Sunday, April 20, 2008

On the way!

So, we got up at 4:45am on Saturday (I don't even get up that early for work!) to head to the Mayflower GSP hunt test at the Crane Wildlife Management area in Falmouth, MA. We had entered Kyler in the senior hunter level. In this level they have to find a bird, point it, stay steady until the gun goes off, retrieve within a step of it's handler, and honor another dogs point. (this means they have to point the dog, not steal the point from the other dog)

It was a warm day, even warmer in the actual bird field, it was a hot day for the dogs to be running. We were braced with Momo, Andrew's dog from The Regal Vizsla . This was a bonus for us I felt, as we had trained with Andrew the weekend before and the dogs worked well together. Momo had made a great dog for Kyler to honor, as that was the thing I was most worried about. We haven't trained much on her honor...

Kyler broke away from the start with an impressive speed and began to quarter in front of us. She was ready to go! We were moving so fast that the judges had to ask us to slow down for a bit before we got to the bird field, we were not using enough time. We stopped and watered the dogs several times, I wet Kyler's underside several times throughout the test.

When we entered the bird field it did not take Kyler long to find a bird, I was a bit suprised as the ground and air was so dry the scenting could not have been very good. I came around her right side, where she could see me so I wouldn't spook her. She held her point nicely while I flushed the bird. The gunners shot and Kyler broke shortly after the bird went down. She is steady to shot at home, but not yet in competition. After taking a second to find the bird, and trying to pick it up while it was still moving, she brought it to hand! A great piece of bird work on her part.

After finding a bird in the upper testing levels you should be trying to carefully not find any more birds, it just gives you more chanced to screw up. So, with this in mind I attempted to get Kyler to search where we had already been, so we could just get in an honor and go home! Of course, my bird finding fiend went on point a few minutes later. This bird was right next to a nasty hedgerow. The bird ran back and forth for several minutes, and Kyler relocated, which I wasn't sure was "allowed". I finally got the bird to flush and she stayed steady to wing and shot. She had a nice heal away from the find and then within a few minutes Momo was on point so Kyler could come up and honor him. As soon as she saw him she stopped dead, a perfect honor. In seniors you are asked to collar your dog (hold them by the collar) so that they do not interfere with the other dogs retrieve. Good thing I did, because as soon as Momo's bird went down, Kyler jumped about 3 feet in the air wanting to get to the bird before him!

This ended the test, thank goodness, both dogs were very hot and tired, and I didn't want to risk finding another bird!

At the end the judges really liked Kyler's performance and she ended up with a qualify and excellent scores, 9,9,8,7,9. The lowest score was for trainability, basically how well she listens to me. I called Kyler a few times to come near me and she either didn't hear me, or was to busy doing other things. In this case I should have kept my mouth shut and her score would have been higher. Oh well, I will remember better for next time!

Here is the end of the day photo with Kyler, Jozsi, and Momo, everyone passed their tests for the day! Jozsi ended up with an impressive 10,10,10,10 score, almost unheard of!

Kyler is due in season at any point, so we don't know if we will be able to make any more hunt tests this season or not... I would love to get her SH title done before her litter comes, but that is unlikely to happen, since she needs 3 more legs to finish. If not, we will continue in the fall and finish the title up.

In ending, I thought I would include a picture of Kyler relaxing in our house after a training session last week.


Andrew Campbell said...

Wooooh for Team V. -- Northern MA chapter. Great to see you all down in Falmouth on Saturday. If it's any consolation, I was up at 5am even though we were staying 15miles away... so the boys could get their normal early morning run before being put down to hunt. (I'd hate to think what Jozsi would do if the edge hadn't been taken off slightly.) Congrats to Kyler... forget the scores, it's the 'Q' that matters -- and she looked great out there. Her next litter is going to be dynamite! You'd better get some running shoes for your next little one.


Rocket said...

what a fabulous hunter you are! Congrats on your ribbons.

Kim said...

Thanks guys! It was a great weekend and I am still flying high on her pass! I can't wait to see what her litter produces, although I agree, I am a bit worried about how I will keep up with her puppy! :)