Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PeTA Takes Aim At Sarah Palin (Of Course)

I don't agree with her on a lot of things, but I  like Sarah Palin.  I don't know her personally, of course, but from what I see and hear of her, I generally like the woman.

I don't necessarily think she should be president.  I don't think she has the experience or cleverness  it would take, nor do I think she has the leadership ability.  (But then, I don't think either our current president nor the president before him have the cleverness or the leadership ability to be president. )  I did love watching her rally the Republican troops last year to try to get support for presidential candidate John McCain.  It was moving to see a woman with such persuasive abilities.

I love the fact that she champions the outdoors, hunting and shooting.  I hate the fact that she is anti-choice when it comes to allowing women to make their own decisions about private matters.  But my views about hunting and gun ownership juxtaposed to the rights of women not to be forced to become legal equivalents of barn-yard animals owned and controlled by the state just because they become pregnant have always kept me from aligning with either political party.  There have been years where I actually donated both to the NRA and to NARAL.  And the fact that Sarah Palin is willing to set an example for other women who want to follow her philosophy makes me respect her for not being a hypocrite over the matter.

With her high-profile enthusiasm for hunting, of course, it was only a matter of time before PeTA, the notorious animal rights group (which is not really an animal rights group at all) would start making snarky remarks about Sarah Palin. 

Dan Matthews, president of PeTA, recently made this statement regarding the airing of her segment on caribou hunting during her new reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska:

“Sarah seems to think that resorting to violence and blood and guts may lure people into watching her boring show, but the ratings remain as dead as the poor animals she shoots.”

I love the plucky response from Sarah Palin:"Tonight’s hunting episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska ‘controversial’? Really? Unless you’ve never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight’s episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy.”

"Proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy."  That is a great statement. 

My husband is anti-hunting.  Yet he gets cranky if he can't have his steaks, pork chops and bacon.  My dad was anti-gun and anti-hunting but between his double Manhattens, Martinis, drunk driving arrests and accidents he always wanted his ham, steak and chops.

And there are my vegetarian friends who believe they are guiltless since they don't eat meat.  Hmmm.  How many animals are killed to preserve the crops grown for us?  They forget that in order to grow crops, animal habitat has to be destroyed and "pest" animals controlled, ( or exterminated.)

So while I certainly don't agree with all of Sarah Palin's politics, I continue to like and admire her as a person and for sharing some of her hunting adventures with us.  

What If We Had To Catch Every Meal

Like a fox, our domestic dogs have incredible abilities to sense the slightest change in their environments--including infinitesimal changes in the behavior of their "humans."   Our dogs know more about us than we know about ourselves, which is why they can make such great "alert" dogs to let us know when we are going to have a seizure, for instance.

For a great video

For more great footage click here

Friday, December 24, 2010

What Happened Christmas Eve circa 1903

Illustration from St Nicholas Magazine
 A family adopts a Mama cat and her kitten in a story published in the book "The Night Before Christmas And Other Popular Stories For Children."  Released through the Gutenberg Project to public domain.
It was Christmas Eve and the frost fairies were busy getting ready for Christmas Day. First of all they spread the loveliest white snow carpet over the rough, bare ground; then they hung the bushes and trees with icicles that flashed like diamonds in the moonlight. Later on, they planned to draw beautiful frost pictures on the window panes, to surprise the little children in the morning.

The stars shone brightly and the moon sent floods of light in every nook and corner. How could any one think of sleeping when there was such a glory outside!

Jessie and Fred had gone to bed very early so they might be the first to shout "Merry Christmas!" but their eyes would not stay shut.

"Oh dear! it must be 'most morning," said Fred; "let us creep softly down stairs and maybe we'll catch Santa Claus before he rides off."

Hand in hand they tiptoed to the dining-room and peeped out the big window;--surely, surely, that was something climbing up the roof of cousin Nellie's house; it must be old Santa. Fred gave a chuckle of delight; to be sure the reindeer were very queer looking objects, and the sleigh such a funny shape, but the children were satisfied.

The old fir tree, whose high branches almost touched the roof,
knew all about those shadows, but it was so old no one could ever understand a word of the many tales it told.

"There's something scratching on the door," whispered Jessie; but it was only a mouse, who had sniffed the delightful odors of the Christmas goodies and was trying his best to find a way into the
pantry and test them with his sharp teeth.

"Come," said Jessie, "we'll turn to icicles if we stay here much, longer"; so up-stairs they quickly scampered.

Papa had been to town on an errand, so it was quite late when he came home. As he was hunting in his pockets for his key, he heard a pitiful cry, and looking down he saw a big, white cat carrying a tiny kitten in her mouth.

"Poor thing," said papa, "you shall come inside till morning."

Santa Claus had been there with the nicest wagon for Fred and a warm, seal-skin cap that lay right in the middle of it. When papa left the room, puss and her kitty were curled up comfortably on the rug singing their sleepy song.

The sun was shining brightly in the dining-room window when Jessie and Fred made their appearance; then Fred just laughed with delight, for right in the crown of his new cap lay the cutest white kitten, with big, blue eyes and wee pink nose, while standins close by as if to guard her darling from danger, was good old mother puss.

"I never had a live Christmas present before," said Fred, "now I know Santa Claus read the letter I threw up the chimney because I told him to bring me a kitten and here it is."

Papa smiled and looked at Mamma, and then everybody said "Merry
Christmas" at once.


