited training ability!  It is hard enough to take that next steps and nearly impossible when your schedule is erratic.

Anyway, I hope you all are out there pushing your dogs to greater heights.  It won’t be long before we find ourselves tucked into a blind somewhere waiting on that September dove to pitch in or that early season duck to buzz the decoys.    It will be at that moment when all the hard work pays off with a textbook retrieve!

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