Having to retire my faithful bird finding and retrieving machine last year this year I'm in the process of training a replacement dog. Cassie is another yellow female lab that is 6 1/2 months old and after getting her stitches out from the spay operation late last week today was the next step in her training.
While really too young for serious hunting I took her out for a short hunt mid-morning to continue my plan of exposing her to a variety of hunting situations and keeping her under control while letting her have a good time. TJ has Bailey the "Bad Dog" and I have Cassie the "Crazy Blonde" which has her own set of training challenges. Anyway as luck would have it inspite of the late start a flock of birds present a nice opportunity and I drop a bird dead on the first shot (always a nice surprise). Rather than create more than needed confusion I passed on the potential double and when to work on Cassie's first "real" retrieve.
She had not marked the bird (no surprise there - that will come) and the bird landed in some tall grass where she could not see it. While Cassie sensed my excitment she was not sure how to proceed. Took her down wind about 30 yeads for the bird and allowed her to work her back towards it. As she got with 10 or so yards she smelled it and made a bee line to the bird. After a false start or two she figured out how to get hold of the snow goose and brought it striaght to me and dropped it on demand. After praising the hell out of her I picked up the bird and notcied its leg has some jewelery!!
Both the puppy and her owner were very pleased with the day's events and maybe all the training will pay off in the years to come.
The bird was banded 8/07/2010 on Wrangel Island, Russia. Surely a bird to remember