That Christmas Franki Ate The Baby Jesus

Frankie:  Gone but never forgotten!

Fran Seagren posts this Christmas memory about her Brittany Spaniel, Franki
When Jessie, the youngest, was about five or six, she came home from school one year with a brown paper lunch sack.  As she took her coat off she proudly announced she had a surprise for us – something for under our Christmas tree.   As we looked inside the sack, I could see a little nativity scene.  She showed us “the baby Jesus” who had a little red felt cape with a fancy tiny gold ribbon tied around his neck.  She had painted a face on him with a marking pen.  He was lying in a cardboard and toothpick manger.  It was very cute; and we told Jessie how much we liked it.

Jessie had set the sack down as all the kids moved off and we started to fix dinner.  Suddenly, we heard Jessie shriek, “Franki ate the baby Jesus!”  As we rushed back into the living room where Jessie was, we saw Franki, our Brittany, scoot out of the room looking as guilty as she was.  I remembered “the baby Jesus” was actually a peanut.  We should have thought about this earlier – there was absolutely nothing resembling food that Franki wouldn’t eat if given the slightest chance.  The older kids also heard the alarm and when we were all together in the living room with Jessie saying over and over, “Franki ate the baby Jesus”, it suddenly struck us as hilarious  – well, everyone except Jessie.

A couple days later when I was outside cleaning up  dog poop, guess what I found with his red felt cape and fancy gold ribbon?  He was actually in perfect shape – just needed a little bath.  Scott said “no way!”  So, that Christmas we had a nativity scene without the main character.  But, after all these years, I can clearly see that little face with his red cape.   And if any of us that witnessed the crime utter the words, “Franki ate the baby Jesus”, it sends us into peals of laughter.      


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Perfect Christmas Gathering

Thanks to Adam Katz of Dog Problems for this post!

Mentally Retarded Dog Breeders On The Loose--Beware

Posted by our friend Fran Seagren, who writes in an email: "What are people thinking?"  The answer:  Duhhhh!

When at Lowe’s today, we got talking to a guy that worked there about dogs. He told us he had a year old chocolate lab female.  He went on to say he was planning on running in field trials.  And, that he was having a hard time training her.  He said she was “dominant” and he wasn’t sure what to do.  I suggested he get with a trainer – that running in field trials wasn’t something that a person could just learn on their own.  He then told me that he had run in trials some years ago, with English setters.  (Uh), I debated whether I should just say, “Good luck and Merry Christmas” and move on, or let him in on a big secret. – That “Setter” field trials weren’t even remotely similar to “Retriever” trials.     

But, before I could open my big mouth again, he went on to say that because his female was so hard to train, he was going to breed her and keep a male – that he would train and run in field trials.  I just looked at him for a minute, I felt Scott give me a nudge in the ribs - and I heard him sigh.   Scott KNEW at that moment, I wouldn’t let this one go without trying.  

My first question was, “And what about the rest of the litter of pups?”  I’m pretty sure by the look on his face and his hesitation before responding, he hadn’t thought of the other puppies.  He mumbled a couple words that we couldn’t hear and then said something like “good pups are not cheap.”  I’m not sure what he meant by that.   I told him I knew of litters of pups where both parents had hunt test titles and they still weren’t sold when the puppies were getting close to a year.   

Unless he got a title on his female, his chance of finding homes for a litter of labs would be slim.  But, that didn’t stop him.  He responded back with, “Someone will always be willing to pay $20 for a Labrador.”  

 At this point, I’m wondering if he’s even listening to himself!  (He’s got puppy that he admits he can’t train.  He’s told me he has “lots of experience” and doesn’t need a trainer.  Yet, he wants a puppy from this female that in his words is, “dominant.”  He obviously hasn’t given any thought to what he will do with the rest of her litter.)   

I had just one more response.  I said,  “I wonder how people will take care of a puppy that they could only afford to pay $20 for?”  I told him this past month, one of our dogs ate a dead salmon – cost $475.  Two weeks before that our young lab got suddenly sick – emergency vet $250.”  I wished him “the best” and we moved on.   Good grief.

Fran:  If he can't sell the pups for $20.00, he will probably just drop them off at the local shelter.  Wonderful.

Do Dogs Know When They Have Been "Bad"

This is priceless!  This dog is guilty!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice The ReBirth

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. 
Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
-  Andrew Wyeth

One kind word can brighten three winter months-  Japanese Proverb



Homeless Man Trains Dog Cat Rat

Greg Pike, a homeless man, trained a dog, a cat and a rat to perform.  Notice, that he did not dump the animals at a shelter because he was homeless.  In fact, it looks like they are in great health.

Tomorrow I am having lunch with a homeless woman who has had her dog for eight years. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Gift You Might Want To Avoid

This childrens' book can cause dog bites!  Do not encourage children to "smooch pooch."  Following is a press release from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.  Do not let small children get into the face of any dog, no matter how "nice" the dog is.

See also:  Dog Bite Law

And:  Preventing Dog Bites In Children

And:  Plastic Surgery on Children After Dog Bite

Don't think your dog could bite your child?  A THIRD of all dog bites to children are owned by the child's family!


Date: December 14, 2010

Media Contact: Dr. Karen Sueda
Phone: (310) 478-5035
E-mail: karen.sueda@VCAHospitals.com


While kids are frequently seen to have a special bond with pets, children under the age of 10 are among those most commonly bitten by the dogs.


