No matter how successful of a hunt you have, it's really all about the bird dogs. Watching them work on a crisp, cool, winter morning. They run ahead of you, zig zagging, and suddenly lock "on point". It's amazing to you even though you've seen it a thousand times. Your companion, your working dog, your pointing/retrieving combo really makes the day.
UNT-Quail realizes that bird dogs make most quail hunters tick. It's the passion that drives the sport. Check back with this site often as updates are made regading field trials, competitions, photos and hunting.
Training a 4-month old Bird Dog (Whoa Lady Bird!)
It seems like I'm constantly yelling, "Whoa Lady Bird!", as these young german shorthairs have selective listening and high energy. The good thing is Lady Bird is also very smart and cute.
Whoa: At 4-months old she is doing great with the "whoa" command. She'll keep position and direction with and without a food reward. She has a few moments where she will simply not listen to the command in times of high energy, such as seeing a new visitor to our house, but as a 4-month old, she's doing great. In these moments, I'll simply get her attention and put her back in postion while saying "whoa". She enjoys doing the right thing and is starting to listen more each day. I think it important for her to keep her high-energy personality so training is always positive and is generally a pretty short session.
Socialization: I've been told that socialization is the most important factor when training a new bird dog. As a professor, I give Lady Bird an "A-" for this task. She is developing a strong bond with me and my two kids and her "love-hate" relationship with my wife is improving. She really get along well with other dogs and quickly shows them how fast she can run...like a cheatah. The "minus" part of the grade is really my fault. She often desires to socialize more than we intends, as a result, she'll escape our lawn through holes in our fence to meet other neighbors and canines. I'm working to remedy that issue, but the upside is that we've met other neighbors we otherwise might not have.
As I travel around the state and meet other quail hunters with bird dogs, they generally give me the same training tip, " Don't sweat the small stuff and to enjoy each day afield with your dog". I agree. I've enjoyed the training sessions with Lady Bird and look forward to days afield with many points and covey rises.
Lady Bird makes her appearance in North Texas as UNT-Quail's canine scientist.
She's 8-weeks old, has the energy of an Airborne Ranger, and runs like Carl Lewis. She has crate trained herself and is loved by more kids than candy. She is the most interesting dog in the world.
UNT-Quail has found a puppy to be the mascot and chief covey flusher for population studies in the field. The puppy is a German Shorthaired Pointer out of HK Kennels. Visit their website at www.hkkennels.com to find your next championship quality bird dog. The newest member of UNT-Quail should be arriving in late December. We'll keep you posted on the puppy's progress in training.
Do you have a picture of your bird dog, or favorite bird dog story that you want posted? Send it to Dr. Kelly Reyna and it will be posted in short time.
Thank you for visiting UNT-Quail. We are here to make Texas a better place for all...including our favorite bird dogs.