Any trainer knows there are a few benchmarks every gun dog must clear on its way to the field. They include swimming, introduction to birds, and a positive association with gun noise. Recently, I’m happy to report, Pritch passed her gun-shy test with flying colors.
As promised, the long awaited results to the dog name contest are in. Your passion and creativity are to be commended. Of the 54 responses, a few common themes seemed to bubble up to the surface. One of those was naming your dog for the headaches he/she might cause in the future. There was Damnit, Bug’s (as in, always bugging me unless she’s hunting), and Pita (for pain-in-the ass).
Pritchard came home just over five months ago and life changed in so many wonderful ways…and in other ways I hardly remembered from my training days many moons ago. Granted, I’m older now but not necessarily wiser, as my pup teaches me something about myself every day. Here’s what I do know.
I have to admit that one of my biggest challenges as an amateur trainer is knowing the proper amount of pressure to apply when it comes to a reprimand. Just this past weekend we were at the beach, where we have an outdoor run behind the house. In most cases, Pritch will go in on a Kennel command. If not, she may mill around as if she hopes I’ll find something else to do and forget that I want her to Kennel. Normally, I’ll simply change the tone of my voice and she’ll follow orders.
Think your dog is good looking? I sure think mine is. Hell, Pritch can’t walk down the street without someone stopping to “oooh” and “aaah” over her. My wife (who is NOT the woman in the photo below) was so overwhelmed by this response on the street that not long ago she entered Pritch in the puppy division of a local dog show. To be honest, we thought Pritch would walk away with an armload of whatever prizes they give pups in small, local dog shows.
Pritch entered the ring with about 30 other dogs. And then another heat of 30 pups followed. There were to be three cuts to narrow the contestants down to a final group from which the winner would be chosen. To our surprise ...