Posts Tagged ‘backing’

“Backing,” honoring, whatever you want to call it, there are at least two types I know of. The one we’re all familiar with,  where one dog points and the other dog slams into a pseudo-point when he sees the first dog. Eventually, Manny and I will get to that.

Beyond the Bumper to birds … with an audience.

I wonder if the other honor that teaches self-discipline, control and maybe even a better retrieve? As you know, we’ve been working on one dog watching, waiting patiently while his bracemate brings back my Real Bird Bumper and other stuff. But lately we’ve been using real birds. And it’s having the desired effect.

Both Buddy and Manny are more energetic on their runout to the bird, lusting for feathered prey. But (luckily) they are each disciplined enough to execute the command, and there is the envy factor: “gee, if I don’t get it, he will.” It’s a test of wills for all three of us.

So far, so good. It’s not in any NAVHDA test until the Invitational, but I’m wondering if the simple act of deferring to another dog (in addition to the human) adds another layer of complexity. And thus, perhaps, challenges their intellect.

While writing this, I realized how lucky I am having a pigeon loft just 34 steps from my dog-training area. As George Hickox so well put it: “No birds, no bird dog.” If you don’t have birds nearby, how do you do it? Where do you find them, what do you pay, how often do you get them?

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