We took Duke to his very first DockDog event this weekend in Louisville (we've been to several with our lab) and he after several attempts he finally jumped a whopping 3'3"!! At least he did jump and didn't just fall in gracefully! We got a lot of practice time in over the weekend and by the time we left he was jumping a good 6 ft and only hestitating for a second before jumping. I'm pretty proud for just a 10 mn old pup. Now I'm really debating on taking him to an AKC field trial in IN in2 weeks (puppy stake). He's working good and holding point, we can almost shoot over him but he is waiting until he is right up on the birds before he points. I'd like to take him just for the experience and to see where he stands but I'm concerned that he may regress in his training. I don't really know what to expect, I've never been to any type of pointing event. Any advice?
I vote with Phyllis. Puppy is fun and usually the judges are very nice and helpful. It's a good way for you to learn and find out what is considered desirable so you know what to train for. Talk to as many people as you can - that's how we got started.
We're running our pup in her first (but not ours) puppy stake in Paulden, AZ in Feb. Phyllis is right that they are often good for a laugh. For example: In a recent training session the puppy locked up on point out in front (a good thing) on a spot where we knew we hadn't planted any birds. Turns out she was pointing what was obviously a favorite spot where a hawk would take its kills and finish them. It was a large rock COVERED in hawk crap with feathers from clearly all sorts of birds around it. As we got rode up closer to the pup, she figured out on her own that there was no live bird there and released herself, worked in and checked out the rock and feathers. She was beside herself with happiness, eating feathers and licking bird crap off the rock when we got up there. I laughed and figured "Oh well, if I were a judge I would take this as a sign that she has bird drive "