Ghillie's Report Card

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munstyman
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by munstyman » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:24 pm

Judy wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:01 pm
Every cloud has a silver lining!
And every silver lining has a cloud, otherwise known as the other half when he see's the price tag :whistle: ( in the bin ;) )

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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:10 am

While Kurt the GSP pup was doing his first ever water retrieve where he had to swim a couple of strokes yesterday I had an insight into how the average human brain works in comparison to a puppy's brain. My wife and my daughter were watching as I tossed a brightly coloured tennis ball a few yards out into a slow moving part of the river.

The pup went down the steep slope of the bank and entered the water but it was obvious that he was not now seeing the ball. He kept looking until he found it but my daughter was slightly puzzled by his inability to at once see the ball.
It hadn't really occurred to her to think of the level of the pups eyes when looking at the water ..... and it hadn't occurred to her that a ball that is brightly coloured to us is not brightly coloured to a dog ....and it hadn't occurred to her that a ball no longer looks like a ball when less than half of it is showing above the waters surface.

People are brainless creatures ..... I think I prefer dogs , I seem to think more like them ! :lol:

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:12 pm

The River Almond - 1 p.m. - Sunny, light winds.
Dogs - Ghillie, Edge and Kurt.

It's a bit too hot here today to do anything other than take dogs to water. The bit of the river I chose to go to was suitable for me as it's only 40 yards from the car but it is a very unsuitable place for pups that are only just beginning to enter water. There was about 30 feet of very thick, 2 -3 feet high grasses between the pathway and the river and Kurt wasn't too sure of that grass to begin with but he followed me and the other two dogs through it to the river anyway.

There aren't any good entry points along that stretch of river ….the high grass grows right up to and then hangs over the river and the banks are 1 foot to 3 feet of vertical or even undercut disasters just waiting to happen to an inexperienced puppy . In most places the water directly below the banks is 1 - 3 feet deep.

I threw no dummies but Ghillie took a flying leap outwards anyway and went for a swim out to midriver about 10 -15 yards away. Edge isn't as keen a water dog but he managed to find a very small area of bank with only a 1 foot drop off and only one foot of river beneath it. In he went for a paddle and the pup , very cautiously, followed him in but only up to about his mid body height.

They all came back out of the river at the bit Edge had found …..it was the only place where it was possible to clamber back out. Then all 3 of them "took a daft turn" and ran in big circles through the high grass with the pup taking bites at any part of the other two dogs he could catch up to. I sat Edge and Ghillie and let the pup play on his own in order to see if he would still go charging through the high grass all on his own.....he did.

While doing this he found an empty plastic lemonade bottle some litter lout had dumped and began running through the grass with that making big circles around me. I took it from him but he still kept on running around among the grass until the inevitable thing happened and he made the mistake of thinking the grass hanging over the river could also be bounded through.

He fell in from the top of the 2 -3 feet high bank into a similar depth of water and, presumably, went right under but I couldn't see that as the grass was blocking my view. I called for him expecting him to be a bit panicky but he could not see me and he couldn't climb back out from where he was 20 feet downstream from me either.

This pup is a bit of a thinker ! He didn't panic at all , he swam further out into the open water until he could see me and then he swam to my position at the place where he'd climbed out 5 minutes before. He's got a brain cell in there somewhere !

When he came out he at once resumed charging through the high grass and he found another plastic bottle too. To my surprise he is not crunching down on these bottles , he took quite a gentle hold of them. He got so deliriously happy charging through the grass with the bottle that he again fell through the overhanging grass into the river 2 feet down below ! Maybe he's not as brainy as I'd thought ! :lol:

When he surfaced he'd let go of the bottle which drifted out further into the river. He went after it , got it then swam back the twenty feet or so to me again. I almost at once tossed the bottle back out a few feet into the river and he went in at the "easy" bit and swam out after it. This time he made a poor job of grabbing it and the bottle went even further out and was picking up speed on it's way downstream. He could easily have turned back at this point but he went after it and caught it about 20 feet out from my bank and 30 feet downstream. It was his longest swim so far .

I have noticed from the very first day my daughter got this pup that he is a bit of a "thinker." He does like to look before he leaps ...but once he has made up his mind to do something , he does it !

I returned home very pleased with his progress in the water again.

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:51 pm

The GSP pup was dropped off as usual but I didn't take him far today, just a few yards from my house and onto a little pathway between high garden fences and a wide strip of grass. Today I thought I'd try him again with a stuffed sock dummy. Last time I tried this was more than a month ago and I only tried it once ! He did his best to kill that dummy ! I was hoping for a better result today.

