A new Adventure Begins

Discuss working your Gundog or tell us about your experiences be it sublime or ridiculous!
CockerCanuck
Member
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:56 pm
Dogs: Ruadh, Fergal, Hamish
Location: SW Ontario, Canada

Re: A new Adventure Begins

Post by CockerCanuck » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:02 pm

As a couple of people have expressed interest in Hamish's progress so I will provide an update. I will also work on a Photobucket alternative to get some pictures up soon.

Hamish is 5 1/2 months now and I am very pleased with him. He is different than the Labs and Spaniels that I am used to although not in any way difficult. When I was a young man we did a lot of hunting (deer, bear, wolves, coyotes) with hounds and in some respects he reminds me of a hound. What I mean is he is pretty independent and hardwired for his job. He loves to retrieve and especially in water. To teach him other stuff like basic obedience takes a bit of patience but is not particularly difficult and once he has learned something he seems to retain it well and, at least so far, does not challenge it. I am glad I have the time to ensure he gets a lesson every day and to be thorough in what I am doing. I don't think he would do well with a quick fix approach. I am using a combination of live pigeons and freshly shot ducks with him the last few weeks and he is obviously birdy and handles them well.

His nature is calm and relaxed and my wife loves him. He is also devoted to her in a remarkable way. Despite me doing all the training he always is with her in the house. I refer to him as "the Momma's Boy." At one time I worried he might be too relaxed but in the last few weeks when I get out my training bag he gets very excited to go out and train and is showing lots of enthusiasm for it so I am less concerned about that now. He is starting to show the CBR instinct to guard. He is very alert and quick to bark at anything he thinks is strange. So far no sign of anything aggressive, just raised hackles and alert barking. He is friendly with strangers but reserved in how he shows it. He is wonderful with my 2 1/2 year old Grandson and has quickly become his favorite of our dogs to play with because he is interested and participates in whatever the little boy is doing but in a gentle quiet way.

I take him for a long walk through the woods off leash at the end of every training session. He is very different from a spaniel in that he has little to no instinct to go out and seek game. He basically just walks beside me or 5-10 yards away looking back to me hoping I will make something happen, like throw a dummy. I assume/hope this will change as he learns there is stuff out there he can make fly. However, as his primary role will be a waterfowl retriever I am willing to take our time around this.

Physically he is at (what I hope) is an awkward juvenile stage, he seems to be all legs, ears and tail with little substance between. A few weeks ago he seemed to be always stumbling over his own long legs when he ran but is growing into them now. He has a great coat, thick wavy and glossy brown. His eye colour has changed to the typical CBR spooky yellow.

All in all I really like him and think the possibility of disaster is getting increasingly unlikely. Of course there is a long road, with many twists and turns ahead of us. He will no doubt have me pulling my hair out at some point but so far my flowing locks are all intact. :-D

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trekmoor
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Posts: 15181
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:38 am
Dogs: Too many and not enough !
Location: Central Scotland

Re: A new Adventure Begins

Post by trekmoor » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:15 pm

Thanks for the update. Chessies have interested me for many years but the few I have seen in this country just did not work although they looked pretty good. I would guess there are probably about 500 labs in Britain for every one Chessie so our choice of working materiels is not large !

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
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Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
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CockerCanuck
Member
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:56 pm
Dogs: Ruadh, Fergal, Hamish
Location: SW Ontario, Canada

Re: A new Adventure Begins

Post by CockerCanuck » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:54 pm

You are probably right Wullie. I looked at breed statistics and see that the Labrador is the #1 breed in USA, Canada and the UK. In the USA there are about 125,000 Labrador puppies registered each year vs. only about 2000 CBR's. I suspect the UK would be a much lower ratio than that. In Canada it may be slightly higher because of their reputation in cold water.

I don't think this should be a surprise. A Lab is probably a better choice for 90% of people looking for a dog. Labs have proven themselves to be very adaptable and trainable to do almost everything from Trials, Obedience work, guide dogs for blind, search and rescue etc, etc. A Lab pup is like a blank slate and ready to learn almost anything. A CBR is pretty well hard wired for one role; cold weather waterfowl retriever. I doubt there has ever been a CBR seeing eye dog.

However, what I was looking for was a cold weather waterfowl retriever so he seems just fine to me.

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