Baseball—the canine version, not the MLB—is the foundation for teaching your dog to handle, or take directional hand signals. The pattern is set up just like a baseball field (hence the name) with a pitcher’s mound and home plate, as well as first, second, and third bases.
Through repetition the dog, which starts by sitting on the pitcher’s mound facing home plate (where you stand) learns to take a directional hand signal to one of the three bases to retrieve a bumper. The act of successfully retrieving an object, combined with lavish verbal and physical praise, is reward for the dog and builds his trust in you that wherever you cast him there will be something to retrieve.
One objective was to bag at least one mature king eider and one mature harlequin while hunting St. Paul Island, Alaska, with Ramsey Russell from getducks.com. I completed those goals, bagging a mature drake of each species, as well as a juvie of each. However, I’m feeling greedy and want more.
It’s mid-August and the heat is on, but in just a few short weeks, two months tops, most of us will be getting ready for some sort of season: grouse, waterfowl, quail, or pheasant. Typically, it’s best to keep your dog in good physical shape year-round, but let’s be honest: you take your dog’s physical fitness about as seriously as you take your own.
If you’re one of those who have slacked on conditioning, now is the time to get to work in earnest. The minimum amount of time it takes a dog to get into good enough physical shape for hunting is 60 to 90 days; and that’s only if you’re dedicated to a near-daily plan.
The AKC’s Canine Health Foundation has created a program – called the Canine Athlete Initiative – aimed at helping sporting dogs live happier, healthier lives. By contributing grants to research dedicated to the study of injuries, preventative measures and nutrition, CHF hopes to help researchers treat, cure, and prevent injuries such as cranial cruciate ligament rupture, shoulder instability, tendon tears, and osteoarthritis.
When two industry-leading companies merge, one of two things happens. One partner in the marriage either destroys the other or they find a way to communicate and share information and ideas.
When Garmin, one of the biggest players in the GPS world, bought Tri-Tronics, arguably the leading e-collar company in the world, many canine aficionados feared the ruin of their favorite e-collar company.
As promised upon the announcement of the union, the two companies have joined forces to create a new product. The first, and most logical, among those is a GPS-tracking, mapping and remote training collar. The new Garmin Alpha 100.
It’s the middle of summer and now is the time to work on fixing those dog-handling problems you experienced last season. Your problems or the dog’s problems; fault usually can usually be found with both to one degree or another.
However, we all usually wait until the last minute to do what should have done been months before. It’s hard to think about freezing temps and the duck blind when it’s hotter than sin and summer vacations with the family take precedence.
But this year I'm trying to look ahead. I’m about to start writing a piece for the November issue of Outdoor Life on some of the most common problems duck hunters experience in the blind when it comes to their dogs. Then I'll explain how to fix them.
From field-found objects like droppings from other animals and critters that have been dead for days or weeks, to household items like garbage (which contains things like cooked bones, human food or products like foil or paper), to travel stress -- many things can cause diarrhea in a dog.
A good treatment if your dog has acute diarrhea for a day or more is to withhold food for 24 hours, give him some loperamide (Immodium) and then feed a small, bland, high-fiber meal of something like rice cooked in chicken broth. I like to continue to give loperamide and slowly decrease the rice while increasing regular feed over a couple of days until their stool firms back up.
Check out this story from Alaska about a woman fending off a small grizzly bear that stalked her party on a hiking trail. Among that party of three was a dog – a husky – that snapped, growled and barked at the bear. While the story says it added to the chaos of the situation, it also probably helped add some teeth to the girl’s side of the fight.
We all like to think that our dog would fight to the death to defend us, but that might or might not be the case. While this husky was baring its teeth, it was also standing behind its owner. The owner might have taken the lead and stepped in front of the animal or it might have naturally gravitated behind her, snapping as the bear came close.
It’s becoming obvious that my bulldog, Hoss, is going to live for awhile longer. While that’s good, it puts me in an awkward spot timing-wise in regards to my next hunting dog. Kona is 8½ years old and probably has one, two max, seasons left in him (maybe squeeze out another year or so in the duck blind, but definitely not uplands).
Considering that timeframe and the relative good health of Hoss, I’ll probably miss a season or two training another Lab from puppyhood. Unless, of course, I go the started-dog route.
California Senate Bill 1221 failed to garner enough support to make it out of the state's Assembly committee on June 26. It's a victory for sportsmen, common sense, and scientific-based management of game animals in the Golden State -- a place where whacked-out politics are the norm and the touchy-feeling, yet unsound, animal-rights public relations machine has set up camp.
The victory is most likely a short-lived reprieve. Like a recurring case of some non-descript STD, the well-funded AR crowd just keeps assaulting the hunting heritage. In fact, the bill could be brought back up for what’s essentially a revote within the week.
Most gun dogs thoroughly enjoy frolicking and lounging in cool water; be that a lake, pond, or a muddy puddle. Young puppies, however, might have some reservations about swimming in the unfathomable depths. That’s perfectly natural. Here are a few tips to help coax your pup into swimming, retrieving and cooling off this summer.