He went out, got it, then did a run past with it which took him around the corner of the big wooden fence and then back towards my garden gate. I simply leaned back against the fence as soon as he went round the corner and out of view, then waited for 10 - 20 seconds for him to discover he was all on his own before blowing recall. Back around the corner he came , still holding the dummy.

He then considered bogging off again but decided he'd rather get praised instead of ignored so he completed the retrieve. I tried again and this time I didn't blow recall when he'd ran past me and went around the corner. He came back around again within 5 -6 seconds, delivered the dummy to me and got the praise he wanted .

I now threw a 1/2 lb. canvas dummy as far as I could out and into the 6 inches high grass. He shortmarked his run -in by about 8 feet but hunted around until he found the dummy. This time his run past took him to the corner of the fence but not around it, he'd realised that round the corner was "no fun" and no praise. He brought the dummy to me where I gave him a lot of praise both vocal and physical.

He did still play a bit too much with the sock dummy today but not nearly as much as he did a month ago when he really killed it very dead ! We're getting there …..I think !


Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:01 pm

This morning I took Kurt back to the lane behind my house again and again used dummies he hasn't had before. A "knobbly" orange plastic one and a fully covered rabbit skin one that weighs nearly 2 lbs.
I threw the rabbit skin dummy first and was well aware of what he might do to it …..given the chance ! He came back with it held only by his incisors and only by it's fur. He tried to do a run past and if he'd succeeded that dummy would probably have been well chewed upon before I got it again. I managed, just and no more, to intercept him and I rescued the dummy then put it away.

Then he got two retrieves with the plastic dummy which he did well with only 5 -10 foot run pasts. :whistle: I then tried a longer throw into longer grass but I muffed up the throw and it bounced into heavy cover just inside the bordering wood. He tried hard but he could not find the dummy and the wind was from the wrong direction to be of any help. He brought me back a length of tree branch as a dummy substitute and made a good job of delivering it too !

He is trying to please , I like that. I'll get Edge or Ghillie to find my lost dummy later on today.

I have noticed that , much like Ghillie, Kurt tends to walk almost to heel if I am holding a dummy. Maybe I can begin his heelwork lessons in that way ? He is now very interested in any kind of dummy …. I have got another retrieve mad dog on my hands ! :lol:

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

Judy
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by Judy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:23 pm

That's the way to do it! The only time I have all four at heel and hanging on my every word is when I have the dummy bag with me. :lol:
If in the process of winning, you have lost the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing. Paul Elvström.

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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:53 am

Late yesterday afternoon I took the pup out again and made a mistake that may have set him and me back a bit. He has often retrieved a 1/2 lb. canvas dummy but I'd taken the throwing toggle from that dummy. When I went out again yesterday I picked up the wrong 1/2 canvas dummy ….this one still had the toggle on.

Kurt grabbed it by the toggle then discovered as he returned to me with it that the dummy could now be swung round and round his head , so that was what he did for the next several minutes ! To begin with he was running back and forth swinging the dummy around as he went over the 30 yards long stretch of grass beside the pathway but then he went around the corner of the fence and discovered my daughter had arrived and was now in my garden . He took a minute or two to come back around the corner to me.

He then continued on his merry way up and down the grassy strip never coming nearer to me than about 12 feet . After quite a bit of coaxing from me plus another two minutes of time he eventually condescended to return to me and give me the dummy.

He wanted another throw but I'd learned my lesson and just took him home ! He is here again today and I hope he's got over and forgotten how to arse about with a dummy when I take him out !

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:53 pm

My worries about yesterday's setback proved to be groundless but I did take the precaution of moving onto a tarmac pathway through the wood before throwing dummies today....dogs tend to remember what they did at a certain place in the near past ! I think this was Kurt's first go at retrieving in a wood and he wasn't quite as sure of himself as he is in more familiar places. He did two 10 -15 yard marked retrieves that could not have been any easier, the dummies were thrown to land on the path and not actually into the woods.
Both of these retrieves he did well. Then I put him on a lead, tossed out a dummy to the same place as the two previous ones and then walked him back another 30 yards or so before sending him back for the dummy. He went out faster on this retrieve than he did on the straightforward marked dummies and with only a minimal --- about ten feet run past before he came to me with the dummy.

I stopped at that before anything went wrong !
I noticed today that he is now dropping his head when delivering dummies. I'm not sure if this is due to "possessiveness" or due to my clumsiness when bending to take dummies from him but I don't like it ! I hope I don't have to train him Ghillies " Jump up to deliver" way of doing things . When he grows up he will probably weigh about 65 - 75 lbs . !

