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    1. #1
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      JH Legs 2 and 3 are in the books

      Brooks and I took another trip to Connecticut last Thursday, again hosted by IRISHWHISTLER, for 2 days of field training and Hunt Tests on Saturday and Sunday.

      Saturday's event was held by the Colonial Retriever Field Trial Club at the West Thompson Dam recreation area. Brooks did a good job both on land and water, pretty much pinning all his marks. We were pretty lucky, as there was very heavy rain and a tornado warning (one actually touched down several miles from our venue) that caused the test to be suspended for almost 2 hours.

      Sunday's event was held by the Labrador Retriever Cub of Greater Boston at the same venue. Brooks did a great job on his land marks, both judges complimented him on his marking ability. Of course this would come back to haunt us. The first water mark was a dead bird off a winger thrown over thick cover into lily pads along the bank which ran at a 90 degree angle from the line. I send Brooks and he swims along the edge of the lily pads right past the fall. He continues following the bank around a corner to the left and goes out of sight. My heart sank. I could hear him swimming around, for what seemed like an eternity, when I heard someone at the gun station say he was on his way back. He came back in to view and was heading from left to right, away from the area of fall. Of course he finds a good size stick floating, and grabs it and starts heading back in. I'm laughing, and I can hear the judges laughing. As he's on his way back and getting closer to the area of fall, he drops the stick and seems like he's winded the bird. He has been doing land blinds for a while, and he's pretty good with a sit whistle and casting, but we've not done swim by's yet, and I've never tried to handle him in the water, but I figure what do I have to loose at this point. I blow a sit whistle, and he slows, so I cast him over to the left. He didn't respond, so I did it again, and he turned towards the bird, but was slightly off line, so I did it once more, and he turned on line to the bird and it was clear he had indeed winded it at this point. One of the judges tells me I need to handle him all the way to the bird, and to give him another "over" command, which I did. He was into the lily pads, got the bird and came back. We then lined up for the live flyer, which of course he pinned.

      As we were going off the line I thanked the judges and asked if we had passed. The judge smiled and said they'd have to talk about it, but since all of his other mark were excellent, we should be ok.

      I ended up leaving for home before the announced the qualifiers. We had been waiting almost 1 1/2 hours after the last dog finished, and were still waiting on the trial secretary to come over from the Master venue. IRISHWHISTLER said he would wait and call me with the results. I was over an hour down the road when he called to tell me we had qualified.

      I was pretty happy with Brooks performance, but actually trialing does seems to show you where there are gaps in your training program. Things that aren't a problem, or are just minor issue can become real issues under the excitement and stress of an actual trial. I've made my notes and have my plan for going forward.

      Once again I must thank IRISHWHISTLER for all the help, encouragement, and most of all his brutally honest constructive criticism, which has been instrumental in our success to this point, and no doubt going forward.

      Oh, and the highlight of this weekend tests...….. This lady who ran her two miniature poodles both days, she failed to qualify with her female, but took home TWO orange ribbons with her male! You could not help but smile watching these dogs, and you could clearly see how much they loved their work!!!

      Last edited by barry581; 08-06-2018 at 08:17 PM.

    2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to barry581 For This Useful Post:

      Blackboy98 (08-08-2018), Coalman (08-09-2018), Labradorks (08-08-2018), POPTOP (08-06-2018)

    3. #2
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      Excellent work. I gotta say the judging in your part of the world seems tougher than ours... at least at the Junior level. Here it's almost like, if you get a hand delivery... you qualify. Doesn't matter how ugly the work is.

      I think by their very nature, lily pads increase the difficulty of a mark exponentially. The minute the dog is swimming, all they'll see is lilies.

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      barry581 (08-06-2018)

    5. #3
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      Congratulations on your passes. It sounds like Brook is doing really well. my weekend was not so successful. I had entered Elle in junior (derby) knowing that she wasn't quite ready so the results were what I had expected. She missed her first double so the judges let her be test dog for the rest of the day. She did the land work with no problem. However, they had to use the water that is like a serpentine creek, as the open was on the big water. The first test was a channel mark and a mark across the channel and then about 250 yards on land. She got right in the channel and swam passed the bird. Like Brook' s test it was in heavy lily pads and she just missed it, so had a bit of a hunt but found it. The long one she took a banana line but got out to the gunner and had no problem finding the bird. When I saw the second water test I decide that I would not run her but they wanted her to try the shorter mark as they thought they would have to adjust it. For Elle the gunner was on the near side of the creek and it looked like the bird was falling directly behind him, she need help to find the bird in the lily pads so for the rest of the dogs they put the gunner across the creek and this made it a little cleaner test. I wouldn't run the long mark. It was 350 yds long with 3 ins and out. Of the group of dogs running only one actually did the test, coming up on the right side of the gun. I just didn't want to create bad habits of cheating and hooking guns. The good things coming out of this were she was as steady as a rock, by the third test she was picking out both guns as she sat on line and her leg showed no signs of stiffness or soreness. We are going to try another junior (derby) on Aug.26. By then she will have had a lot more experience with double and I will be used to running her. After that it is 3 junior hunt tests, a WC and maybe a started HRC test. August and Sept. are always our busy months.

    6. #4
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      Those are some long a$$ marks!!!!! I think our longest all weekend may have been 50 yards...……..

    7. #5
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      Barry,
      Congratulations to TEAM BROOKS for ye qualifying legs o'er the weekend and ye ongoing diligence in ye approach to training. One more pass for ye Junior Hunter Title and that should be readily completed this summer. I appreciate ye kind words and ye follow through on me suggestions made, all proof that hard work pays dividends. BROOKS will mature more developmentally within the next year. It would be great to get him out on some waterfowl hunts this year if you have that opportunity, nothing like the "real thing" experientially to really watch a retriever apply all o' his or her training. It would also be good to have you come up and get him out on a pheasant hunt or two, again, great practical skills will be developed that cannot be replicated in hunt test scenarios.

      Crack job o'er the weekend by TEAM BROOKS. I'm proud o' ye Lads 👍.

      Faugh A Ballagh,
      THE DOG WHISTLER 🍀🇮🇪🇺🇸
      TEAM TRAD PRO STAFF
      DUBLIN DUCK DYNASTY

      Joanie Madden, Mary Bergin, Adrea Coor, and Nuala Kennedy, each an Irish whistle goddess in her own right.

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      barry581 (08-07-2018)

    9. #6
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      Mike I'd love to come up for a pheasant hunt!!!

    10. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      Mike I'd love to come up for a pheasant hunt!!!
      Then we'll have to make it happen.

      Cheers,
      Mike 🍀🇮🇪🇺🇸

    11. #8
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      Congrats! You're almost there.

    12. #9
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      HURRAY for Team Brooks!!!!!!! Now that will make you smile.
      Hidden Content

      CRACKER-My Heart Dog FOREVER 6/10/2005-7/9/2011

      Mike and Gabe--GOTCHA 7/25/2011

    13. #10
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      You picked the right trainer. Belle knows that!

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      barry581 (08-09-2018), IRISHWISTLER (Yesterday)

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