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27 minutes ago, London Best said:

You don’t want to shoot all cocks, Lloyd.

The hens are far better eating!

 

I know over in Ireland and in lots of America they do cocks only. Under the idea that the hens are left alone to breed in the wild. A nice thought.

 

We shot all cocks except 1 last time we went out, and 4 cocks and 1 hen today. It was more from a matter of chance than careful selection. The 3 hen's that flushed were well ahead so I left them go. 

 

They were quite small anyways, and my dog picks hens easily, good to practice on larger birds :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

On Friday just gone I went beating on a commercial shoot, they shoot 200+ bird days 2-4 days a week through the season. I went to have a look to see if it was any good for working Ted. I had a nice day out and met some nice people. 
 

Honestly though it just sort of reinforced my view that you don’t need a good hunting dog on a commercial shoot. 
 

Most of the beaters had to keep their dogs on a lead for 95% of the day. Some weren’t let off at all. 
 

There was a springer bitch there who was fantastic in one way, at the end of the drive at the flushing point she would be let off and she hunted away flushing birds non-stop. 
 

She must have flushed 100+ birds off one hill side, flushing the birds in groups of 10-15 at a time. She simply flushed them, turned her head the other way and carried on hunting off to flush the next lot. It was very impressive steadiness, although the dog must have been 30-50 yards away from the owner the vast majority of the time. 
 

It was very impressive in its own right, but personally not a dog I would want to own. All the finesse etc, style, pace just weren’t there for me. It did however show real meaning to the phrase, horses for courses. I know for a fact if I ran my dog on that hillside with 100+ birds flushing like that it would blow his mind and he would not be able to sustain that level of steadiness at all. 

I am debating whether to go back, I said I would come and work Ted on selected bits but reflection on it it may do more harm than good. 
 

It was a nice day out but as a beater we were out of view of most the shooting so the search for the right kind of experience to give the dog continues. 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, London Best said:

Many keepers on larger shoots do not want dogs in the line at all, or insist they are on a lead. They see them as a liability when a thousand pheasants have run forward and gathered up at the stops/flushing point. The last thing needed is 1000 pheasants in the air at once. 

 

Exactly. It was good shooting (for the guns) but not good hunting or dog work. 

 

 

On the flip side of that day out, I was invited to a small farm shoot on Saturday down near Exeter, which I accepted. I was told it would be a small walked up/semi-driven shoot day for a team of 4-6 guns, with an expected bag of around 30 head of game.

 

I drove down Saturday morning and met the group for the first time, before we set off to the first drive. Ted and I were asked to push along a side of the hillside that had gorse bushes, bracken and hedgerow on it. 

 

I worked Ted along the top of a hedge up above me which he pushed along as told, no game in there. Then I set him off into the gorse. He went in but kept popping back out on my turn whistle, all of a sudden I saw a rabbit explode out of the cover about 10 yards in front of me with Ted pushing it out to the edge, just as Ted got to the edge of the cover I blew the stop and he sat lovely. If I had a gun that would have been a lovely shot but sadly it went the opposite way from the guns. 

 

I told him "leave that, gone away" and clicked him back into the gorse. Another 20 yards ahead I heard a commotion and a woodcock was flushed by Ted, who sat to flush in the cover. Sadly this was missed by the guns and flew on untouched. Ted was told to hunt on and then flushed a pair of pheassants out of the cover, one of which was shot and picked by another dog out of his sight. 

 

I hunted Ted on in the next bit where he flushed two more pheasants, this time out of bracken, shots were fired but I don't recall these being added to the bag. On we hunted up on top of the hillside, and Ted pulled a bit too far ahead of me and got hot on scent, subsequently ignoring the turn whistle, and then stop. He then flushed a hen bird, however he did sit to flush and shots going off, although I got after him and took him back to where he should have stopped.

He did not see this bird was hit, but the bird came off the hillside and came over high above the guns, it was hit high up  and fell down the hill side a good 120+ yards away down the bank and out in the open. We hunted on with no more flushes and stopped whilst we were met by some of the others working a different hill bank down towards us. 

