Case in point, yesterday (Saturday).
I headed down to Gobbler's Knob Hunting Reserve between Canton and Banner, with 3 purposes. Number 1: Clean the clubhouse for next weekend's test. Number 2: Help anybody that showed up in their preparations for the test. Number 3: Put out some birds to work Omar on and see if I could get him to connect all the elements, point, bird flushes, shot, and retrieve.
2 chapter members showed up to prepare for their text nest week. Both are running Natural Ability, both dogs are Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, both dogs are from the same litter, but the owners did not know each other until last month at another training day.
Primarily, both of those owners wanted to work on the track portion. So they got a couple of pheasants and one of the more experienced members of the chapter and I set the birds out. One dog did a really great job, the other didn't do terrible, but it fell short of good. All in all, I think they will do alright. The only thing that matters is that the owner is happy with the performance and uses the test as an opportunity to evaluate where they need to focus training.
The other person there had his German Shorthaired Pointer which he is trying to get to become more steady. The dog points very nicely, but as soon as you make a step, she wants to break in on the bird. He worked the dog on three or four birds.
Finally, I wanted to get birds in front of Omar and get him ready for hunting season. He has a good strong point, and does a nice job of retrieving when we train at home, but at the last training day, we would point but I couldn't get him to follow up with a retrieve to hand. He just didn't seem interested then.
The great thing about this is the way Omar reacts. If you notice in the pictures after I move in and the bird has been flushed, Omar is still standing in the same location. When the bird is shot, he STILL didn't move. Finally, just as the bird hit the ground, Omar broke from his point and moved in on the dead bird, which he retrieved to hand.
Man, that was FUN!
So do you think he is going to be a decent bird dog?