Wild Apple Kennel and Guide Service

Wild Apple Kennel and Guide Service
The 2007 Grand National Grouse Champion, Winner 2008 Northern New England Woodcock Championship, Winner 2010 Lake States Grouse Championship, Runner-up 2011 Northeast Grouse and Woodcock Championship, Winner 2011 International Amateur Woodcock Championship, Winner 2012 Southern New England Woodcock Championship

Wild Apple Kennel Training Blog

This blog will try to present a running account of the training and field trialing season for the pointers of Wild Apple Kennel. NOW ACCEPTING BOOKINGS FOR THE 2015 GROUSE AND WOODCOCK SEASON WITH WILD APPLE KENNEL GUIDE SERVICE! PHONE NUMBERS 603-449-3419 OR CELL 603-381-8763.

Friday, June 28, 2013

When They're Ready.

First rainout that I've had in awhile so I'm trying to get caught up on a few things this morning.  Prediction is the rain will stop around midday and I'll load up the truck then.

All the dogs are making progress in the woods, yard, and in the birdfield.  Scenting conditions yesterday were terrible.  The air was heavy and dead calm. It wasn't until we were back at the house late morning that we moved a couple grouse here at the house.  We did see a brood of grouse on the side of the road as we were driving out to our first cover this morning.

A common expression in training articles and books is that you have to let the dog  tell you when it's ready to move on to the next step in training.  The problem is writers find it hard to explain what those markers are as many trainers know intuitively when to progress with a dog or puppy.  The puppies here at the house provide a good contrast in levels of readiness for training.  Brandy is already collar conditioned and can be corrected for her handling while she's being run.  The Jack X Belle puppies Sam and Peanut have gotten to the point they will be gone for awhile when they flush a grouse.  Sam longest absence was well over 5 minutes.  I don't go and try and find them nor do I stop and wait for them.  Sam came running up my back trail the other day yipping like a . . . well. lost puppy.  She stayed relatively close for the rest of the run.  Sam and Peanut are definitely ready for a little more advance form of the yardwork I've been doing with all the puppies.  It's time to start asserting control over these pups.  Up until now they've been going with me solely because they want to.  Now they have to learn that handling is something they have to do.  A lot of people give puppies their freedom until they are a year or so, but I think you are just making life harder for yourself.  My goal is to have puppies born in the winter ready to hunt the following fall.  Not that they'll point every bird they come across but that they'll point and hold some birds long enough for us to get to them and get a shot.  To do that they have to be somewhat under control and going with you.  The Moon puppies Ruby and the one I'm calling Glo for now, are still showing that 3 weeks difference in age and are no problem to run together.  That will change soon. 
Jagger giving me the "what do you mean I can't chase that bird look."

Maggie is going to make a top notch hunting dog lots of style and very sensible when it comes to handling.  She has also demonstrated in the birdfield that she has a very good nose.

Planted birds are old hat for Lucy but since she's just arrived it's part of she and I getting acquainted.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bells and Bellybands

Early in the morning (starting at 5:30) I got a few dogs run before I had to take Jack to the vets for the removal of a cyst on his leg.  By the time I got back it was already heating up and I spent time on yardwork.  I like to introduce new things to the dogs in the yard.  For the puppies that's checkcords and bells.  For the older dogs, I want to get them all use to wearing a bellyband as this can be an invaluable tool when working dogs on wild birds.  Before I use the bellyband I want to be sure that a dog is staunch on quail in the birdfield and is close to 100% whoa broke in the yard.  The bellyband becomes an overlay of what has been done with whoa on the ground and up on the barrel.  Today they just wore it around the yard without it even being turned on.  I only had one that spun around and rolled in an attempt to get it off, but even she was accepting it within a few minute.  Both Maggie (the pointer) and Pete (below) seemed to take it in stride and even let me style them up on the barrel for a picture.  After a few sessions like this where I use the strap like a handle to set them up when I whoa them, I'll use very low stimulation instead.  No doubt it will take more when we're in the woods when grouse and woodcock are getting up in front of them.

As you can see in both pictures, I'm trying out a heavy duty retractable 26' lead instead of a traditional checkcord.  Ed Nicholson, the owner of the Moon puppy Ruby, was up last week and he let me try his.  It has a lot of advantages especially since your not always trying to play in or play out the checkcord.  You can also lock it at any length you want if you switch to heel and whoa.  The one I got is made by Flexi w/ a 26' tape (not cord) and is rated for dogs up to 110 pounds.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making Progress

As we get close to the time we will be able to get out in the grouse woods all the dogs at the kennel are making progress.  The grouse chicks are starting to fly and it looks like a good woodcock hatch as well.  Fortunately Katie came along on much of today and took some pictures.  
Max getting ready for an early morning run.  He had two woodcock finds.  Bumped the first one and got a little correction then handled the second one well.

The little puppies are starting to learn what checkcord is and doing a little posing at the same time.

Not to be outdone "peanut" showed some style as well.

Last night Thudd and his entourage came up for a cookout.  Big T joined us and brought Little T along.  

Jagger showing some style in the bird field today.

Wild Apple Cider is starting to learn that there's more to life than chasing a frisbee.

Cider and LJ's littermate Lucy joined camp Friday.