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  • November 30, 2009

    How To Turn Your Pup Into a Boat Dog

    By David DiBenedetto

    When it came to being a boat dog Pritchard had no choice. When she and I are not in the woods, we’re in a boat trying to catch some fish. Since Pritch was a puppy I’ve been taking her with me on almost every outing, and she now has an excellent pair of sea legs. But not every gun dog takes to a boat with ease, especially in the smaller crafts we use to hunt ducks. This is not something you want to discover on opening morning.

  • November 23, 2009

    Video: Faithful Dog Welcomes Home a Soldier

    By David DiBenedetto

    I’m not sure about you, but the best part of my day is coming home to my wonderful wife and my pup. And while Jenny is always happy to see me, it’s Pritch that just goes bonkers—her whole body wagging like a giant tail. You would think I’d been away for a week. If there’s anything better, I haven’t run into it yet.

    So I can only imagine the profound welcome the soldier in the video below felt when his pup greeted him after he returned from Kandahar, Afganastan (September 2005).

  • November 20, 2009

    What Are the Biggest Duck Blind Sins a Gun Dog Can Make?

    By David DiBenedetto

    I’m feverishly preparing for my first duck season with Pritch. (Getting her used to decoys. Practicing pulling her in small boat. Etc.) I’m not expecting miracles, just looking to have fun shooting over my dog.

    But I’m well aware of the problems that an unfinished dog can cause in a duck blind. I can already tell you that as soon as the guns go off or the ducks swoop close, Pritch will be whimpering with excitement. Still, if that’s all I’ve got to contend with then the Good Lord will surely be smiling upon me this season.

  • November 18, 2009

    True Story: Dog Eats Engagement Ring

    By David DiBenedetto

  • November 17, 2009

    How To Teach a Gun Dog the "Here" Command with an E-Collar

    By David DiBenedetto

    Recently, I wrote about buying my first e-collar. Afterward, many readers e-mailed to tell me that they were contemplating a similar purchase but were eager to hear how our first few weeks with the e-collar went. Here’s the report:

  • November 12, 2009

    How Do You Show Pride in Your Gun Dog and Its Breed?

    By David DiBenedetto

    Not too long ago I asked if any of you would immortalize your gun dog in the form of a tattoo. The response was a unanimous…HECK NO! In fact, a few of you wondered if I had been sipping too much of the homemade hooch.

  • November 10, 2009

    Ever Hit the Dog-Training Wall?

    By David DiBenedetto

    I like to think I’m as passionate about dog training as any other DIY guy out there. Heck, my wife thinks I’m half nuts because on most nights I’m up late reading—rather re-reading—gun dog books. And in the morning I’m up at sunrise to go train before work. When I'm asleep I usually have nightmares about Pritch running wild in a dove field or eating our ducks one after the other. But this morning I hit the wall.

  • November 6, 2009

    Does Your Dog Ride in the Front Seat?

    By David DiBenedetto

    My oldest brother got into the field trial game while he was still in college. At the time, he drove an old Buick Skylark sedan my father had graciously passed down to him. On the weekends when I was lucky enough to tag along, I remember waking before sunrise, shoving the crate in the Skylark’s back seat (and wedging a 4x4 underneath it so it sat even), loading the yellow Lab inside, and taking off for the trial. Once there, I didn’t notice ours was the only car in a sea of trucks and trailers—no doubt my brother did.

  • November 4, 2009

    How Far Would You Go To Defend Your Dog?

    By David DiBenedetto

    Recently, the dog folk in the normally quiet town of Charleston, South Carolina have gotten wrapped up in a canine horror story. According to the Post and Courier, these are the details:

    After running over a dog on a rural road in McClellanville on Thursday morning, the driver of a pickup truck tried to "put the dog out of its misery" by whacking the animal with a machete and a hammer, authorities said.

  • November 2, 2009

    Pro Clinic: What to do When Your Dog Will Not Retrieve

    By David DiBenedetto

    Amateur trainers (myself included) often worry most about the holy trinity of gun dog problems—water shyness, gun shyness, and bird shyness. Oodles of manpower have gone into making sure pups never show any of these dirty traits. But often overlooked is a problem that’s more common than all three...a lack of a desire to retrieve. And like most problems encountered in the gun dog game it’s often the result of poor training practices. (For a point of focus we’ll zero in on dogs that are roughly 6 to 8 months.)