New Year's Resolutions

Well 2009 has just about been written completely into the history books, and I for one am glad to see it go. It's been a year of turmoil and change in my life and as I look forward to 2010 there are a lot of more changes and challenges to face. I'm not a big one for New Year's resolutions; mostly because I believe you either do what needs to be done or you don't.

However, I am resolving to get out and not only train more this year, but also to hunt the dog more. It seems I make this resolution every year, but somehow professional and family obligations seem to creep in and reduce the training and hunting time more than I would like (and much more than the dog deserves) in larger increments every year.

My question to you: What are your resolutions for hunting, fishing or dog training this year? If you need some help, here are a few ideas:

There are any number of resolutions you could make, and many which are attainable in short order. Let's hear some of your planned accomplishments for 2010 Gun Doggers. Some ideas might include:

*Title a dog: This could be a Junior title or attaining a Master or Grand pass. It's a great feeling when your pup completes a hunting test!

*Train more: This is always one of mine. Nothing relaxes me more than getting out in the woods or yard and connecting with the dog during training.

*Hunt more: Can you really do too much?

*Get a pup: I'm not in position to get one in 2010, but I'll need to add one in the next couple of years. I'm split, however, between a pointing breed or another Lab. I love Labs, but recently I've been contemplating a Brittany spaniel for the next pooch.

*Join a training group: I always try to find a local training club wherever I move. It's a great way to learn about dogs, people and find hunting spots. You might not always agree with how another person trains, but you can always learn something (even it's how not to do something). Check out the AKC and UKC for training groups related to your discipline.

*Buy training equipment: If you're a retriever owner and don't have a training partner or group, working on marking concepts can be difficult. Remote training equipment like Bumper Boys and wingers can help the single trainer out greatly. They're expensive, but worth it. Maybe this is the year to get serious and buy one?

*Take a trip: Yeah, we're in a recession and things are tight for most folks, but it's also a great time to find deals on "once-in-a-lifetime" trips. If you're a dog man, that might include hitting the Dakotas for pheasants or the Arkansas for a flooded-timber duck hunt.

Let's hear a few other resolutions and have a Happy New Year Gun Doggers!