Many factors can contribute to dog bites in children, and one such factor is hugging and kissing by kids.  Consequently, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) strongly advises that parents avoid purchasing the recently released children’s book Smooch Your Pooch for their kids. The book recommends that children “Smooch your pooch to show that you care. Give him a hug anytime, anywhere.” This information can cause children to be bitten.

Says one AVSAB member, Dr. Ilana Reisner, whose area of research is dog bites and children, “Although some dogs are not reactive about being kissed and hugged, these types of interactions are potentially provocative, leading to bites.”

In a study published by Reisner and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, records of bites to 111 children were examined. Says Reisner, “We looked at dogs that had bitten children and found that most children had been bitten by dogs that had no history of biting. Most important here,” says Reisner, “familiar children were bitten most often in the contexts of "nice" interactions—such as kissing and hugging —with their own dogs or dogs that they knew.”

The study also found that in addition to biting when they are hugged, kissed, bent over or sometimes simply petted, dogs are reactive when they are approached/touched while resting, when they have anything they consider "high value" (food, toys, a favorite blanket, or even the parent), and when they are hurt or frightened. These are the types of situations where children who have read Smooch Your Pooch may seek to interact with their dogs.

AVSAB recommends that children play with dogs in a more productive way such as by playing fetch or training tricks. We also recommend children avoid approaching or interacting with dogs who are lying down, resting or sleeping. Children, should instead interact with the dog only when the dog approaches willingly. Families with children are encouraged to train their dogs to come to them to be petted by have treats ready to reward the dog for approaching.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Hunters, Two Dogs, Four Shots, One Rooster.

Frankie And Her Rooster

Posted by Fran Seagren

We were hunting down a draw in eastern Washington – one of our favorite spots.  It was a wide area between two fields.  One field hadn’t been planted and was plowed dirt.  The other field was cut corn. The draw sloped down steeply until it came to a point at the bottom.  The cover in the draw was very thick with grass, thick brush, Russian Olive and willow trees.  Some areas were fairly open, but most of it was the type of cover that late-season pheasants love.  If you don’t have good dogs, it would be almost impossible to hunt.  The pheasants have lots of hiding places and by late season, they are always very wily.  When we’re lucky, we can get a bird or two out of the draw. 

There was a crosswind that afternoon so my lab, Jonz, and I took the upwind side of the cover giving Scott, and his Brittany, Franki, the downwind side.  Jonz is a great pheasant hunter.   It’s his claim to fame.  He will stay in the thick stuff and hunt it hard.  He knows roosters and how tricky they can be.   The “hunting plan” was for us to push any birds that Jonz didn’t flush up on my side over to Scott and Franki.  Or, with us hunting both sides, to squeeze the birds down to the bottom where the draw comes to a point and where the birds would run out of cover.  The cover in the draw is so thick, for most of the hunt, Scott and I don’t see each other until we meet at the bottom. 

Jonz worked the cover as I walked along the edge of the cut corn field.  He popped in and out of the cover on our way down and I could see he was birdy.  As was our practice, Scott and I don’t talk unless absolutely necessary.   This late into the season, the birds are wise to hunters, voices and even whistles.  We use a minimum of whistle commands and try to use hand signals instead of our voices.

As I worked my way down the draw, several times I thought Jonz would push a bird out and my adrenaline level was high.  But we got to the bottom without seeing a single hen, let alone a rooster.  I signaled for Jonz to heel and looked for Scott and Franki.  As I walked around the end of the cover into the plowed dirt field, I saw Scott about one-third of the way up the draw, just standing there with his gun casually over his shoulder.  He was looking my way.   Now, I’m very confused.  I gave him “the universal shrug.”  Meaning, “What ARE you doing?”

He called out in a very loud voice, “Well!  It’s about time you guys showed up!”  I’m stunned.  He’s not only talking, but he’s loud!   I was so surprised; I just stood there looking at him for a second.  He immediately blurts out,  “Franki has been on point in this thick stuff for about 20 minutes.  I can barely see the white end of her butt in there.  She must be eyeball-to-eyeball with a bird because I can’t get her to flush it.  She won’t budge and I can’t get in there.  It’s like a jungle!   Send Jonz up here.  I need a flusher!”  I told Jonz, “Go see Scott!” And off he went leaving dust clouds on his way up the dry field. 

I saw Scott send Jonz into the thicket, and immediately everything exploded!  A very large and noisy rooster came out at head level directly in Scott’s face, with a “flying” black lab at almost the same height right on the bird’s tail.  Franki was also in mid-air right behind Jonz.  Scott ducked the bird and dodged the dogs.   As the rooster barely cleared Scott’s head and took off flying fast, Scott took a shot from a “spinning-around-while-ducking” position.  As Scott is (normally) an excellent shot, I expected the rooster to fall.  It did not.  In an instant, Scott fired his second shot as the rooster gained altitude and curled to the left down the draw toward me.  He misses it, again.  I couldn’t believe it.   And, I’m standing there flat-footed just watching this comical scene. 

