Field Trial & Hunt Test Prospects!

 

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We have a three English Springer Spaniels prospects (2 male/1 female) and one English Cocker Spaniel prospect (female) we are accepting reservations on in advance. We are assuming all the risk in developing these puppies. Your requirement is a 50% deposit for the finished dog and a commitment to an additional 6-9 months of training/transition to you as the new owner/handler, plus all bird costs, entry fees and veterinarian costs.

When it is all added up, you should plan on a roughly $15,000 commitment over the next 24 to 30 months, with an initial deposit of $4,000.

These puppies are now approximately seven months of age and we have selected these to be developed to the highest standard based on the talent exhibited and the personality characteristics to go to work based on how biddable they are. Once fully developed/transitioned at about three years of age, our goal would be for the new owner to be fully competing with the dogs themselves.

The first person to sign up will get first pick as the pups are developed. Contact us with questions. This has been a successful model to reduce your risk at obtaining a competitive dog as compared to the risk of buying a puppy, paying for training and “hoping” the puppy makes it. Our other puppies being developed will be sold as gun dogs as they lack the potential to reach the highest level of training.

Setting Up At Camp In Colorado

We finally rolled into camp in Colorado late this afternoon. It was a long trip and all of the dogs are happy to be out of the truck and stretching those legs. Here are a few photos of what we look at while at camp.

 

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Alan & Kermit Go Sharp-tail Hunting In ND

Notes from Alan!

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Kermit and I had a wonderful day of Sharp-tailed Grouse hunting today in ND. After 2 weekends of Field Trials and being on the road for nearly two weeks, this was a great reward for our hard work. It was a pleasure to see Kermit in his true element of hunting and not having to worry so much about the trial rules and regulations. We did very well and I did not even have my own gun. It was a side by side though, Todd and Christina!

 

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It’s that time of the year again!

Welcome Bandit The Cocker

Bandit the cocker was just dropped off to Craney Hill for many months of training. Bandit is a southern boy from Charleston, SC.. We are having a lot of fun with Bandit already.

 

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Mac, Otis & Penley Getting Their First Flyer!

Mac the springer with his first flyer. Mac is here at Craney Hill for summer camp, and as you can see he is having a great time. Go Mac!

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Otis the English cocker spaniel with his first flyer. Otis is here at Craney Hill for summer camp. The little cocker with attitude. 

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Penley the English cocker spaniel getting her first flyer. Penley is here at Craney Hill for summer training. As you can see Penley really enjoyed her first flyer.

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First Bird!

The puppies got their first bird the other day. First birds are so much fun!

In the photos are Penley the cocker who is with us for summer camp, Winnie also with us for summer camp, Ryker and Georgia the springers. Winnie, Ryker and Georgia are out of the Dudley & Anna litter. They are little spit fires!

 

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Big Day For Otis!

This was a big day for Otis the cocker spaniel. His owners came to visit and he got his first bird. Todd was waiting to give Otis his first bird until his owners showed up. They were very surprised to see all the new things that Otis was doing. The biggest surprise was how well Otis did with his first bird. Enjoy the video and photos.

 

 

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NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE ME TRAIN YOUR DOG IN AUGUST!

 

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For all of you that have been reading (at least) some of my articles, I apologize to you.  This article is about nothing more than me venting over an issue that quick-fix dog training books and writers try to sell to the less educated. For the rest of you, and everyone that has been calling for me to train your dog for the month, I do not apologize and I will AGAIN explain how your lack of knowledge is impeding your dog.

Tell me what you think about the following statements.

“Hello Ms. Jordan. This is Johnny’s first day of kindergarten and he is very excited. However, you can only teach him during the month of September so make sure he is ready for first grade by October.”

“Johnny, say hi to Coach Ron. We are very excited about Johnny deciding to play football Coach. Please teach him how to play and we will pick him up before the NFL draft next month.”

“Hello Mr. Kaplan. Johnny is taking the SAT test next week. Please teach him the 2500 or so vocabulary words he may see on the test. He needs to know them for the test next week.”

These requests are of course ridiculous. Now ask yourself why is it any different with your dog? I cannot believe the number of telephone calls that I receive and the owner wants the dog trained in two weeks or a month. TRAINED TO DO WHAT? Most times, the dog has not had many birds, has never had an e-collar and although the owner denies it, the retrieve is terrible.

Why do owners think this is possible? Are other trainers making promises that I know are unrealistic? Is the quality of the training that poor? Or, is the expectation of the owner so low that a trainer can capitalize on it without providing proper training?

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. Except for very specific training on single issues, I cannot, and WILL NOT, take a dog in for training for less than three months. If another trainer will, and indicates that they can get the training done, well good luck and call them. The reason for the three month minimum is pretty simple. It is about the longest that misinformed owners will send their dog away for training! It is also about the minimum time it can take to get the dog to perform regularly for the owner when they take the dog home.

