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  1. Good advice - though exanding on the grille bit, why can't the dog be confined in the vehicle in a crate (with fans and proper ventilation, of course)? Not cruel just procedural safety. Also would like to know more on why and how the kennel came to place him with you?
  2. Dogs do what works best for them - at least until they're trained otherwise to do what works best for us and them. In this case, you can avert the wayward return by using a pond instead of a stream for a water retrieve - if available. Just rely on basic geometry for the dog getting it right - if the pond is 50 yards wide, throw the dummy only 20 yards out so that the dog would have to travel 30 yards to get to the other side, and upon picking the dummy immediately realizes that's the route not to be taken. If you don't have a pond available - rectangular or oblong ponds are best -
  3. You wouldn't have, not really used over there, and probably not a lot of need for cues anyhow. But distinguishing between blinds and marked retrieves is of great import for our handling, especially in competitions. And as our dogs are expected to run as hard - and straight - for blinds as they do going for marked retrieves, it's instilled in them from a very young age. Keep on with what you're working at - Will's giving you some good Bobby Moore on the retrieving. MG
  4. Good perception, Ian - indeed, that's a major step (the left- or right-arm "Back!" cast) toward precision handling. Also, Will noted: "With experience on game and in training you advance your training so the dog knows when its being sent and left to its own devices and when you are intending to send it and tell it where to look. Both very much have their place in the field." We use a cue for blind retrieves: Softly saying "Dead bird...dead bird" whilst the dog is looking out. Then, when the dog's spine is aligned with the dog's head pointing to where we want it to go, the next cue is
  5. Yup, but cannae hurt for an honest working gundog to llearn to take a left or right turn. ips, it's pretty foolproof when starting out if, with the dog seated directly in front of and facing you, you throw a dummy slightly over the right side of the dog's head (when you want it to take a left cast) or left side of the dog's head (when you want it to take a right cast). (Remember the dog's sitting opposite you, thus the opposite casts.) For the left cast, as soon as you've thrown over the right side of the dog's head, and with the dog still focused on you, you step into the dog with you
  6. Yes, and all those factor into an equation that reads "pressure." The OP asked why only on "Back!"? Because that's where the pressure is - as perceived by the dog. Next to vocalising ("squeaking" in your parlance) in anticipation of a retrieve, spinning when running blinds is one of the most difficult habits to break. On blind retrieves there's no "retrieve" to lose sight of. You can back off running blinds for a while and then when you reintroduce the concept start at shorter distances and gradually lengthen them. Might work but again see above for cautionary comment. I've known
  7. Same experience as SimpleSimon but with a smaller ration of raw - got 15- and 14-year-old spaniels that have gotten a top-dressing of chicken and/or venison and occasional turkey necks for six or seven years now, and nothing detrimental from it over that time. Same for FT Labs 5- and 8-years old, and they're in the best physical condition of their lives. Have to think the raw has extended the lives of the oldtimers as they are two oldest dogs I've had and the longest-working gundogs though both semi-retired now. MG
  8. Thinking that would come as news to folk hereabouts (USA), namely the Spanish Water Dogs from de Chesapeake Kennels outside Washington, D.C. I'm aware of the breed's work with fishermen but also, like the Italian water dog, the Lagotto Romagnola, that it's also traditionally an H2O retriever - as explained and illustrated here http://www.spanishwaterdog.com/retrieving_7.html. Again, that's the website of de Chesapeake Kennels, so should you have other questions, I'm sure they will be happy to respond to email. MG
  9. Why not, if it's a working breed that's gonna work for you? "Looks" to be a perfect complement to a Clumber in the frumpy-faced dog department. Almost as good as matching up a bracco with one of these for their looks... Hector Vector, there's also a lady on the gundog training forum, "sam_from_italy" who often posts up great working photos of her bracci. MG
  10. Most do, true, but for others excessive water intake can be a lifelong affliction. Our retrieving is different than yours, kent, in that dogs most often make their retrieves after traversing water then getting up on dry land to pick a bird. Watched a Chessie swizzling its tongue lapping up water with every stroke yesterday then "unloading" (throwing up) the water once on land. Have seen FT Labs that unloaded what looked to be a gallon of water at a time and while vomiting it up lost concentration for the other birds that needed to be picked when resent on multiples. Not to mention they might b
  11. Ditto - gunshyness is almost always owner/handler induced, regardless of the gundog breed. And it ain't that Labs have an abundance of health issues, it's that those breeding field lines are at the forefront of identifying those issues and cleaning them out of future breedings. Read up on EIC (exercise-induced collapse) for what testing has been done among Labs on eliminating the condition of EIC that will benefit all other breeds that also carry the gene from which it originates. MG
  12. I need a Lab. Where do I start? Where's our good buddy kent in response to the Where do I start? part. He would no doubt have it by clarion "America! - at least for the ones that do the fox hunting" - and er, retrieving. Bigbird, bless you for promoting health clearances - pretty sure there are many from British bloodlines (field bloodlines) that have them. Got one of 'em, myself. MG
  13. RE: Any 1 got gun dogs that's not ur typical breads? I had a spinone named Panettone that wasn't "ur typical bread" - she was named after the traditional Italian Easter bread though. Only wish she'd lived to see 10 years old to be working as well as ever - great dogs, spins, with proper gundog training. Especially at getting their big mitts (paws) into the water for retrieving. MG
  14. All working spaniels are "field" spaniels, but all field spaniels are definitely not working spaniels. Would like to see some photos from williamr's son's pair. Also from archi's working clumber - any to share? Another tough find is a working Sussex but when they work, they Work with a capital "W". even going into their 14th year of Working. MG
  15. You gotta problem with that! If you get a worker - and I've seen far too many Chessies who weren't - you've got the best working wildfowl dog on the planet . Big "if" over there, though, as I understand it. MG
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