Journal Excerpts on Gunny
                                                           The Early "Keep Away" Pup 

 

Date of Birth - June 5, 2007
 
Aug 23 appointment for his second series of puppy shots & worming (Thursday at 2:00 pm)
                                 note: day off from "The Walk" - Gunny has discovered "Keep Away" way
                                           too early and he is way too fast to do anything about it - so I plan
                                           things out very carefully, like in coming out of the water or doing
                                          more in the hallway at home, he is too possessive to "buy in" to a
                                          trade (bumper for bumper) and just too young to be hindered by
                                          dragging around a check cord.......no rush......lots of other things to
                                          do.......the Johnny House should be up and ready to release quail in
                                          a couple of weeks

                                 
note: 12 weeks old      

Aug 27 (early morning) long walk at the Square Pond, three short hand thrown marks with a
             2" Avery white bumper, collar and Flexi-lead on (rest of the time running free),
Aug 29 too many errands to run - dog's day off = Gunny is spending more time with the older
                          dogs & right now is growling and mauling his red Kong
                                  note: still pretty "yappy" but showing signs of getting the hints (especially
                                           the one  where spends the night in the van)
                                  note: keep away is still an issue which requires some tricky finesse, he is one
                                           smart little pup

Sept 6
     excerpt  note: beginning to rethink my concerns about putting a check cord on a young
                                            pup, it is not an absolute as Gunny's penchant for "keep away" awakened
                                            long before Taffey, Kooly or Daisy's. Gunny's response to the Seamless
                                            "Here" Puppy
concept has not been a totally seamless event.
 
Sept 9 (evening) went to the Square Pond and messed around with a long walk, found a plastic 
            water bottle with a little water left in it, Gunny thought it was cool to carry around and he
            ended up making four swimming retrieves, gave in to his penchant for keep away and put
            a 20' light poly rope on him (He hardly pays any attention to it.) He is now settled into the
            routine around the house and doing quite well. The bark collar is now being phased out
            since new habits (being quiet) have taken over 

Sept 12 (afternoon) ran around after the ATV was run up on the trailer at BT's, dropped the three
             older dogs off at the house and Gunny went for a romp at the Square Pond, have to keep
             a twenty foot light poly rope on him because..........he is just plain mischievous, threw a
             couple of Avery ATB teal on land which he picked up, then one in the water........the frogs
             and floating moss were more interesting, so I decided to take some pictures, took
             off the poly rope (big mistake) and got a few good ones (I think), but getting him back in
             the van afterwards.............was FUN!
 I am almost certain formal OB can't come too soon.
                
Waiting will be the ultimate test.   
Sept 22 (evening) Gunny retrieved three remote winger singles using the Avery 2" Flasher with flags
                   note: about 40 yards long, used a white stickman & he is starting to "look out"
                   note: the long, light poly check cord is working out quite well  
                  note: Gunny is so much more laid back than Daisy at this age....it is kind of pleasant
 
Oct  2  (dusk) three hand thrown marks in the short cut alfalfa field (wearing light poly check cord)

                  
note: almost 4 months old (in three days)

Oct   4 (dusk) a walk in the hay field and 4 hand thrown singles (wearing a light poly check cord)
                   note: Gunny is doing a much better job of coming to me with the bumper & he is not
                             asked to give it to me right away, a little stroking & a quiet, easy sit is beginning
                             to shape up, his "heeling in the vicinity" is also starting to get "tighter", he is 
                             becoming more aware (no commands) with the leash and flat collar restricting
                             his movement
                   note: the need for a bark collar is decreasing
Oct 6 (mid-morning) another very warm day = a short walk at the Square Pond grassy area,
          finished with 2 (only) remote winger singles with a stickman
                   note: Gunny is sitting now and after "locating" the stickman stares at it on the "watch"
                            cue = retrieves are "on the money" with solid holds in the middle of the bumper,
                           his return to me is more focused and has learned this is a "neat game" 
                  note: after "his" session, Gunny scampers back into the van to enter his "box" on the
                            "kennel up" command just like the "big dogs"  


         note: Gunny was 4 months old Oct 5th

  Oct 8 (noon) Gunny has been wearing a bark collar about a month. Therefore, he's comfortable
                         wearing a collar the same size and weight as the e-collar. He has, also, experienced 
                         some corrections for barking.  They have been much more "noticed" than anything       
                         he will "feel" with a "CC to here" session. Today, I checked out his response to low
                         level stimulus with the G3 TriTronics Upland e-collar.  This is done to determine his
                         "sensitivity level".  At level one there was nothing noticeable.  At 1.5, he seemed to
                         appear to look around and perk up....like “What's with that?" At level 2 continuous he
                         appeared to feel coming to me on "here" was something he needed to do. There was
                         no flinching, noise or discomfort.  He just felt the urgency of relieving "something". 
                         After four well timed "here's", the lesson was over. He did not hesitate to move off
                         running afterwards, and his "reaction" to the "CC to here" could not have gone any
                         better. Gunny was not upset or apprehensive in the least. 
 

          note: That’s all I do....at this time. I don’t do the ”full raise the level up and back
                     down with resistance” like in Evan’s program……sshhhhh…don’t tell him
.

                                    note: This one confident, cool pup.   
      
                                    note: This is the fourth pup I've done "CC to here" early. There have been no
                                              problems with any of them........I think there are several reasons.  First of
                                              all, the pups experienced "The Walk" and were very comfortable with the
                                             daily routines. Secondly, each pup went through the "Seamless Here
                                             Puppy" process.  They knew "here" was a good thing.  Another reason is,
                                             I have been fortunate enough to kind of be able to sense why a pup "does
                                             what he does" and being a natural "con man" has helped to channel good
                                             behaviors and avoid issues. Another reason, at least for the last three,
                                             has been the early, pre-application of a bark collar. Lastly, knowing how
                                             to use an e-collar correctly was already in place.
                                   note: this routine will be repeated daily in the midst of normal sessions, for
                                             quite some time it will not be part of any retrieving of bumpers
                                             (especially since there are no real issues there, except for coming). He
                                             will start teething soon and working through that will not be done with
                                             any e-collar "corrections". Gunny still has at least two more months
                                             before any formal OB lessons and even more time before any formal
                                             e-collar conditioning.  Until formal OB begins....sit and heel will be
                                             "imprinted" passively.

     Fast Forward two plus years.........


     This is Gunny on Saturday, October 10, 2009 after the 2nd Iowa opening day (split season). Three
     mallards and three GWT were his very first ducks retrieved on a hunt. The last was a difficult to
     mark cripple, 120 degrees back off to the left and falling from high over the hide into very large
     of tall, dense marsh grass. I could hardly walk in it.

     Gunny marked it, fired (when asked), trailed it and brought back to hand a lively drake mallard.
     It was an extended search which had me worried......until he walked right up to me with "his
     prize".  I still smile inside every time the mental images of his retrieve "pop up".


     note: What made the retrieve even more difficult was evidently the grass had scratched the
              surface of his left eye so badly that the next morning we went on a 4 hour round trip to
              my vet to have it treated.
 
 

 
                                                         Gunny - "the very early keep away pup"
           
 

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