 

As we stopped the lads pointed way out down the hill side and said "Can you see the bird?"... I looked hard and there was a faint dot, where the bird had a wing the wrong side up. It was a longer retrieve than we had done before by a long shot ... but was asked if we wanted to give it a try. Thankfully it was mostly bare ground so not a lot of get distracted by.

I lined Ted up and said "Get back" but he pulled off to the side to go towards the gorse cover again, I had to stop him, call him back and stand the other side of him... "Get back!"... this time he got it right, and went straight down the hill side a good 70-80 yards. I stopped him and managed to push him back another 20 yards, but he was struggling with the distance he needed to go back, I kept pushing him, but he came forward to me a bit twice, I had to stop him again and push him back again, but after stopping and trying to push him at least 6 times, I got him all the way back and shouted the hunt command "Hi-lost!!!"... down he hunted and hit the bird, picked it and started the ordeal of climbing the hill back to me... I think he stopped to catch his breath on the way back up for a moment, and he had a wing over his eye, but managed to get back fairly sharp and stood presenting the bird into my hand as trained. The shoot owners who had witnessed it was very impressed, and I found out he had video'd it (but sadly only once Ted was already on his way back). 

 

We hunted on further where some rabbits were flushed from bracken by another dog and one was shot. Ted sat to the shot and we waited whilst the other dog picked. We then came forward and hunted down a hillside that was woodland, pushing down the hill Ted hunted quartering across me before diving into cover and flushing a pheasant which sadly flew the wrong way. He sat to flush and called off it to hunt on the opposite way, but no more flushes. We started to head back and pushed along some cover coming back, Ted was on the lead at this point as thought we had finished, when a bird got up off the hill top and was hit high in the air, again falling down the hillside about 50 yards out, one of the guns little black cocker ran in and ran down to the bird, but then wouldn't pick it up, before running back up. 

I slipped the lead off and sent Ted who went straight down to the bird and then delivered it back to hand same as before :) 

 

 

Back to the truck and to the farm yard for a cup of hot soup. I gave Ted a square of Pemmikan Bar and a small bag of kibble, I didn't feed him a full meal that morning as I knew he would be running so he just had some oily fish and a raw egg for breakfast. He ate the kibble and pemikan and had a good 30-45 min rest in the dog box before we headed back out. 

 

The second half of the day I was invited to shoot and handed a gun. The first drive I was stood half way down a hillside with cover crop being pushed out above me. Ted stood on peg with me and I watched above as a couple woodcock flushed but flew the wrong way, another pheasant was flushed that the gun on my right had a shot at but sadly not picked. Ted sat steady at my side but he's no labrador and I could see he wanted to get back out searching lol.

 

We walked up the hillside and guns on our right lined up, whilst I was set as a walking gun, I was shown that the area ahead of me was totally empty and safe to shoot, and I made sure to check 110% where the rest of the party were lined up. I worked Ted along the bottom of a cliff face, hunting well in cover, I pushed him up a bank where he flushed a cock bird and sat to flush, which I then missed with both shots. Ted remained steady, rolled his eyes at me and hunted on when told. 

 

We hunted on through some woodland and again a bird was flush, sat to flush, and I missed again. I handed my mate back his gun and told him it doesn't agree with me :lol:... we hunted on through further woodland and Ted was pulling a bit, so I ran out after him and dragged him back at least twice. I managed to keep him tight now and the dog on our left had a flush and shot. We sat and waited whilst the bird was picked before carrying on.

 

Down to a beautiful river we came, before crossing and I worked Ted on through bramble and fallen trees. He had another two flushes here, one straight forward and a very very tempting one where he flushed the bird, which flew up about two feet whilst flapping like hell then landed again, Ted remained steady and the bird then took off properly and flew down the entire line of guns, receiving the 10 gun salute (or so it seemed) without being hit. 

The dog to our left then flushed two birds one of which was dropped. 

 

Ted and I worked up to an orchard where I decided that was enough for him, as the last part of the hunt he was pulling forward on me a little bit I I bet he was knackered and just a bit less responsive so called it a day before he went wrong.

