I love making Wingshooting USA, and especially the “Buddy & Me” segments where I share some less-common observations and tips you might use to train (and be trained by) your dog. As a former teacher, it’s my chance to help others learn more, and become better dog owners too.
[These segments will air starting in September, and you can find a preview script below for one of them. Watch some previous versions shot last year, here.]
But it’s not as simple as just walking up to the camera and talking. Light’s gotta be right, or we supplement it. “Quiet on the set” is more than a cliché … it’s critical. I’ve got to craft a script, hit my marks and say my lines. And most importantly, the canine talent (Buddy) needs to perform. On cue, and often over and over again as I muff my lines or a plane flies over.
Thanks to camera operator and director Tad Newberry, whose great work you see every week, and for this session, his son Nick for manning the reflector so at least literally, I’m not in the dark on this one.
Thanks to my lovely wife Karen Bandy for taking these shots of today’s shoot, and hey, Buddy? “Good dog!”
Ummmm. Now, where were we?
How DO you get a dog to cock an ear on command?
After a hundred retrieves, the star gets jaded, needs some coaxing.
Nice and shady ... great for dogs, not so great for cameras.
Script: Buddy & Me
Yes, dog training is not play. It is often serious business, especially if you’re a field trialer.
But kiddy toys can help your dog “grow up” when the real thing simply isn’t available.
Teaching steadiness? Birds are best, but when you can’t use pigeons or gamebirds, try this balsa wood airplane. At two bucks apiece, they’re a bargain.
Whether you’re introducing a pup to gunfire, live in suburbia, or simply feel funny pulling out a real gun, draw podner! With this cap pistol.
It’s not as loud, nor as realistic looking as my Fausti shotgun, but it’s better than saying “bang!”
As the old song says, “ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.” But the next time you’re trying to train and you don’t have proper gear, you might look to your kid’s toy box for inspiration.
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