CC and I particiapted in our first hunt tests this weekend at the MasonDixon GSP Club event at Besher-McKee in Seneeca Maryland. Boy did I learn a lot on Saturday. We failed to recieve a qualifying score on Saturday, failing to find and/or point any birds. I was really down afterwards as I have had CC out on quail with really good success. Upon reflection I came to the conclusion that I mis-handled or under handled her for the test. CC is a big (55 pounds) rangy female who loves to run long. When we reached the bird field I gave her her head and let her run instead of keeping her close and "guidking" her into the area where I thought the birds might be. I realized this was a mistake and came up with a plan to correct on Sunday. Big lesson - six minutes in the bird field isn't very long!
Scores on Saturday: Judge A - Hunting Ability 6 Trainability 7, Bird Finding 0, Pointing 0. Judge B - Hunting Ability 7, Tainability 8, Bird Finding 0, Pointing 0.
Sunday was a new day. I let her run on the approach to the bird field, then whistled her in and calmed her down (a little) before I let her go into the bird field. Then I gave her the "let's hunt'em up" and off she went. Thirty seconds in she tried to point but couldn't lock up, so I figured old scent or running bird and gave her "leave it" and she swithched back to hunting. Thirty seconds later she gets a good hard lock up point. I walked in flushed and blanked the bird. she held point to flush and began to chase after I blanked. Again I gave her "leave it" and she statred hunting again. About a minute later, her bracemate locked up. CC slowed to honor but didn't quite stop, two "whoas", the second very stern and she stpped until her bracemate's bird was flushed. She did find one more bird that flushed before she got a good point. Then "handlers your time is up".
Sunday scores: Four nines from both judges and an even more satisfying "really nice dogs" to both CC and her bracemate.
CC was eleven months on Saturday and has been trained by Ken Adamik at Lil Dikens Kennels in Dillsburg, PA.