March 31, 2009
Chad Love: Shepherd Show Me
By Chad Love
The genius of late, great Field & Stream gundog editor Bill Tarrant wasn't that he understood gun dogs, it was that he understood dogs, all kinds of dogs. Tarrant never limited his writing to the sporting breeds. In many of his old F&S gun dog columns there's nary a pointer or retriever to be found anywhere.
Why? Well, watch this amazingly cool video and then you'll understand.
This is hilariously creative, but pay particular attention to the dog work. Simply incredible. Tarrant recognized that gun dog owners could learn a thing or two from the working dog world and some of his best columns explored the interaction between shepherds and their herding dogs. I could do with a few tips from these guys, couldn't you?
On the other hand it's also pretty depressing knowing there are people out there who can teach dogs to create art while I consider it a personal triumph when one of my dogs takes a simple cast without heading for the next county.
If you want to see human/dog interaction at the highest level, go watch a herding competition, an AKC field trial or tag along some time with a falconer who uses dogs. You will be amazed. Blog reader Mark-1 said it best a while back on the blog about AKC registration. "You get out of a dog exactly what you put into one." And as the video vividly shows, put enough time, training and love into a dog and that dog will give you the Mona Lisa. Let's see you try that with a cat...