Both dogs are in full pursuit as they also know that when Scott shoots, birds fall - usually.  But, not this time.  I, on the other hand, am typically a lousy shot.  As the rooster comes my way, I take a shot.  Of course, I miss.  The rooster is flying high and fast and is now getting out there past me.  After uttering a foul word, I take aim and fire my second shot.  Yes!  There is a Hunting God!  The rooster falls, making a big dusty “poof” as it hits the plowed dirt.  Both dogs are still in hot pursuit.  I don’t trust Jonz to let Franki retrieve the bird if they both get there at the same time.  He thinks all retrieves should be his.  I whistle him to sit as Franki doesn’t slow her pace.  Scott is hooting and hollering.  Jonz doesn’t want to sit, and it takes another two whistles to get him to comply.  Franki closed in on the rooster and as pheasants are known to do – it suddenly came back to life. 

Just as Franki reached it, the rooster jumps up and gets about three feet off the ground.   Franki launched into the air.  Rooster and Brittany come back down in a cloud of dust.  We watch as the rooster jumps up again, and Franki after it.  They started rolling down the slope with the dust so thick I couldn’t see if Franki still had “the dragon” or not.  A few seconds later, out of the dust came a little red and white dog with a big rooster!   Score one for all four of us!

The Fair Sex Becoming Mighty Hunters

The Fair Sex are More and More Becoming Practical Nimrods

In 1909, the hunting apparel of the "fair sex" was something of a mixed bag!

Dog Training Tips From The Past Circa 1909

The following is an excerpt from Oliver Hartley's book, "Hunting Dogs," copyright 1909.  The book is now public domain and was released in November 2010 by the Gutenburg Project.


Summing up we find much pointed and valuable information relating to the training of dogs omitted thru lack of space. From this we present a chapter of "nuggets" in paragraph form, which will no doubt prove interesting and beneficial to those interested in training hunting dogs. Here are a few things not to do:
Don't allow your dogs to run into every farmyard as you pass along the road.
Don't allow them to be used with which to run stock.
Don't let them get into the habit of running other dogs.
Don't let them run house-cats.
Don't teach him to be called by shooting.
Don't, when out hunting, keep urging him all the time.
Don't let every one have him to hunt with or he will soon be everybody's dog.
Don't allow them to come into the house and get into every pan and kettle, if your wife is good-natured.
Don't correct him by pulling his ears, for a fox dog needs his hearing.
Don't feed but twice a day, and don't stint him on his feed before starting on a race.
Don't allow him to run loose when you are not using him.

Did you ever try using a sheep bell on a still trailer on windy, stormy nights? It's a such bells on sheep and disregard them until the dog but 'coon usually become accustomed to sheep bells on sheep and disregards them until the dog gets too close for them to escape. Then, where not accustomed to the bell, their curiosity overcomes their fear. The best pair of 'coon dogs I ever owned was Sport, a fox hound and collie, half and half, a slow semi-mute trailer, and Simon, a full blood fox terrier, a fast mute trailer. I used a bell on Sport. This and his occasional barks on the trail kept the attention of the 'coon while Simon cut across lots and invariably took him unawares.
I have learned at considerable expense that the best at most any price is the cheapest. If you want a good, cheap 'coon dog, get a half pup collie and half fox hound. Never give him a taste of nor let him see a rabbit, teach him a few tricks (to make him pay for his meals), such as jumping over a stick, then a pole, then a fence. This is to teach him to obey every word.
Never scold or whip him, gain his confidence, teach him to speak for bits of meat so when the time comes to hunt 'coon you can get him to bark up; get him to catch and carry and he will often catch an opossum or maybe a mink or 'coon and kill it when away from you, and if you teach him to bring everything (rats, woodchucks) home to you, he will do the same in the woods after night. Never let him get whipped by another dog or woodchuck, 'coon or even a big rat. Always help him kill or whip everything he jumps on to or that jumps on to him. A defeat will discourage him.
When your young dog is ready for a night hunt in the woods or cornfield, choose the best and most favorable night for the first trip. Feed no meat nor milk for 24 hours previous to the first or any subsequent trip, for that matter, for the best dogs, full of meat or milk, cannot do good work on the most favorable night. Feed him a good dinner of vegetables, but no supper until you return from the hunt, then give him anything. Choose a dark and cloudy night, the darker the better, not too still, as usually on very still nights the atmosphere is heavy and smoke settles to the earth, so likewise does the scent of the 'coon trail, and many a fine dog has been condemned for failing to locate his 'coon when started under such a condition as this.

Do not return home and leave your hounds in the woods, rather walk a mile or two to catch them and they will be in better shape to hunt the next day than if you had allowed them to run all night.

I notice so many of the boys in telling of their 'coon hunting say when Old Jack or Trailer, or whatever his name might be, strikes a trail they follow him as fast as they can run until out of wind, then as soon as he barks treed, they go to him on the double quick, over logs, brush, barb wire fences, thru brier patches, swamps and so on. Now, this may be all right, I am not condemning any one else's method of hunting, but just want to exchange ideas. When my dog strikes a trail or I have reason to think there is anything doing, I just wait right where I am until they tree or come back to me. If they bark treed, I just take my time and if I know of a way around that will save going thru some thicket or up some very steep hill, I just go around and save those hardships. And another thing I never do is whoop and hallo at my dogs when they are working. I think that has spoiled many a good dog, and never run to a dog as soon as he barks up, but give him time to think it over and circle the tree a few times; then, when he settles down again you can go to him and depend upon the 'coon being there.

Christmas Dogs From Hungary


What Good Dogs!

When in Rome Or Asia Eat Like A Local

Chicken Feet, Yummm  Photo by Epup
Would you eat the local fare if traveling Asia?  Dog meat?  Rooster balls?  Duck fetus?

