Tom Keer is an award-winning writer and regular contributor to over a dozen magazines and blogs. His favorite time of year is in October and November where you can find him in woodcock and grouse coverts or quail fields with his wife, two kids, and three English setters. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.
Page one of the online shotgun listing service had some of the sweetest Parkers that I couldn’t afford. It was more of the same on pages two and beyond, but it was on the middle of page 15 where I saw that little bit of magic. If you’ve waded through those listing pages before then you know that anything past page 5 might be called the Bargain Basement. Sometimes that’s just the place to give your spirit a shine.
You trained all spring and summer. Your dog performed perfectly during the early season. But then a cold front moved in and the duck and goose migration kicked into high gear.
It won’t be long before field training, conditioning and obedience work give way to the true satisfaction of being back in the woods and fields enjoying the hunt with our canine companions. Here are a few final steps that some Eukanuba™ pro trainers take to get their dogs ready for the season opener.
Preseason training is a process, and we’re getting close to Opening Day. Here are some tips from Eukanuba™ Pro Trainers to get your dogs prepped for kickoff. It won’t be long before we’re all back in the woods and on the water where we belong.
Opening Day is coming in low and hot, and so is the autumn trial season. Pro trainers “plan their work and then work their plan.” Here’s what some Eukanuba™ Pro Trainers focus on to get their strings ready for go time.
Preseason training often requires upland and waterfowl hunters to work dogs when it’s really hot and humid. Fortunately, there are several workarounds to help safeguard hunting dogs during summer sessions.
Everyone loves puppies. Sure they’re cute, but for hunters and field trialers puppies from good breeding represent hope and the possibility of a great career. Experienced pros focus their attention on the puppy’s first 12 months because they know how hard it is to teach an old dog new tricks. Puppy training should be a lot of fun, so here’s some savvy advice from industry pros on how to best conduct business during that first year.
Hard charging sporting dogs—like English pointers and setters, Labrador and Golden retrievers, English field cockers and Boykins, the dozens of versatile breeds among others — are wired to work. Their work requires fuel appropriate to their exercise level. Some dogs need fuel for quick, intense bursts of activity while others need endurance to help them along their half or full day’s work.
Spring weather makes every dog trainer and handler smile. Low temperatures, occasional rain, and breezy winds bring dogs alive. Conditioning is regular, scenting conditions are good, and it’s a time when regular progress is made. If only we could roll right into hunting season…
But summer is in between, and the hot, dry temperatures and bright, cloudless skies threaten to undo all of our hard work. Keeping your pup safe in the heat is the first order of the day, and continuing to build on their foundation is the key to a successful fall. Here’s how some pros handle the heat.
The West Highland White Terrier cast back and forth around the broomstraw and Johnson grass. It caught a whiff of scent and moved rapidly in a manner customary with all short-legged dogs. That Westie smelled a covey of quail as I do a morning plate of biscuits and gravy and he was looking for a way in. A gust of wind must have pushed the scent around for suddenly the pup found the entrance to a maize. In an instant it zig zagged to the covey and the birds busted every which way into the air. His owner, the noted sporting artist Gordon Allen, took a crosser. The Westie is now immortalized in a line drawing and might reappear in an oil painting or in an etching.