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Discussion Starter #1
Today, after 14 months of delay, Gunnr got to see the whole package.
She had 2 blind points, one accidental flush,and got her first quail shot over her. Oh yeah, and today was her first introduction to the shotgun. No gun shyness at all. :)
She kind of bombed on the retrieve though, which really surprised me. She's been doing great on them in the backyard with dead birds, but today she just kind of wanted to pull at the feathers a bit. It was a lot for her to take in today, so I'll cut her a little slack.

I'm really happy with how far she has come in the last year that I've had her.

Just thought I'd share our day.

P.S.
Tika got out today also for the first time. No productive points, but she got successfully introduced to the shotgun also.
I'll work her first tomorrow and get her into birds so that I can more completely introduce the shotgun.

My two "late starters" are beginning to blossom.
 

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Awesome news Gunnr...congrats to Gunnr and Tika and to their trainer too.
 

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Nice! ;D I have not had Copper shot over yet but looking forward to it. I know he will bring back a live bird because he did it at 4 months (he is 6 now) just not sure if a shot bird will hold his attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks folks. It really means a lot to me.

My "girlz" got a late start in life, through no fault of their own, and getting them to this point has been interesting. I've learned more about the mental side of the dog in the last year than ever before.
Tika should have been in the woods last fall, but work just plain got in the way. Gunnr was nowhere near mentally ready for hunting last fall. Her mind was somewhere on Mars, I think. She was loco. :eek:

It is so much different working with an adult dog from the get go, than a puppy. There are no "time lines", as with puppies.

George "Bird" Evans said in one of his books That "He wanted to have an affinity with his dogs" ( paraphrase). That's what I needed with these two.
 

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ah that sounds great Gunnr, and it must be very rewarding training adult dogs as opposed to puppies, as also very interesting like you say.
 

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Here's hoping that you have a very productive season with both Tika and Gunnr. Your girls are so lucky that they found their way into your hands, many poeple would not have the patience or understanding to be able to turn these girls around. Now they have a change not just to live in a nurturing home, but to thrive and excel in what they were bred to do.

Hunt'em up!!
 

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Gunnr said:
Tika should have been in the woods last fall, but work just plain got in the way.
Why do we also let work get in the way ???

Also, I would love to read about their history. Sounds like you have made a significant commitment to them. :)
 

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Hey Congrats Gunnr!

I have been meaning to tell you, I got a couple of dummies and some pheasant and grouse scent and Darwin is doing a great job. He is now capable of doing a blind retrieve in tall grass without my having to lay down a scent! We are going to take him out this Sunday (so we don't interrupt any real hunting) to a Massachusetts Wildlife Management Area where they stock pheasant three times a week and see how he does! I will let you know how it goes!

On a side note, what do you all think of bringing Darwin to a skeet shooting range to try to get him used to the idea of gun shots? I found a place where we park a ways away so the fire will be soft and then we can walk towards the range and it will get louder. Good idea at 8 months?

Congrats again! I am sure there are many more in store for Tika and Gunnr!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Keneomac said:
On a side note, what do you all think of bringing Darwin to a skeet shooting range to try to get him used to the idea of gun shots? I found a place where we park a ways away so the fire will be soft and then we can walk towards the range and it will get louder. Good idea at 8 months?
It might be better to get him to a comfortable distance and play fetch with him. This way he'll begin to associate the sound of the guns, the fetch, and retrieve in the correct sequence.
Move closer over time.

Linescreamer

I got Tika 18 moths ago at 22 months old. She had been kenneled since being a puppy and had very little training and acclimation to people and dogs.
She has too much white on her, which is probably why she didn't get placed as a puppy. She was a blank slate, and she pulled like a Northern Pacific Diesel.

I got Gunnr 14 months ago at 11 months old. She had been with a trainer for awhile, but she wasn't a good field trials prospect. So I think she just kind of sat in stasis for awhile. She had a few health issues to overcome in the beginning, which were a large part of why she was flat out bonkers. Once the UTI and Giardia were cleared up,and her water consumption returned to normal She started to be in her head enough to do something with.

Unfortunately for both dogs it was just a sad series of events that happened. They are not "rescues". Everyone involved was doing the best they could for the dogs.
Their owner/breeder became ill, was hospitalized, and eventually passed away a year ago last July. She had literally dedicated most of her life to these dogs and produced some of the top Vizlsas in the country for many years.
These are "Upwind" Vizsla's from Lisa Deforrest's Kennel. I have owned 5 Upwind dogs now,and everyone of them has been just a great solid performer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had read that tribute once before, and it is very befitting.
My first Vizlsa, Boone, was out of the first litter sired by Upwind Selkie. He was a machine! If there was ever such a thing as a "push button" dog, it was him.
He was a very serious dog. Hunting was his life, and he knew it. He lived for it. He just didn't make mistakes in the field. It was eerie.
I remember one day while hunting him that I missed a pheasant. He turned, looked at me over his shoulder, gave me the most contemptuous look, and walked away. I'm standing there in the woods literally apologizing to my dog for missing a pheasant.
He was a blessing. He made a rookie, amateur owner/trainer look much better than I'll ever be.

I had both Tika and Gunnr out again today. Probably one day in a row too many. Both of them were flat today.
I'll give them a day or two off and we'll hit it again Saturday.
Thank you for the encouragement.
 

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;D. They can be just unbelievably sharp. I have only 4 months experience with Copper at 6 months old, and he is teaching me stuff all the time. Makes me wounder how they came to be so smart ???
 

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Congrats, and I thought the story of you apologizing to Boone for missing a pheasant was very amusing:) I can just picture that look you got.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
sarahaf said:
Congrats, and I thought the story of you apologizing to Boone for missing a pheasant was very amusing:) I can just picture that look you got.
Yep. Boone was way too serious. He had this "What the heck is wrong with you " look.

Today though. Gunnr put up her first pheasant. I was really proud of her.
She was actually working two birds simultaneously but she didn't know it, or have the experience to figure it out yet.
She led me on quite the chase for a about 15 minutes while she tried to figure out the running bird's scent. Finally we just had to start coming back, and as we got to the point where we left the field, she suddenly dove into a big nasty briar patch next to where I was standing, and out came a pheasant. She didn't see it, so I let it fly off and we worked in again. She was pretty jazzed, by it when she finally got ahold of it.
She's still not retrieving in the field though. She's fine in the backyard, but not in the field. It's weird. ???
 
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