Check out the article here:  http://is.gd/iNYsg

Furry Christmas Thief Gives Himself A Present!

And he doesn't even feel the slightest bit guilty!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Another Hat Tip To Yet Another Type Of Hunting Blog!

Here at Fast Pup Dog Training, we are passionate about training dogs to retrieve birds.  Here is a blog where the birds are trained to attack, and kill game.  Check it out!


Happy Hunting!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Hat Tip To Another Blog!

I LOVE this blog.  Terrier Man is so much fun.  I don't agree with all his politics, though I do agree with some of them. 

This is fun stuff!

When my blog grows up, maybe it will be this cool!



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Competition Heats Up Between Rainy And Colby For Geese

Fast Pup Dog Training clients Jim and Cindy sent this post today:


Not that there is any competition between hunters or their dogs :-))--but recently, as Rainy and Jim were pheasant hunting, Dennis and Colby went to the property in Ocosta for waterfowl hunting and got four geese in one day.  Then another goose and Colby was ahead by five geese.  Thus the 2010 competition begins. 

Jim and Rainy headed out to Ocosta yesterday, Dec 8th, not knowing how the day would go.  The day started slow watching deer and elk in the field and geese that landed in a different field. Then came the first goose within range, followed by a double and ending the morning with a limit of four.

Rainy waits in the blind for action
Rainy's manners in the blind are getting better, she is more patient waiting to be sent for the retrieve.  It helps that she can no longer jump out but has to be let out.  On the double she could not see where both birds went down so once again a blind retrieve was the order of the day.
Rainy is just a speck at 11:00 o'clock as she returns with the goose

Bringing home the poultry

So the day ended and the 2010 goose score so far is Colby 5, Rainy 4.  More to come --

Rainy had a very productive day

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Testimonial For Tacoma's Fast Pup Dog Training

Clients Naoko and Andy came to us for help with their Large Munsterlunder Pointer this summer.

Naoko and Andy write:

We were at our wits end when we decided to take private lessons with Kate Johansson of FastPup Dog Training.  We had a big young dog who would bolt on the leash yanking us off our feet on a daily basis and we were desperate for a solution. None of the non-electronic control collars we tried on our own produced satisfactory results. The videos that came with the electronic collar we bought seemed to be leaving something important out.  Results of the training Kate gave us exceeded all our expectations, and people are amazed at the positive changes in our dog.  Some say "Are you sure this is the same dog you had?." and other owners who saw us handle our dog at the off leash park near us said "Would you train our dog?"  This is amazing as one of us has been very resistant to the idea of the e-collar for a long time.

Kate convinced us both about the benefit of the positive language of the e-collar when used properly.  It seemed like a very expensive school but the training for us and our dog was definitely worth what we paid. Kate’s refresher classes offered to former private students are a great opportunity to revisit the lessons - followed by fun agility and playtime! 

Kate is excellent and we are very very happy to have gone to her.

Andy and Naoko

Tony & Blue Working The "T" Pattern

Tony and Blue take a break from training

Tony and Blue have been working hard to get through the force-fetch and yard work portion of retriever training.  In this video (click here) you see Blue running to a pile of bumpers, stopping on a whistle and taking "over" and "back" casts.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday's December 5th Dog Training Class

Ruth Returns From "placing" Olie
Cooper recalls
Morgan, a Large Munsterlander Pointer
Naoko "places" Morgan on dog walk
Naoko guides Morgan over dog walk
Naoko directs Morgan into long agility tunnel

Morgan exits small tunnel

Dogs frolic during play time
Olie and Morgan face off

Play time is great socialization--and exercise

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hunt Training--Dogs At Sunrise In Front Of Mount Rainier

Fast Pup Retriever Group meets at dawn in front of Mount Rainier
Fast Pup Dog Training retriever training group gathers at dawn on December 5th for training in area 15 of Fort Lewis, Washington State.  At this time of year training takes the dedication of getting up in the dark and getting out there for any shred of light.  It was a beautiful day.

Watch the video--click here!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Duck Hunting With Fast Pup Dog Training Clients

Rosie, Beans, Rainy and Colby with ducks shot at Ocosta
Duck Decoys
Goose Decoys

Fast Pup Dog Training clients, Jim Olson and Dennis White regularly hunt ducks and geese at their property in Ocosta, Washington State, near Westport.  The drive to their property is stunning.  The highway runs along the shore.  The property is just back from the ocean shore.  It is a haven for ducks and geese.  Today, Kate Johansson visited them while they were sitting in their awesome blind.  Rosie and Beans helped looked for a cripple that had been downed.  Rainy and Colby did the retrieving.