 

We walked out and was asked if we wanted a final retrieve as the bird that had just been hit landed the wrong side of a fence and was along the fence line. I walked Ted up and placed my coat over the wire and lifted him over, then sent him back in the direction. He ran the line as told before picking the bird and coming back to place it in my hand. I took the bird then lifted him back over the wire safely. 

 

This was the end of our dog and I stuck the lead on and we walked back to the farm yard. The group did decide then to push on a small wood where I think they added another 2-3 birds to the bag but I put Ted in the car at that point as he had worked his guts out all day and wanted to end on a good note. 

 

Not only was I immesnely proud of him, we had a lot of compliments and invites to return whenever we are able, as well as the invite to bring my own gun next time we can make it. 

 

Brilliant day out in a part of the world we have not been to before :)  

 

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1 minute ago, London Best said:

Sounds like a great fun day! 
 

Why do you think it necessary to keep giving the dog a rest? I don’t know anyone who does that. I have always expected my dogs to work all day.

 

We stopped for lunch, so the dog was given some food and a rest in the dog box. 

 

I myself think it also depends on how you want the dog to work. As I have said before I have trained Ted with the intention of trialling and when he hunts I want him going with speed, good pace, style and intensity. 

That spaniel I mentioned above on that commercial shoot lacked in most of these areas sadly (but was still a good dog for the job at hand). 

 

I can't see how you could work a hard going dog for 4-5 hours with good drive, either the dog will start to pace itself or plod about, or run itself into the ground, which I have seen a few times with dogs collapsing or having fits on shoots and being rushed off to the vets. 

 

The trial lads I know will often work their dogs in pairs, swapping them over as they go (one hunting, one on heel). When my pup is older I will give that a go. 

 

After the rest and some food when we came out for the second half he was fresh and going well again, good speed and drive, so clearly it did him some good.

 

When we got home he took himself straight to bed and the Mrs had to almost drag him out to go to the toilet :lol: he has given a good meal and had a nice sleep in the kitchen. 

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1 minute ago, London Best said:

Unfortunately, trialling does not reproduce what a dog is expected to do on a day’s shooting, only a representation of it.

 

I guess that depends on the type of shooting you do. Trialling is a representation of rough shooting by the looks of it. A hundful of people with 1-2 dogs putting a few head of game in the bag. 

On Friday on a "commercial shoot day" I found that a dog wasn't even needed... almost everyone there kept their dogs on a lead. 

 

 

From the shoots that I have gone to many "just shooting dogs" out on the shoot aren't steady to flush, shot or fall, dogs that run in, won't pick the birds up, and out on other shoots I have been on I have seen dogs that won't handle, aren't steady and the vast vast majority of dogs that I have seen out on shoots are so far away from their owners you'd couldn't ever dream of rough shooting over them. 

 

My 'field trial bred and trained' springer doesn't appear to be doing too badly, handing onto a blind retrieve that was a spec in the distance, flushing several different species and being steady to flush, shot and fall and picking and putting game in the bag. 

I will be able to take him out this week and shoot over him myself as well. 

 

 

Whislt I get it that field trialling isn't the be all and end all, I think trialling dogs get bashed as some sort of specialist dog that wouldn't be able to work on an actual shoot. 

 

I think the vasy vast majority of trialling dogs could be worked on shoots just fine, mostly by just letting them go a bit wild. 

I don't think there are many dogs that are just wild on shoots that could be trained up to trial standards however. 

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You are right, of course. Most dogs you see are pretty carp, spaniels or retrievers.  And when you say dogs are not needed (by the guns) on a commercial driven day. The shoot will make sure of a decent picking up team to collect the money(bag). And beaters certainly do not need them.  Spaniel trials do perhaps reproduce rough shooting, and that is right as spanner’s are rough shooting dogs.

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Just now, London Best said:

You are right, of course. Most dogs you see are pretty carp, spaniels or retrievers.  And when you say dogs are not needed (by the guns) on a commercial driven day. The shoot will make sure of a decent picking up team to collect the money(bag). And beaters certainly do not need them.  Spaniel trials do perhaps reproduce rough shooting, and that is right as spanner’s are rough shooting dogs.

