I have owned bird dogs for most all of my life. I have had several breeds. Some were back yard bred and some were of really strong trial blood. I am not a professional trainer, but I do get a little bit better with each dog. In spite of my imperfections I have been the proud owner of some really nice dogs. All of my dogs have become serviceable bird dogs, but some have taken a lot more work than others. This is often because of my mistakes but not always. One thing I don’t think I will ever understand is how inconsistent some of them can be. Just when you think you really have them sharp.... you don't.
I left the house one morning with the thought of getting Sunnie our two year old setter some experience on chukar. She has had lots of bird experience for a two year old, and some chukar experience, but it had been a year or more since she saw consistent wild chukar. I have always felt like she had the run and style of a big country chukar dog. I wanted to see her start to realize that potential, and I was dreaming of her standing birds as I drove to the desert. When we arrived, I put her on the ground, and she went to work. She was doing what she does eating up big hills and rock fields with that silky smooth gate that she was born with and then boom, she slammed into a point
This kind of thing has happened in one form or another to me for as long as I have tried to train a better dog. I try to assume it is due to my short comings as a trainer/handler. It is best for me to feel this way as it prevents me from getting angry at the dog. Maybe I am even correcting it wrong. I do the best that I can with the knowledge and experience I have. Many of my Facebook friends say they have noticed this behavior when a dog is in or coming in to season. Maybe she will show in the next few days. Some say dogs just have bad days. Maybe the strong breeze was a factor on this day. Maybe dogs are just as quirky as we are and there is no real explanation. The only thing I know for sure is we will get her straight one way or another.
Have you had any experiences like this with your dogs? How did you handle it?
This is a slide show and Video of sunnie's first 6 months