Preventing Hypothermia In Your Hunting Dog

Ruby Sports A Lovely Neoprene Vest

Hypothermia (or abnormally low body temperature) is as seriously dangerous a condition in dogs as is overheating. Both overly high and overly low body temperatures are dangers to be aware of when hunting with your dog.
Hypothermia is a condition seen too often with waterfowl hunting, although it can happen during any activity involving wind, water and temperatures that are low. Extreme cold is not required to have a dog become hypothermic. Hypothermia can occur even in a light wind, 55 degree water and 40 degree air temperature.
During the first stages of hypothermia, symptoms you will notice in your dog will be uncontrolled shivering. Your dog will become lethargic and tired. At this point your dog's temperature will be between 99 and 95' F. (Normal body temperature for a dog is between 101' F and 102.5' F.)
During the second stage of hypothermia your dog will no longer be able to shiver. Your dog will begin to stagger and seem clumsy and may even lose consciousness. The dog's body temperature at this point will most likely be in the 90--95' F range. This is very serious situation. You need to get your dog warmed up quickly.
During the last stage of hypothermia, your dog will be unconscious and have trouble breathing. Temperature will be between 90--82' F. You must act very quickly to warm the dog and get to a veterinarian.
To warm a dog you must remove her from as many of the cold conditions as possible. Get her out of the water and wind. (Getting her to your truck so you can use your heater is your goal, but if your dog is in this kind of danger and your truck is too far away, you can use a blind or anything you have to block the wind while you begin drying her.) Dry the dog by rubbing her vigorously with towels, chamois, or any absorbent material. Getting the dog dry is important but so is the friction of the rubbing which will provide a warming effect. You can hold the dog against your body to try and transfer heat to her.
A sailing friend of mine once told me that it is much easier to stay warm, than it is to get warm once we are cold. With this in mind we should make sure that our dog stays warm and avoid hypothermia altogether.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog warm:
Keep the dog warm on the trip to your destination. Let her ride in the cab of your truck, if possible. Or, if riding in the back of your truck, make sure you keep the wind off her by closing all the windows of the canopy. If you do not have a canopy, then use a kennel cover to keep the wind out.
Keep a wet dog out of the wind. Use a portable blind or place the dog behind anything that will block the wind.
Don't let the dog spend any more time than necessary in the water.
Put a neoprene vest on the dog. Make sure the vest is sized correctly (it should be tight, like a wetsuit would be) and it has both velcro and a zipper for fastening it on the dog.
Keep a training bumper with you. If you are sitting in a duck blind for long periods without shooting, throw bumpers (on land) for your dog to warm her up.
Do not let your dog walk out on ice to retrieve a bird. The ice is thinner away from the shore and it is not worth taking a chance.
Keeping your dog from losing body heat in cold weather should be fairly easy in most conditions. There is no need to stay indoors with your dog on a cold morning--as long as you keep track of both dog and human needs. Go on out and enjoy the outdoors. Your dog will thank you for taking her out.
Kate Johansson is a professional dog trainer in Tacoma Washington. She is the owner and manager of Fast Pup Dog Training. You can reach her by calling 253.569.0411 Visit her blog at http://www.fastpupdogtraining.blogspot.com. Visit her YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/fastpupdogtraining

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Dog Is Gun Shy

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Many people accidentally create fear of gun fire in their hunting dogs by rushing their dog into exposure before they are ready. I have heard many horror stories of people who assume a puppy should be genetically programmed to like gun fire. They will shoot a shot gun over their puppy and then are surprised and disappointed when the pup startles and develops fear.
Introducing your dog to gun fire should come only after you have developed a great excitement and desire for a retrieve. Use a helper to throw marks for your dog out in a mowed field. Have them get your dog's attention with their movements and their voice at first. I always use a high and excited voice to yell "Hey, Hey Pup!" as I am twirling a training bumper around and waving my arms.
When the dog's handler calls for me to throw the bumper, I watch the dog carefully even as I am continuing with my movements and voice to make sure he is going to see the object go up in the air and then fall. The handler should restrain the dog until the bumper is high in the air at the top of the arc of the throw. Release the dog while saying his name in an excited way.
After a few days or weeks of creating excitement in the puppy or dog for the retrieve, I begin to not only use voice, but add in a duck call after the voice in getting the dog to look out at me for the retrieve. After a session or two with the duck call, I go to a field near a freeway. The noise of the freeway will mute the sound of the starter pistol I am going to use to introduce gun fire to the dog. Now I use voice to get the dog's attention and substitute the pop of the starter pistol for the duck call. I make sure that I am at least 50 yards away from the dog when I shoot the pistol.
After I have introduced the noise of the starter pistol near the freeway, I will move to a quieter field where the noise of the pistol will be more pronounced. After that is going well, I will introduce a much louder sound of a shotgun at a distance.
To introduce the dog to being shot over, I will plant some shackled birds in a field. When the dog finds a bird, it will fly up a few feet but the weight of the shackles will bring it down again. (Trained homing pigeons can be released to fly back to their loft as well.) When the dog thrills to the bird flying up, I shoot a starter pistol so that he begins to associate a loud noise with birds flushing.
Finally, I will plant birds and shoot a shotgun over the dog. By taking it step by step and developing the dog slowly and surely, my dog will not only not be fearful, but actually be excited about the sound of gun fire.
Watch the video of training hunting retriever pups!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Washington Retriever Club Picnic Trial January 22nd and 23rd 2011

Kate sends Joanie for a mark as judges look on

Washington Retriever Club will be holding a "picnic" trial at Fort Lewis on the weekend of January 22nd and 23rd, 2011.

The club holds several trials every winter.  The trials are not licensed by the AKC and are designed to help seasoned competitors get a read on what they need to work on with their dogs for the upcoming season of AKC field trials and hunt tests.  They are also designed to help introduce new retriever owners to the world of retriever training.

New retriever owners should plan to enter either the puppy stakes or the Derby.  Check back here for updates on the upcoming trial. 

Fast Pup Dog Training At Northwest Flower And Garden Show

Fast Pup Dog Training will be exhibiting at the 2011 Northwest Flower And Garden Show, February 23rd through 27th at Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.   Please come and say "Hello!"