 

I don't think my springer will make a field trial dog anyways mate. Don't think he quite has that top gear or drive to face some types of cover. 

At the end of the day he looking to be "just a shooting dog". Although he does the jobs I need him to do. 

 

Whilst a lot of dogs on shoots aren't always super trained, they do the job that they are needed to do :) and their owners are happy with them no doubt. That's all that is needed really at the end of the day. 

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Forty years ago I had a mate who was determined to get into retriever trials.  I went to quite a few with him. He joined every club and society possible and put in for every appropriate trial for nearly three years trying to get a run. Eventually he was allocated a reserve place and someone didn’t show up. When his turn came (walking up in roots) he walked approximately twenty yards and was told to put his lead on, hunting at heel. His dog had just about offered to move it’s nose downwards. We later watched the eventual winner using his welly ‘adjusting’ his dog several times for sniffing along the ground during his run. The judge chose not to see this. Talking to other competitors we learned that the dog owner was judging a trial the next month in which the judge from this trial was competing. Nuff said. It stinks. Triallers are a group of people who take it in turns to give each other prizes.

Having said all that, I did attend several Retriever Championships and have to say I could not fail to be impressed with the high standard of dog work that I saw there.

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12 minutes ago, London Best said:

Forty years ago I had a mate who was determined to get into retriever trials.  I went to quite a few with him. He joined every club and society possible and put in for every appropriate trial for nearly three years trying to get a run. Eventually he was allocated a reserve place and someone didn’t show up. When his turn came (walking up in roots) he walked approximately twenty yards and was told to put his lead on, hunting at heel. His dog had just about offered to move it’s nose downwards. We later watched the eventual winner using his welly ‘adjusting’ his dog several times for sniffing along the ground during his run. The judge chose not to see this. Talking to other competitors we learned that the dog owner was judging a trial the next month in which the judge from this trial was competing. Nuff said. It stinks. Triallers are a group of people who take it in turns to give each other prizes.

Having said all that, I did attend several Retriever Championships and have to say I could not fail to be impressed with the high standard of dog work that I saw there.

 

 

It's not even worth trying to get into retriever trials, as there are so many people trying to get a run, often the list of reserves is enormous. I think they often get tripple figures in entries. 

 

Whilst there are some rotten apples, we do see people who are essentially complete nobody's come into trialling different breeds every year who do very well.

 

I think what is very frustrating in trialling is a high number of people treating it as a 'day out' or something just to have a go at when their dog is nowhere near ready. They will put in for a trial when there dog hasn't even been shot over in the past. 

 

I sat with a judge recently and was given an anonymous rundown of his scoring from the previous trial.

Out of 16 novice dogs, only 3 finished. Dogs running in, dogs' not steady to flush, not steady to fall, not steady to shot, dogs making noise (which their owner knew they did but entered anyway), dogs not picking birds ("Oh, he's never picked one before you see"). Dog's that wont handle or take direction. 

 

I asked if this was a one off, he said no most trials you go to are similar 😮 ... therefore it's no wonder you have a small group of "elite" who keep winning the trials, when some of people they are running against are turning up and saying they are running a dog that has never even been shot over in the past. 

 

 

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I am not a bit surprised to read that. All their geese are swans, eh?

 I have never aspired to trials myself, just wanting good, useful dogs. I’ve had well into double figures and I have never had one give tongue, only one lab has run in and all have taken directions to a greater or lesser degree. The two cockers would run in in later life if I had them out together. The current lab is just on the verge of making the break. Like a coiled spring, she is!

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I mean no disrespect at all because I have followed your work with your dog and you have done very well.  With regard to work on a driven shoot, I have my doubts if you will find any which will be ideal for your type of training or dog work, better to look for small farm shoots or syndicates where there is more walked up sport.   I have run shoots for over 40 yrs and on one ocasion I had two really nice young guys turn up and ask if I needed beaters and they had a spanial each.  I said they would be welcome the following saturday. They turned up and I put them in the beating line, but it became apparent within minutes that their trial standard of training was not going to work as this was rough Welsh hillsides where a dog needed to use it's own brain a bit and run free, similar to the dog you describe.  I believe there are two distinct styles of training. I'm no expert or anywhere near but have spent too many hours behind working dogs not to notice the difference.   I think you and your dog would benefit more from days like you and that Somerset Yokel had recently.  I have been offended by professionals , so tell me to go boil my head if you have to.:cry1:

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3 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

 

We stopped for lunch, so the dog was given some food and a rest in the dog box. 

 

I myself think it also depends on how you want the dog to work. As I have said before I have trained Ted with the intention of trialling and when he hunts I want him going with speed, good pace, style and intensity. 

That spaniel I mentioned above on that commercial shoot lacked in most of these areas sadly (but was still a good dog for the job at hand). 

 

I can't see how you could work a hard going dog for 4-5 hours with good drive, either the dog will start to pace itself or plod about, or run itself into the ground, which I have seen a few times with dogs collapsing or having fits on shoots and being rushed off to the vets. 

 

The trial lads I know will often work their dogs in pairs, swapping them over as they go (one hunting, one on heel). When my pup is older I will give that a go. 

 

After the rest and some food when we came out for the second half he was fresh and going well again, good speed and drive, so clearly it did him some good.

 

When we got home he took himself straight to bed and the Mrs had to almost drag him out to go to the toilet :lol: he has given a good meal and had a nice sleep in the kitchen. 

sounds like you had a cracking day nice to see an honest account warts and all.

have similar experince with mine having the odd moment now and again ,good friend of mine always says they are not robots and you have to accept the odd blip now and again that needs correcting.

i've not pushed to get into the big shoot beating for the same fear as you of having a spaniel meltdown when confronted with 100's of birds.we only do rough shooting and she's doin ok so i'm happy with that at the moment.

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16 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

I mean no disrespect at all because I have followed your work with your dog and you have done very well.  With regard to work on a driven shoot, I have my doubts if you will find any which will be ideal for your type of training or dog work, better to look for small farm shoots or syndicates where there is more walked up sport.   I have run shoots for over 40 yrs and on one ocasion I had two really nice young guys turn up and ask if I needed beaters and they had a spanial each.  I said they would be welcome the following saturday. They turned up and I put them in the beating line, but it became apparent within minutes that their trial standard of training was not going to work as this was rough Welsh hillsides where a dog needed to use it's own brain a bit and run free, similar to the dog you describe.  I believe there are two distinct styles of training. I'm no expert or anywhere near but have spent too many hours behind working dogs not to notice the difference.   I think you and your dog would benefit more from days like you and that Somerset Yokel had recently.  I have been offended by professionals , so tell me to go boil my head if you have to.:cry1:

 

No offence taken at all, I think you are absolutely right. 

 

I thoroughly enjoy shooting over my own dog and having trained him up to the standard that he is at now. I have had some additional invites to go and work him beating on some shoots, syndicates that shoot 30-50 bird days etc, which I think would be ideal.

 

I completely agree with you thar a big shoot where the dog just hunts away flushing and carrying on non-stop would be a bad idea for my dog. To be honest it's not something I think I would enjoy. Like I said that dog on the big commercial shoot was incredibly impressive for the job that it fulfilled, but it had no pace, no mad drive and no style at all, and whilst it did a great job it didn't excite me in the slightest. 

 

As said, horses for courses. 

 

If I was on a shoot that I allowed him to hunt 50+ yards away from me all the time he would be useless as a rough shooting dog, so I will be very happy to carry on with my shooting dog, he might never win a trial with me but we are having a great time together regardless :)

19 minutes ago, Remimax said:

sounds like you had a cracking day nice to see an honest account warts and all.

have similar experince with mine having the odd moment now and again ,good friend of mine always says they are not robots and you have to accept the odd blip now and again that needs correcting.

i've not pushed to get into the big shoot beating for the same fear as you of having a spaniel meltdown when confronted with 100's of birds.we only do rough shooting and she's doin ok so i'm happy with that at the moment.