Let me give you two extremes in Client dogs that came to us for training. The first is a very talented English Springer spaniel that is well-bred AND young (7-8 months when it came in for training). The first month, we introduced the dog to quail and pigeons so that it would get out into different cover and hunt for birds. We also began the foundation work for obedience. The second month, we introduced the dog to gunfire and completed e-collar conditioning and obedience in the yard. The third month, we transferred compliance to the field and started the dog with its patterning (proper use of the wind).

 

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 Foundation is Built One Month at a Time

At the end of three months, the owner came and got his dog. He now can take the dog out and hunt. He has already gone to the hunt club with his friends and shot birds over the dog. His dog complies with both verbal and whistle commands, hunts within gun range and retrieves. Most important, when the dog needs to be corrected, the foundation is in place and the owner can make a MILD correction with his voice, whistle or e-collar and the dog does not shut down. Trust me, this is as good as it gets! We were able to move the dog along quickly because a) it was a genetically talented dog, b) it came to us at a young age with limited issues, and c) the dog would already retrieve consistently.

At the other end of the spectrum is the dog that comes in for training and it either will not retrieve or it kills birds, meaning the bird is not fit for the dinner table. We are not talking about the dog that will not bring the bird back. We are talking about the dog that will not pick the bird up. I know that he will retrieve at home. But we do not train or hunt at your house.

We cannot do anything with this dog until it will retrieve or stop killing birds. That means we need to complete the “forced-retrieve” and it will take one to two months to complete. Our standard on the retrieve is VERY high. We have had many dogs in for training that have been through the forced-retrieve and still only retrieve some of the time. Well, in our program, that is not acceptable. Do it right the first time and it saves you money and aggravation later. If it is alright with you that the dog damages the birds then send your dog someplace else for training because it is not alright with us. We hunt and we put the game on the dinner table. If you go to the hunt club and shoot your birds and they get thrown away because you do not want them or because your dog destroyed them, then the truth is your are a shooter not a hunter/conversationalist and your hunting privileges should be suspended!

If it is going to take one or two months to get the retrieving fixed, it will obviously take longer to train your dog to an acceptable level. I am done hearing “…I am not looking for a world-class dog, I just want to go out a couple of times and shoot some birds and have Fido retrieve them.” This is a bunch of #$%^$. You ALL want that, but you want the dog to be better than your hunting buddy’s dog and you want people to comment about the quality of your dog. However, you routinely accept something less and will derive many excuses as to why your dog does not do this or that. The fact is, you just do not want to spend the money required, have the dog gone for the time required, have a lack of perspective on what a well-trained dog is capable of doing, or it is not a priority.

Now here is the good news. If it is not a priority to you than I am alright with that because it is YOUR dog. I just will not be training it for you. I do not see any other trainer being as honest with dog owners as I am being with this article. I am in business and I do not expand my business by telling Clients that they need to stop making unrealistic requests, stop buying every flavor of punch that is served to them and to start looking in the mirror. However, I do expand my business by educating dog owners to think about what they ask and what their expectations are. I understand the family does not want the dog to be gone. I understand that there is a fear that the dog may change if it is added to a professional kennel. I understand those things, but I DO KNOW what is best for getting your dog trained and making your time with your dog more enjoyable. If it just will not work for you to send your dog out for training, consider joining a training group. Try to find one that allows you to work under the guidance of a quality professional trainer, as most are coordinated by amateurs that know only a little more than you, if that.

The Southern Dogs Bring Home Ribbons

Todd ran Lincoln and got a 3rd place in the puppy stake at the Southern Tier FT this weekend. Lincoln did a fantastic job and this was his 3rd puppy stake. He is well on his way to run with the big dogs.

 

News from Alan in Wisconsin. He and Kermit got a 2nd place today. Alan ran the open stake and I believe it was a 30 something dog trial. Kermit’s placements as of today are one 1st place and two 2nd’s… Almost there for title, keep at it..

Great job Y’all!!!

 

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Kermit Is A Master Hunter!!

Congratulations to Alan & Kermit!

You are becoming a ribbon hog!

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A note from Alan.

Kermit and I passed the final leg of our Master Hunter level for Spaniel Hunt Tests on Saturday Jan 28th at the Wateree Spaniel Club Hunt Test in Cheraw, SC.  WE finally got the title!  Weather was beautiful and very windy.  Kermit was on those birds very quick with 3 traps and two fly aways.  His hunt dead and water blind and water mark were very good.  It’s been a culmination of a lot of hard work so it felt good to get the title.  On Sunday he did well enough to receive the first leg of the Master Hunter Advanced title.  I think 4 or 5 more for that one.  It was great fun for the both of us.