Fast Pup Dog Training At 2011 Washington Sportsmen's Show

Fast Pup Dog Training will be exhibiting at the 2011 Washington Sportsmen's Show which runs from
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:00pm - Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 4:00pm.

Check out the video of the 2009 Washington Sportsmen's Show!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Western Washington Pheasant Hunting

Fast Pup Dog Training clients Jim and Cindy Olson, posted from the field over Thanksgiving weekend.

Jim and Rainy Olson return from a pheasant hunt


Rainy has one more day of pheasant hunting on western Washington pheasant release and then she will be switching to geese and ducks down in Ocosta for the rest of the season.  The pheasant population was down for our trip to North Dakota so we came home with fewer birds this year than last but Rainy has come a long way with her field work so, all in all, it has been a good 2010 pheasant season.

 I believe that all of our retriever training with you the past couple of years is now paying off in terms of her field work.  She is handling well for Jim in the field, she is taking casts and coming back when whistled to keep her in shotgun range.

I know we have not been training for pointing and holding birds but Rainy is starting to point her birds before flushing them.  Unfortunately, I have not been camera ready when she has been on point.  I did get a couple of shots from yesterday.  She got three birds up and one retrieve.  One that got away was so low Jim might have hit Rainy if he had taken his one clear shot.  Needless to say, that one flew away.

More as the goose season progresses –

Cindy and Jim

See our video of hunting retriever puppy training.

Proper Hunting Attire

Friend and guest author, Fran Seagren reported from the eastern Washington quail and pheasant season last week.

Mike and Rhonda sport the latest in hunting attire

We met our friends, Mike and Rhonda, in eastern Washington for quail and pheasant hunting a couple weeks ago.  As they stepped out of their truck, I took a second look.  I asked them to stop for a minute so I could grab my camera.   I just had to get a picture of “the perfect upland hunting attired couple.”  I thought they looked good enough to be in a magazine. 

Then, today, Scott was browsing through an Orvis catalog that came in the mail.  He showed me what – in some circles - is considered “proper” upland hunting attire.  (Hope the picture comes through OK - it was taken with our camera of the catalog.)

Then, we got to talking about how the Orvis outfit would work in the cover we normally hunt.  We wondered if the “shooting flashes” (little tassels on the sides of the socks) would be resistant to the burrs that get stuck in our red setters ears.   Or how the Orvis “shooting stockings” work when it comes to some of the swampy areas we run across.  I don’t know what to think of the boots.  I’ve never seen any like them before.   But, it is fun to see what the English are wearing these days.

The picture is of Sarge quartering in front of me in some typical cover.  Shortly after this picture was taken, he flushed up a single quail.

For help training a hunting retriever, visit our website.  Check out our video of young, hunting retriever puppy training.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving at the pond

Fast Pup Dog Training wishes everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dogs Loved Sunday Class Even With Snow

Class was cold and it started to snow, but the dogs had fun tonight.  And what a great looking bunch of dogs and owners too!
Ruth Tollefson and her dog Olie

Kim Griffin & her dog Dexter

Jennifer Ackley and her dog Loki

Stephanie Mann and her dog Aja

Stephanie Mann and her dog Zepher

Pheasant And Quail Hunting Washington State

Sarge (one of the pups from Joanie's last litter) is sitting to whistle and taking casts at 10 months old. 

Guest author Fran Seagren posts this journal entry from her hunting diary:

Sarge and I were hunting pheasants and quail last week in an area we call “The Big Wild.”  This area has every kind of cover eastern Washington can dish up.  The pheasants are as wild as they get and have a lot of places to elude and escape us.  In order to get close enough to get a shot at one of these roosters, a good dog is primary. 

A good upland dog will quarter within gun range with little reminding.  The dog absolutely requires an optimistic personality – translated to “a lot of drive.”  The dog must want to get into the stickery, thickest, nastiest cover there is, because that’s where the pheasants are.  And they won’t just come out without good reason.  A good upland dog must have a lot of stamina – there are not a lot of pheasants in eastern Washington.  To have any success, you and your dog will need to be prepared to put a lot of miles into the hunt.  

The quieter we are, the more chances to sneak up and surprise, or confuse the birds.  As pheasants consistently outwit us more than we do them, getting one is always a challenge.  Which is one of the reasons I love upland hunting more than anything.   A dog must also have some training.  He must come when called – using a whistle instead of your voice.  He must stop/sit on a whistle command.  When a dog is trailing a moving pheasant, it’s important to be especially quiet.  If the dog gets a little out of range, a single quiet sit whistle should stop him so the hunter can catch up.  A  silent “cast” should send him on his hunt.  

Sarge is 11 months old now.  Although still a puppy, he shows such maturity and control when it comes to hunting, it’s easy to forget how young he is.  Sarge is one of those dogs that was “born” knowing how to upland hunt.  The first time he was hunted this year, it was like he had done it before.  Sarge and Scott got a grouse that day.   

In this picture, I was hunting with Sarge.  He was in and out of the cover along the trees in the area “The Big Wild.”   He had been very birdy and I thought he was on something hot.  He was getting a little too far ahead and I gave a sit whistle.  As I got up closer to him, I snapped this picture.  We continued on and Sarge flushed a hen.  We had a great hunt.

Quail Hunting Washington State

Friend and guest author Fran Seagren recently submitted this picture of husband Scott and Sargent Brown after Sarge put up a couple of covey's of quail.  For more information on training hunting retrievers for upland game, visit Fast Pup Dog Training's website and check out our video about training the started hunting retriever pup.