 

I enjoyed the small day out with a bag less than 20 a million times better than the 200 bird day, where most people couldn't take their dogs off the lead, and we were stood in the woods not even able to watch the shooting. 

 

Small rough shoots are the best imo. 

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12 minutes ago, London Best said:

You have to remember that on the formal shoot you were not one of the party. It was organised for the benefit of the guns. Beaters enjoyment was of no consequence. The rough shoot you were very much part of the party and it took place for everyone’s enjoyment.

 

Bang on mate. I guess the people that go day in day out enjoy it, otherwise they wouldn't go. 

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1 minute ago, Lloyd90 said:

 

Bang on mate. I guess the people that go day in day out enjoy it, otherwise they wouldn't go. 

I’ve done a heck of a lot of it, from both sides of the line, and a long way behind the line. And I’ve enjoyed every minute in all positions, beater, loader, gun or picking up. Don’t make me choose which is best.

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Out again today walked up hedgerows and fields with Ted and also working alongside Oowee and his cocker. 

 

We started off with Ted pushing through a copse of trees in the middle of a field which also had a pond in it, Oowee said there are often a few duck around.

I worked Ted along a hedgerow with sadly no flushes and then walked the field and pushed him into the copse, within about 5 seconds he flushed a hen pheasant to my left and a duck to my right. I left the duck for Oowee (but he didn't get a shot) and I swung through and dropped the hen bird going away from me. Ted was sat where he had flushed and instead of sending him I told him "Leave that!" and clicked him back into the trees in case there were any other birds about, after he had pushed the rest of it out and there was nothing I sent him back and he picked the hen bird and delivered it to hand. 

 

We hunted onwards down more hedgerows and cover without any flushes for a little while, until we came to a big gully we walked either side working the dogs, and I think Oowee got a flush and shot, which was retrieved by his dog. Oowees' dog also had a hard flush on a big cock bird which I then missed with both shots :/ his cocker was not impressed with me. 

 

On we hunted and I pushed Ted down inside the gully, where he was working along inside the cover. I heard a big commotion, and all of a sudden a big woodcock flushed up, Ted sat to flush and I lined it up but it was swinging across to Oowee's side so not to be greedy I left it go, only for him not to shoot it! I asked what happened and he said he doesn't shoot them 😢 oh ******. Fair enough, I would have shot it myself as I would have eaten it and the dog has never picked one yet, but respect his decision fair enough.

 

We carried on and crossed over inside some woodland, I hunted Ted up through the wood where he got another flush but not a safe shot as I was stood down a slope and the bird was low and Ted in the way. I didn't even lift my gun and instead just called him away. He hunted the rest of the wood well and we came to the end, I unloaded my gun to safely climb the track back up to the car, when a bird flushed right by the track as we came out of the wood!! Just our luck!! Oh well. 

 

We took a short break, then moved positions and carried on the second half of the farm. We pushed down an embankment and 3-4 birds flushed ahead of me that were loose, I fired and missed them with both shots and I am sure Ted rolled his eyes, he pushed down a bit of cover as told and a Roe Deer pushed out of cover but I don't think he spotted it. He sat when told and we crossed over a bridge before carrying on either side of the hedge. 

 

On we walked for ages without a lot more flushes until Ted jumped into a fallen down tree and drove out a great cock bird crossing past Oowee but he left it go as too low/close. Fair enough. This was some good steadiness training for the dog today, he was getting a fair few flushes with no retrieve :) maybe he would make a good beating dog after all lol. Down this hedge we worked when Ted got a flush on a cock bird going straight forward from me, I dropped it hard with the first shot and it fell in a hedge ahead and was picked by the cocker. 

 

We then pushed down a huge thick hedge, where we had 3-4 flushes one after the other. I had a shot at a big cock bird that was going away, I visibly saw the wing take a hit and knock some feathers off but it regained its flight path and flew on hard out of the boundary so we could not go after it. Ted was pushed on and Oowee's cocker flushed 2 birds which he then took with a lovely left and right. Ted sat on the shot and we waited for him to pick up. 

 

Again on we pressed and at points Ted was really getting inside the cover and hedgerows and pushing along them inside the hedge and brambe. He's still not the world's best hard cover bashes but he was having a good go.  Ted got a good contact flush which Oowee dropped with a snap shot which was again picked and added to the bag. 

 

I think by this point Oowee had his 4 in the bag and I had shot 2. All birds shot were picked and recovered. We were coming to the end of the day and I crossed over another gully and walked up a hedge with an overgrown field on my left. Ted was showing interest in the field rather than the hedge so I pulled him into it and quartered him in front of me. He pushed on and flushed a hen bird that went away to my left (Oowee was out to my right about 40 yards away) so I swung left through the bird and dropped it going away at about 20+ yards. Ted was sat and picked and delivered it on command. I thought that would be the end for us but Ted cracked on as told and flushed another hen bird about 10 yards further forward. This time it swung right so I shouted over to Oowee expecting him to get a good over head shot but the bird turned and started down hill the way we had come. This was a good distance now pushed 40 yards so I swung up on it and used the back trigger (3/8 choke) which impacted the bird hard going away, this for me was an absolutely cracking shot, and I saw the bird flop over onto his back mid air and come crashing down into trees and woodland below it. I couldn't see the bird at all and knew I just had to trust Ted to get on with it, so I told him to get back and off he went, he ran downhill and dived into the cover, and a few moments later appeared back with the dead hen in his mouth, which he delivered to hand. 

 

That was our limit of 4 birds each so I unloaded the gun and we walked back to the car. Ted had been brilliant all day, really good and was really happy, just as we were walking up however both Ted and Oowee's cocker went into some cover and I'm not sure what they saw but the pair of them ******** off :/ ... I should have put the lead on when we finished but that's life for you. Never put a foot wrong all day but imagine he was tired and temptation just got too much. 

 

He came back after a few minutes and was placed on the lead and put back in the car. Can't be too mad at him he works his **** off all day, never put a foot wrong and pulled off one of the best shots and retrieves I've had all season :D 


They're not robots, better cut him a little slack for now lol. We have an invite to go beating on a small 40ish bird day on saturday so I will give him a go and see how we get on :) 

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You should be proud of what you have achieved with Ted. 

I think with any dog and owner, its the pleasure you get working together and not what other people think about your dog or you that matters, if you are both not perfect as long as the people who you are shooting with are happy with you and your dog being there its fine.

Far too much criticism and snobbery in the gundog world and I've heard lots of stories about dodgy trialing judges. I love watching Spaniels hunt cover, watched clips of trial championships and those dogs are real hunting machines, but no dog could keep that pace up all day on a rough shoot or beating. Its about getting pleasure working with your dog whether that's trialing, rough shooting, beating or your dog sitting with you on your peg.  

I have get in few days formal driven shooting each season, but don't take my spaniel, not enough for her to do and she would get frustrated sat at the peg, plus all the waiting around.

We have a small walk one stand one syndicate plus a small rough shoot/flight pond, this is where I love working her and we both enjoy  a relaxed atmosphere where bird count at the end of the day is secondary. 

 

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19 minutes ago, macca2017 said:

You should be proud of what you have achieved with Ted. 

I think with any dog and owner, its the pleasure you get working together and not what other people think about your dog or you that matters, if you are both not perfect as long as the people who you are shooting with are happy with you and your dog being there its fine.

Far too much criticism and snobbery in the gundog world and I've heard lots of stories about dodgy trialing judges. I love watching Spaniels hunt cover, watched clips of trial championships and those dogs are real hunting machines, but no dog could keep that pace up all day on a rough shoot or beating. Its about getting pleasure working with your dog whether that's trialing, rough shooting, beating or your dog sitting with you on your peg.  

I have get in few days formal driven shooting each season, but don't take my spaniel, not enough for her to do and she would get frustrated sat at the peg, plus all the waiting around.

We have a small walk one stand one syndicate plus a small rough shoot/flight pond, this is where I love working her and we both enjoy  a relaxed atmosphere where bird count at the end of the day is secondary. 

 

An excellent post with which I concur.

Lloyd90 has done very well with his dog.

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