Sure the Washington pheasant opener is tomorrow morning and the place I wanna go is dictating a very early wake up. But it's been too long! We've made a few tweaks here and there, and over the coming weeks new imagery will begin to populate throughout. Our super cool coffee mugs are finally on the merch page after spending almost two years in seclusion and being coveted gifts to friends... Also, via a Facebook contact I managed to get a t-shirt source that is affordable in super small batches. You know it, an order is in the works! Until next time, keep it rubber-side down and take care of yourself and yours as best you can.
Go there, do that: HERE. If you have questions or interest, don't delay reaching out.
Earlier this year it was looking like father time had finally caught up with the Old Man. He was taken to a vet, one that gave us a terrible prognosis. Yet, he soldiered on. With moves, house shopping, a looming retirement, and a whole lot of life going on...sadly it took longer than desired or expected to get him to my vet. Urine & blood were run, and all the "shot from the hip" diagnoses he had been given were quickly dashed away. We did learn he had a raging UTI (urinary tract infection) and most likely he has arthritis in his lower back. So with some basic antibiotics, and a minimal dosage of carprofen it is as if Paxson has been bathed in the fountain of youth. Thanks Dr. Nick!
The breeding plans/litter announcement are now posted on the DPCNA main web page HERE. This is a very exciting combination and sure to produce some amazing Drents true in type, health and temperament. Mating is expected to occur in the spring of 2019 and pups, if everything goes well, should be ready to go home in late July/early August. If you have interest, please do not hesitate to reach out!
After years of searching he has been found, Joeri Jarno van Parkendijk. He has an impressive hunting games resume, a great temperament, and of course passes all DPCNA health markers with flying colors. The CoI for the paring sits right at 13.5% which is excellent. Not only is he gorgeous, he is a very nice build match for Powder. We expect pups to be intelligent, biddable, athletic, and just as good in the field as they will be in your home. We are now actively taking applications for this mating planned for early 2019.
We are actively planning a spring/summer 2019 litter. Breeding plans will be released soon, the potential list or studs has been narrowed down to two. One being a beautiful and highly decorated Dutch hunter.
Please feel free contact us with any questions you may have. To be considered for our direct mailing/waiting list, please complete and submit our application. Otherwise regular updates will be available here on the Dutch Dog blog.
If you managed to evade the survey pop up on my landing page, it is here for you to take at your leisure. Thank you in advance for your feedback!
Two Gun has been on the move with a myriad of comings and goings these past several months. It seems some things are beginning to settle and things are getting to their new normal. First we have relocated, still in Spokane, and still on the esteemed South Hill, we are near Hamblen Park in a tastefully restored 1950's rancher with a larger yard. Paxson just celebrated his twelfth birthday yesterday. He continues to soldier on despite what father time has had to say. Also yesterday, we took Fowler and Powder to participate in Spokane Bird Dog Association's annual Chukar Challenge where 28 dogs ran in braces and had a maximum of 15 minutes to find and retrieve 2 birds. The 8 fastest times from Round 1 moved onto Round 2 where the final dogs battled it out for bragging rights and a big jar of pickles. Fowler qualified in 3rd and Powder qualified 6th, he finished 2nd and she ended up 5th in the final round! He won a jar of pickles and both won a small Buck Knife. We had a great time despite the terrible conditions and we couldn't be more proud of them both!
If it isn’t you… you have seen plenty of people out “dog skiing”, being pulled down the sidewalk by their amazing canine companion… or tangled around sign posts, tripping over irregularities in the pavement, or heaven forbid there be another dog walking towards you on the other side of the road! If you are like me, with a with a bad back, putting up with this is not acceptable. Tolerating this behavior will become a matter of riding the sofa for weeks and choking down pain meds, so it’s a full stop, “no go”. So how do you prevent it? And how do you become that guy (or gal) in your neighborhood who is secretly the envy of all other dog walkers with your dog neatly at heel?
Showing off is one thing, but safety and security is another thing altogether and is a legitimate goal to pursue. I often walk all of my Drents together at once, so having their cooperation is quite important, as I could easily be carried away.
Safety and security, sounds pretty serious, but the health and welfare of you and your Drent are something of importance! Maybe you are accustomed to being dragged along by your dog and don’t realize the implications, and that there may be a better way. A leash-puller can run the risk of breaking away from your control, which can be a danger to your dog. Things such as continuing to run into traffic, towards some unfriendly animal, and of course the danger to yourself as I’ve already eluded to. Furthermore, proper leash manners minimize the risk of you injuring your dog in a moment of overzealous leash yanking and will make the time spent walking your dog more about walking and less about tug-of-war, or skiing, with the typical accompaniment of cussing and fussing.
“From a relationship perspective,” explains Sarah Fraser, a certified professional dog trainer and co-founder of Instinct Behavior & Training in New York City, “if your dog is walking nicely on a leash, it likely means that your dog is paying more attention to you, making it easier for you to provide direction and guidance as needed along your walk.” I find this quote to be very accurate and important to take note of. Fraser goes on to say, “Teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash allows you to take her more places and for longer walks, because it’s more comfortable and enjoyable for the both of you.” Few truer words have been spoken I feel.
Tips for Better Walking Behavior
Adjust your attitude.
First, ask yourself: “What would I like my dog to do instead?” Instead of teaching a dog to stop pulling, think of teaching your dog to heel as teaching your dog how to walk nicely beside you.
Remember it’s all about the rewards - sorta.
Since a Drent is nearly always hungry you can use this to your advantage! One of the easiest and most effective ways to start teaching a dog to walk properly on a leash is to reward the dog for paying attention to you and for being in the desired position (next to you or close to you) when out for a walk.
“As the dog learns that walking next to you is a pleasant, rewarding experience, she’ll spend less time pulling and more time walking nicely beside you,” says Fraser. “Try using very special treats in the beginning, like small pieces of boiled chicken or roast beef, to really get your dog’s attention,” Fraser advises. I’m a huge fan of raw hotdogs cut to pencil eraser sized pieces. Just have your dog sit near you, say its name, and give half once he/she looks you directly in the eyes. The better your dog gets at this, treat him less and less consistently. Sessions should only last a few minutes at most a couple of times a week. If your dog “loses the bubble” with his consistent and prompt response just go back to being more consistent with treating. Keep in mind reinforcement behaviors on your part, positive or negative, need to be within 1/3 of a second.
Play the “follow me” game.
This is an extension on the game from above and how I prefer to teach a recall: ‘come’ or ‘here’. Doing this with a partner is ideal. Each person should have a store of high-value treats at the ready, and the pup with collar and line (you can use a 6’ lead, but a longer cord can be helpful). You both are within an arm’s reach of one another. Person one (P1) has pup nearby, and Person two (P2) says the pups name in an upbeat and higher pitched tone, once pup looks them in the eyes, they take a step back and say ‘here’ (or command of choice). While P1 allows the line slack, P2 holds the treat out to help entice pup in and allows pup to have the treat once he is in close. Tell him ‘good boy’ and be enthusiastic but not overwhelming. Wash, rinse, repeat. As pup becomes more and more responsive, add distance slowly. Keep sessions short, and use the line as needed to ensure pup doesn’t stray in the event he gets excited and decides to run if the game becomes too fun.
Once pup is pretty good at this, try this without an assistant. Hold on to your leash and take several backward steps away from your dog. The backward movement is inviting, so your dog is likely to turn and follow you. You don’t need to use your recall command, but it can be helpful if Sparky doesn’t find your step back inviting…also, he is accustomed to this from the earlier exercise. Say “yes!” as your dog approaches you, then immediately reward him or her with a treat.
“The game helps your dog focus and move with you,” says Fraser. Then back away several steps in another direction. Once again, say “yes!” as your dog approaches and reward him or her with a treat. Repeat this sequence a few times, until your dog is actively pursuing you when you move away. Remember to stay upbeat, and be sure to remain attuned to your dog’s interest in the game – better to go short than long. A few really good ones are significantly better than a bunch of so-so ones or worse yet ad handful of bad ones. This lure and reward technique is very low pressure, and you can become more and more selective as to what earns a treat as pups’ performance improves e.g. getting him to sit beside you versus in front.
Practice on your regular walks.
Once you’ve started your stride, each time your dog looks up at you or walks next to you, says “yes!” and immediately reward him or her with a treat. For those of you who like clickers, pop your clicker in leu of saying ‘yes’.
"Frequent rewards will help your dog figure out more quickly what behavior you’re looking for and make the learning process easier for her,” Fraser goes on to explain, “The trick to making this work is using very special treats at first, and keeping your rate of reinforcement high, which just means that you are marking and rewarding often — maybe every 4-5 steps at first — for any and all ‘good’ leash behavior.”
“Over time, you can thin out your rate of reinforcement, rewarding your dog less frequently throughout the course of the walk,” Fraser adds.
Consider additional assistance.
If your dog is already a practiced puller, there is still hope. Like nearly all training issues with dogs, going back to the beginning and using lots of treats can many times work small miracles. Sometimes you may need to consider employing more serious training aids for the job at hand. For these you may want to visit with an experienced trainer to learn how to correctly use these aids, but a properly fitted prong or JASA collar, while looking pretty rough, are generally much subtler in their employment than a traditional training (choker collar). I am not a fan of the various body-clip or head-muzzle harnesses, as most tend to give the dog leverage, or can be very dangerous to the dog. However, if your dog already pulls hard, consider working with a certified, science-based positive-reinforcement type trainer.
Finally, remember that walking on a leash is a skill that takes time and practice for everyone involved, so be sure to celebrate your incremental improvements.
I am very happy to announce that Duck Creek's ALASKA litter, aka the "Paxbers", arrived safely this past week. Momma Ember has 5 boys and 1 girl. All are healthy and growing like weeds! All puppies are spoken for and they are gorgeous!!
Happy New Year to all! Best wishes to you and yours for this coming year: to your success, good health and happiness. Normally I would be starting my hunting trip in Patagonia, but as luck would have it, with a heavy Air Force influence, I have recently returned! Your hunting report: it was hard this year. Over 90 days without rain in the region, so to say it was dry would be an understatement, and it was unseasonably warm. I had 80+ degrees on my thermometer regularly.
The monsoon rains weren't in the right places, but came at the right time, so none of the quail populations benefited... in fact they were all given the short end of the stick. Meaning numbers of all species really weren't much to speak of. Still, no one is feeding their families on desert quail. You go for the dogs, some camaraderie with friends, the country and it's amazing vistas and maybe some of the wines of the region. A special shout out goes to Scott Conley for making the trip south to meet with me, he's tried for years now, but it seems there is always something that comes up. This past trip was no different, sicker than a dog he managed one hot day afield over Booker, we got into one covey and the shooting was terrible. Such is the game. None the less Scott is an amazing gentleman and it was a true pleasure to finally meet him in person after all these years!
Due sometime around the 5th of January. With a little help from science, Paxson sires litter at 11.5 years of age. The Old Man had the strength, and the potency, but lacked some critical flexibility in the lumbar region. Which required a side-by-side Artificial Insemination technique to be used, making this the first successful AI take in North America. So it can be done! We were fortunate to have had a skilled veterinarian, Dr. Roberts, at Fairwood Animal hospital who made it all look easy. I'm not having Paxson collected and preserved, so this will be his last direct offspring. This pairing has been in the works for such a long time now, and the two have great Drent temperaments, personalities, and looks. We are really looking forward to seeing these pups, much thought & energy went into making this pairing happen.
Explored a new area this morning, came up empty handed, and somehow lost my tethered "Gunfighter" Nalgene bottle in a horrible bramble. On the upside I was rewarded with vistas like these.
Short and sweet, hunting has been slow this year. Normally I would have already been over to Montana to visit my "older brother" and good friend Dave, but the lingering affects of my concussion have had me rolling slow since mid-August. Took Booker and Paxson out yesterday and managed a hard won rooster out of one of my favorite PITA to hunt honey holes. Always birds there, but having expectations on pulling one out is a whole other story. Enjoy.
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some odd years later this is what you get.