Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dog 1 and Dog 2

So earlier in the month I spoke about the difference I have seen in hunting dog #1 and Dog #2. The main premise is that hunting dog #2 being younger with hunting dog #1 always around can afford to be lazy. So I am going to jump into this idea and see what other hunters think about it.  
I got Remi my German Wire Haired Pointing Griffon (Griff) in December of 2006 after my first hunting dog Sage a German wire haired Pointer was killed by a car.  I trained Remi just like I trained Sage though the school of hard knocks.  I would definitely say I am strict with my dogs.  
Now for those of you who don’t know all that much about pointers, they are not like labs when it comes to water.  They need some coaxing/training/ butt kicking to get in when young.  Sage hated the water as a young puppy. She was kind of a princess and didn’t like to get her feet on cold water. I found that just throwing her into the cold water worked great. Since she was already wet she swam for anything. Through a summer of swimming together she got the hang of it and I didn’t have to throw her in anymore.  Remi was the exact same way at first. Although she started to like the water way faster and didn’t take to many times of getting thrown in to make her realize she is going in no matter what. Now Remi won’t get out of the water. She will swim miles after a wounded duck of goose and will spend hour swimming around a bunch of cattails trying to find a duck. So Remi is dog #1 in the premise.

Now enter dog #2 Lily another Griff, who became a family member around July of 2009. I figured since I now had a wife who was getting into hunting I should get another dog so we each can have a dog to hunt behind.  PS my wife was also pregnant with Maddy when we got Lily.  Now I am a huge supporter of getting puppies hunting as early as possible once away from the mother.  So Lily was hunting that September for grouse. Lily has a great nose for birds.

Now at Lily’s 2nd year hunting I started to notice something. When grouse hunting I would give Remi and Lily hand signs to run up or down a hill in search of grouse. Remi would run way up on the hillside but Lily would just get a few yards off of the road. When it came to duck hunting Remi would swim out after any duck in the water and Lily would just wait in about knee deep water for Remi to bring the bird in close enough for her to steal it.  So for a couple holes I would leave Remi in the truck and send lily out for ducks in the water. At the beginning of the season Lily would only wade up to her knees to get a duck and by the end of the season she would swim maybe 20 yards for a duck.  But she would always give you that look like “can’t we just get Remi to go get it” first.  But if there were any weeds or grasses in the water forget it she wasn’t going. This was very frustrating for me.

So 2011 came around year three and same thing I felt like I had to train Lily all over again going to get ducks, even though I spent a summer swimming with her in lakes around the house. Lily will swim as far as she needs to get that bumper in the water if it is 80 degrees out.   2012 is turning out to be the same thing. This year there was a teal off the bank at about 10 yards in deep water.  I had Remi in the truck and Lily would go out to her knees and come back. So I tried the good ol’ stand by and threw her in. Well that didn’t work she basically flipped me the bid and left the area. Remi came out and got it without any direction. 
Lily as a puppy

 Now my brother also had 2 Griffs. The same thing with them Dog #1 is a swimming Champ, and Dog #2 who is at 6 years will not swim for birds. My brother’s dog #2 is also Remi’s litter sister.  I know that my brother has put in just as much time with dog 2 as dog 1.

So is it that the #2 dogs are allowed to be lazy because dog #1 is always there for the save.  I thought maybe with Maddy being born I didn’t get enough time training Lily. But that doesn’t make sense because Lily has been with Remi and should have learned to be a water dog. Or is it that we just happen to get two dogs that don’t like water?
All I know is I will keep trying to get Lily to become a swimmer because I know one day Remi will not be around to clean up after her.

1 comment:

  1. My uncle just got a wire hair earlier this year. One of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen!