My Air Force career kept me from doing many of the things I wanted to do with my dogs. Long hours, working on my days off, deployments, travel, etc. A real sob story. So being able to do the "field work" I wanted to do with them was a far-off dream. These days, as long as things are working halfway decently, "playing with my dogs" is what I do.
Powder was initially trained by Dan Hoke of Dunfur kennels just outside of town. Dan is a GSP guy and has a field trail resume few can equal. Moreover, when Dan was a young fellow, he was an apprentice to Sigbot "Bodo" Winterhelt - The Bodo Winterhelt! Dan is a gifted dog handler for sure, and I will forever love watching him handle a dog I believe. He has a gift that is just magical! Still, he wasn't able to steady Powder up for whatever reason.
Powder has been a great companion to me. She is MY dog without question, and well in tune with me as one would hope (expect) from a Medical Alert Service Dog. In the field she has been a consistent producer, best yet she has become more proficient with each passing year. I have always wanted to do more with her steadiness for a long time now and this summer finally presented the opportunity I have been looking for!
This little video is kind of a big deal since Powder has spent most of her life treating gunfire in the field the same way Usain Bolt treated a starter's pistol sounding off! I had hoped to work on this last season, but she was injured, then pregnant, and went straight into hunting season just after the pup left. At 8 years of age, and only 4 dedicated training sessions for her this training season she now understands being steady to wing, shot, and release. So here we are, Team Hunting with Tule and Powder. This is their first co-session together. Tule did a great job of supporting Powder's initial point, so I gave her permission to come up and establish her own point, which she took advantage of. They worked well (even though Powder was a bit slippery as I walked in) and were nice and steady, overall, I'm really happy with them both. We use structure over force and high pressure. For her to demonstrate this level of steadiness with another dog in the mix is pretty awesome.
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I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some years later this is what you get.