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“R” Litter Five Weeks and Carolinas Field Trial

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For the remainder of the puppy time here, I’m going to shift to a Monday morning posting time. With the puppies needing to be fed and exercised twice a day, it makes for one less thing that I have to try and get done Sunday evening (along with dinner and tutoring the boys).

The girls are growing as they should at five weeks old and love to run and play!

Reba and Rosalind at five weeks old

They love their twice-a-day feedings of puppy kibble!

Reba at the top, Rosalind at the bottom eating food

They are also learning to swat items with their paws and pick things up with their mouths. Their teeth are starting to come in. They have finally mastered a decent run and don’t fall over when they are trying. All of these are normal developmental stages for Griffon puppies of this age. Looking at these photos reminds me that it is time to put their little puppy collars on!

For the next week we focus on eating and running. I have toys for them to pick up and carry around. They have also started to come when called (I don’t call them by their temporary internet names, I just call them “puppies”). I have seen where other breeders have toy gyms set up with PVC pipe where there are toys on a frame that the puppies can tug on. I choose not to do this intentionally because I don’t want them in the habit of tugging. Bird dogs need to pick up items and release them on command. I am concerned that if they get that satisfaction of tugging early on, that it will be harder to train them to release the bird later in life. So I stick with the old-fashioned “pick up your toy and carry it around” fun, which also taps into that retrieving instinct.

Here are some more action photos from the yard yesterday:

Reba on the run
Rosalind on the run
Here they come!
More running practice
Rosalind and Reba in the yard
Having a stare down
On the lookout

Here is their five week old video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5835uE9Mzg&ab_channel=CharityUpchurch

Carolinas Griffon Field Trial

Charles took Obi and Sally to the Carolinas Griffon Field Trial in Benson, North Carolina on Saturday. Thank you to Kelly Hughes for organizing the event! I wish I could have made it, but I was home with puppies and kids. This event was formerly supported by the AWPGA (American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association, the AKC parent club of the breed), but appears to no longer be an official club event, even though it is mostly attended by AWPGA members.

Charles and Bluestem Sally Forth NA II “Sally” at the 2022 AWPGA Carolinas Field Trial

Obi took second place in Advanced Gun Dog. Charles thinks that there were some handler errors that contributed to losing points towards taking first place. He said it was run in a NSTRA format and we’ve never run dogs in that, so it was all new rules. But hey, second place is great!

AWPGA Carolinas Field Trial Second Place Advanced Gun Dog Ribbon 2022
Obi and Charles with the second place advanced gun dog ribbon 2022 AWPGA Carolinas Field Trial

Charles is actually out today with Obi and Sally for the last day of quail season in South Carolina, so I’ll be interested to see if they bring anything home. One can hope! And at least quail country doesn’t have any gators!

It is time for me to go feed and run some puppies, but I’ll be sure to check back in this time next week.

Guiding Hunts at Pheasant Haven

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Bird Total from Day Two of guiding at Pheasant Haven

Charles, Sam and Sue were recruited at the end of November by Scott Bruhn of Pheasant Haven hunting preserve (http://www.pheasanthavenlodge.com/) in Elkhorn, Nebraska as guides.  As the dogs were strictly wild bird hunters prior to this experience, I was a little nervous that they would “trap” the cage-raised birds (this is when the dog catches the bird in its mouth following the point).  For this particular two day outing, chukkars were used.  The birds were of a good quality and  did not allow the dogs to get sloppy.  They also ran across a number of “scratch” (previously released) pheasant which made for some added fun and action.  The dogs are used to locking up on unforgiving wild grouse and pheasant, which made for some stylish points on the slower-moving planted birds.  Sam and Sue were run separately  to give the gunners plenty of time to walk up on the point and prepare for the shot.   This event was a lot of fun for the dogs, as it isn’t everyday where a dog get to point 100+ birds.  They also did a terrific job of retrieving for the two days they were on the job, November 30th and December 1st.  Scott runs a nice operation and is talented at releasing birds in way that simulates wild bird hunts.

There was a second guide on the hunt running a Vizla, who is active in the National Shoot to Retrieve Association (http://www.nstra.org/), which is essentially a competitive field trial organization.  Doing a side-by-side comparison of Sam and the NSTRA Vizla, Charles feels that this may be another dog sport organization that we would like to investigate and potentially participate in.

Charles and the dogs will be back guiding at Pheasant Haven tomorrow, with me joining them as blogger/photographer, so I’m looking forward to getting some good shots and stories to post next week.