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:34 pm

I took my own dogs out yesterday and today and did just one retrieve with each of the three dogs on each day.
The steadiest of the three dogs was Charlie the cocker , he was also at least as quick to find the dummies as the other two much younger dogs....Charlie is now 11 years old but he neither looks like it or behaves like it ! I think he will still be going after I am looking up at the daisies. Wish I felt as fit as him.

The two days out with the dogs left me exhausted even though the maximum I walked each day was only about 250 yards total. Over the last several years I have developed the habit of never walking when I can stand still and never standing still when I can sit on a fallen tree or tree stump. I get my breath back after 5 - 10 minutes and then resume walking.

When I sit down the dogs split into their various ways of behaving. Charlie digs for mice and voles, Ghillie sits somewhere near to me and waits for a bird to fly past for her to chase and Edge goes off hunting but never more than 30 -40 yards away from me. As always I sort of study and assess the dogs behaviours while I just sit there …..dogs still fascinate me.

Edge has become a sod for running in for dummies, Ghillie does this too but without Edge's desperation to get the dummy. He is the only dog I have ever owned that will run -in for dummies …..and refuse all commands to stop and yet he does not run in for birds , on the very rare occasion that he does try to run-in on a bird he is easily stopped …..he's an odd sort of gundog !

Ghillie is more inclined to run in for birds ….any bird bigger than a blackbird will do ! Even if no shot has been fired …..seagulls are a hot favourite for a chase as they fly overhead ! I think this is because she only got about 2 dead birds to retrieve during last shooting season when she was just 9 - 12 months old. Almost every bird she got was a strong runner and a few of them could still fly a bit …..until she caught them in mid-air ! She thinks flying birds will come earthwards at any moment for her to give a warm reception to !


Bill T.
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

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trekmoor
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Re: Ghillie's Report Card

Post by trekmoor » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:45 pm

Kurt the GSP pup arrived here again today and I took him and Ghillie out for a short walk in the woods. Kurt is 5 months old now and since he now retrieves very keenly and fairly well to hand without bogging off to kill dummies , I thought I'd extend his retrieve training into fairly thick mixed woodlands with plenty of cover, fallen branches, fallen trees and a woodland floor covered in thick, high ferns.

Almost all of his retrieving has so far been done in places where he can see the dummy or see it easily once he has ran out to the fall area in 6 inch high grass. He failed to find the first dummy I threw for him today even though it fell just 15 yards away. I'd thrown it to a place where two fallen trees lay with tangled branches and with ferns galore growing through the branches. It was a bit too difficult for him , he just did not understand the situation .

I sent Ghillie for the dummy but let Kurt follow her into the huge tangle of branches, she found it easily but Kurt stole it from her then went off for a victory "circle of the stadium" with the dummy. It took me about 20 seconds to persuade him to bring it to me.

That was the worst over with however. He retrieved the next two dummies thrown into the branches just fine and he came back to me with only minimal persuasion from me …… I was sitting on my perch on another fallen tree.
I left three dummies behind as memory retrieves when I headed back to the car 90 + yards away but I sort of forgot how inexperienced he is at memory retrieves ….he's only done 3 or 4 and they were done in much easier surroundings than in a wood. I walked too far from the dummies ….45 yards maybe....before I let him off the lead and sent him back. He only went about 30 yards before he returned to me looking puzzled.

I again sent Ghillie out and let him follow her. Both dogs came back with a dummy and both dogs did a pretty good delivery partially helped by the plentiful cover funnelling the dogs in towards me.

Once back at the car I opened up the cage in the back and Ghillie jumped in but Kurt had vanished, I heard voices shouting something on the other side of a screen of bushes 20 - 30 yards away and then back came Kurt going at top speed …...with a child's teddy bear in his mouth ! He'd pinched a wee girls Teddy then hotfooted back to his place of safety ….probably to chew it ! He jumped into the cage and a large but rather tasty looking woman came chasing through the bushes after him !

To my relief she was laughing her head off about this …..another mother might not have found it so funny ! I gave her the still unchewed Teddy back and she returned it to her toddler daughter who had been crying but who now seemed to find this funny too....thank Gawd !

I am very pleased to say that I am not now nearly as worried as I once was about Kurt possibly being hard - mouthed. Recently he has brought me back a tennis ball he found after another dog owner lost it, two or three empty beer cans and a few empty plastic lemonade bottles he found on his travels. All were treated fairly gently ….no crunching ! I shudder to think what he'd have done to that teddy bear a month or so back ! :roll:

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

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