Pheasant Hunting Eastern Washington State

Scott & Disco with their "giant" rooster pheasant

Friend and guest author, Fran Seagren is great about keeping a journal about the hunting adventures that she, husband Scott Seagren, and dogs, Ruby, Robert, Sarge and Disco experience as they are hunting pheasant, quail and grouse.  This post came in last week. 

As anyone knows that hunts pheasants in eastern Washington, it is not South Dakota.  As a matter of fact, one of my dog magazines that reports pheasant numbers expected for each state each year, doesn’t even mention Washington.   I guess that’s good in that we don’t get any out-of-state hunters crowding our “best hunting” spots.  So, what I’m trying to say is, if you want to hunt pheasants in Washington, you better be prepared to do a lot of walking and have a good dog or two.  The cover is rough and the pheasants are as wily as they come.  But when you get one of those ditch dragons, it’s a real prize.

Scott and I think we have a pretty good “upland hunting team” of dogs this year.  We have two labs and two red setters.  On our second hunt last Thursday, Scott took Disco, his little black lab, and I hunted Robert, my red setter.  We were in an area that holds both quail and pheasants.  Scott and Disco were working down closer to the trees and I was up a little higher near where the sage starts up.  The cover is incredibly thick in most areas.  Robert went on a point up ahead - facing me about 70 yards.  I could see his head and tail as I walked toward him.  Then, I heard the flush of quail wings, but there was a tree off to my right and I’m guessing they flushed behind it, because I didn’t see a bird.  I saw Robert standing steady and I continued to walk toward him - thinking there could be more.  When I got within 20 yards of Robert, a single flushed up and veered to my left toward Scott.  I turned as I heard him shoot.  I could see Scott stopped so I assumed he hit the bird and Disco was looking for it.  I called Robert over to me and we waited.  We stood there for about 5 minutes or longer, and then Scott held the quail above his head.   I gave a “thumbs up” and we continued our hunt.  Scott told me the quail came directly at his head, wings a blur.  He shouldered his gun thinking it would veer to one side or the other as soon as it spotted him.  But it didn’t.  As soon as it got very close and at eye level, Scott jumped back a couple steps, as it zipped past where his head had just been.  He turned and fired.  It fell in swampy cattails and Scott sent Disco for the retrieve.  He said she hunted and hunted and finally came out with a very wet quail.
We continued on down the tree line draw with Scott and Disco staying in the thickest cover while Robert and I hunted up a little higher where the cover was not as heavy.  About 30 minutes later, I heard Scott shoot again.  I couldn’t see him as clearly so after a few minutes, I called him on the radio.  He said they got a rooster.  Well, I just had to go over and see the prize.  As Robert and I got close, Scott held it up – it looked huge - a beautiful full feathered rooster.  

Scott said Disco had been acting like she was following a “runner.”  He had heard roosters cackling and saw two roosters take off out of range.  They hunted very quietly, with Scott following Disco through the thickest cover of Russian olive trees, and then finally out into a clearing.  He said he stopped for a second, turned to see Disco come out of the cover to his side.  She made two quick little turns, in full “birdy-mode” and then torpedoed into a small sagebrush right in front of him.  The rooster came straight up.  Scott said the tail moved like a snake as the veteran rooster rattled its way clear of Disco without even the smallest “cackle” they are famous for.  He said it had flushed at 10 yards and he waited to take the shot as the rooster gained speed heading for the next bunch of trees.  He fired and it fell in heavy brush.  Scott did not wait to send Disco this time.  He thought his shot may have only wounded the bird, and he didn’t want to take a chance of it getting away.  Disco hit the brush like she always does, full speed.  Scott said he could hear her moving around and see the cover moving, then the motion stopped – a good sign - then, a slow movement back toward him.  He said when Disco came out of the cover, all he could see was the rooster at first, moving toward him and then just the bottom of two little black legs.  The rooster was DOA.

Training A Successful Hunting Retriever

Fast Pup Dog Training client, Dennis White and his dog Colby went hunting at their property near Ocean Shores, WA yesterday.  Dennis writes:

Colby and I went to Ocosta yesterday hunting and it turned into a good day. If it were not for all the retriever training it would not have been so good.

I shot 1 duck which flew a long way before dropping across the water and into some thick cover. Colby was out of sight of the fall and I only had a idea were it was so I lined him up and sent him for the blind retrieve. Within a few casts he was in the heavy cover about 90 yards out and found the duck.

The second blind retrieve was when 2 geese came in and 1 dropped them right in front of us, but was still alive and swimming, the other 50 yards across the water and behind some reeds. I first sent him to the live bird as not to loose it and them to the one behind the reeds. I could not go in a straight line because of the reeds so I sent him to the left ant then a right cast were he retrieved the goose from the bank.

I am very happy to have a trained dog and it sure makes hunting a pleasure. Thanks for all your help getting us to this point.

Dennis & Colby

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Tacoma November To Remember

This October and November have been just awesome, haven't they?  I don't ever remember such great weather!  I remember that most years it starts raining in October and doesn't stop until May or June.  It's like Mother Nature just finally got it!  Yay!

Fast Pup Dog Training Visited Area 13 at Fort Lewis today.

Mount Rainier was a little shy today.  She is able to create her own weather and today she kept playing "peek-a-boo."