It was a very slow week for Cooper and I. There were not any fishing trips planned and the corn is being cut for harvest. This makes the Doves sporadic until all the commotion has ceased. Cooper has been training hard for the Fall hunting season and tensions are building. He is ready for the cooler weather and unclasping of the lead. Just a couple more weeks and it will be game time. I am currently working him on his standardized training of retrieving but am now incorporating “backing”. Backing is the technique where a dog not on an immediate point, stops all movement and “respects” the primary dog on point. Granted, Cooper is not a pointing dog but he is picking up the queues well.
Cooper and I have been training with a friend and his Brittany, Keeper. She is a small dog but one hell of a bird dog. Her range is medium to short but works an area better than any I have seen. There is no brush pile or clump left un-nosed. Its always good to train with other dogs and hunters. Often times I find myself running through the motions with Cooper and training can become monotonous. Working in pairs allows the dogs and trainers to learn from each other and assist in more advanced training methods, Working with Mark allows me to have a set of secondary eyes watching Coopers movements and another set of hands to make on the spot corrections. A correction must be made immediately and I refuse to use an e-collar. Very soon, Cooper is on track to becoming a multi-purpose dog. A few more weeks of this training and he will be ready for a trip to Northern Maine.
I was out this morning with Cooper and the first wave hit us….the North Winds. I watched as Coopers nosed turned up. He became excited as the cool wind hit his face. He knows its coming and he will be ready. But, we have to finish off the fishing season before the freeze comes.