Well April has been a somewhat busy month and none of us have had much sleep and that's mainly due to a new arrival... Hazen, Otto's half sister.
We were automatically drawn to Hazen as she was the most striking of bitches in the litter and definitely the most adventurous!! Thanks to some lovely friends and with lots of discussion with her breeder (Robina Alman-Wilson - Disglairhill) we were very happy to have the pick of the litter and Hazen was the one!
Hazen at four weeks old
Born in February, Hazen came to us at 8 weeks and is now 11 weeks old. Training at home has been going well with only a couple of "accidents" and we are all looking forward to the nippy / teething phase to pass. Otto has taken quite well to his sister and is starting to enjoy playing with her, if not sharing toys and bones!
A few photos of Hazen's first few weeks at home!
Keep in touch with the blog and the social media pages to keep up with how Hazen is progressing as she joins Otto on the journey of becoming a dual purpose German Shorthaired Pointer, enjoying showing and working in the field.
Dummy Launcher Training
At Christmas I was lucky enough to get a dummy launcher to help with training and last Sunday I got to use it for the first time at my brilliant new training location.
It’s going to be really useful for Otto’s training for two reasons, firstly it makes a big bang so simulates a shotgun and secondly and most importantly it will help me further with his steadiness training. The plan will be to launch about 4 dummies and only let him retrieve one.
Here's a couple of videos...
Photo Highlights 2017 - Part Two
Following my earlier blog here's the second part of my photo highlights from 2017....
C&S GSP Society Training Day - July
Flo & Bertie - July
The Game Fair - July
Faircastle GSPs - August
Disglairhill GSPs - August
Otto on Stanky Hill - August
Arany HPR Training - October
Rough Shooting - October
Teddy - November
C&S GSP Society Training Day - November
Otto - December
Bucks GSP Walk - December
Not sure why but I failed to post many photos taken in 2017 here on my website, it seems that I've been busy posting on my social media accounts but not so good on keeping the website up to date. Therefore here is part one of a few highlights from 2017...
HPR Training - January
HPRGA Novice Field Trial - January
Otto & Maisy Playing - January
Hattie & Lewis - January
Isla Water Training - February
HPR Training - February
Brancaster Beach - March
HPR Training - April
HPRGA Working Test - April
Otto - May
Isla - May
HPR Training - May
Retrieving Training - May
C&S GSP Society Meet the Breed Day - May
Teddy - June
Zippy & Bungle - June
Steadiness Training - January 2018
At the end of 2017 a HPR trainer moved to our area - Matthew Ball of Dorntanza Gundog Training. Having read Matt's impressive CV (see his website) I decided I'd like to pursue some one to one training with him, with the aim of improving Otto's steadiness, hunting and possibly his game retrieving.
We've had two sessions thus far, both really useful giving me idea and things to work on. Matt's training is really clear and he also sends really helpful written documents to confirm what you've been working on and tips for home training.
Below are a series of videos of Otto and I (self filmed on my GoPro) training last week, here I'm working on getting him to wait for me to send him for retrieves, sometimes picking up the dummies myself and other times letting Otto pick them up. I'm also mixing up between seen, blinds, memory and spilt retrieves.
Update on Otto - January 2018
It's been a long while since I wrote an update on Otto but he's now 3 years old and a much more grown up boy. Last year was a bit hit and miss as he picked up various injuries through silly accidents so missed lots of shows, working tests and training.
However he did make it to Wales for the Welsh Kennel Club championship show in August, coming second in the post graduate class. This show is a special one for him as it's home soil, being just 30 mins away from the farm he was born on. It was even more special this time as Otto's baby sister Jesse was also showing.
He managed three Novice working tests, scoring well in the first two to finish in the top half of the competitors and then right at the end of the summer we managed a 3rd place which was a really nice surprise as the various injuries meant we hadn't trained as much as we hoped to.
The training we did manage to do was mainly with a new group set up by Brenda Moss and Larry Wilks of Arany Gundogs at the Commonleys Clay Shoot. Brenda put on an excellent Natural Ability Test which included hunting and pointing partridge, a pigeon retrieve over a jump and another from water, a track of a rabbit off the leash and a gun sensitivity assessment. Otto performed beautifully all day scoring really well, particularly with the pointing and tracking.
When the shooting season started we were stopped in our tracks again with Otto getting injured for a third time, so we missed out on a shot over training day for newbies. However once Otto was better Brenda & Larry invited us on a rough shooting day which was very educational and fun, I learnt a lot and realised I need to do a lot more training with Otto.
Frustratingly Otto has started to not retrieve game properly, fussing with it rather than bringing them straight back. Frustrating as his retrieving has always been his strongest part of the Hunt, Point, Retrieve. Best advice for now is to take a break and revisit game next year to see if he grows out of this... I really hope so!!
A couple of videos of Otto pointing some pheasants in the summer.
On the 8th October 8 more beautiful Golden Retriever puppies were born into the Eveninghill lines, carefully bred by Linda Harding from her stunning bitch Grace (Pandreft Grace Kelly for Eveninghill).
Following the success of our last two photo shoots with Linda's previous litter I was very excited to be booked for another two photo shoots. So off I went on Saturday and met these beautiful 2 week old puppies.
If you love dogs I seriously recommend finding a breeder who will let you meet young puppies, as watching them with their mum, feeding and interacting with their brothers and sisters is fascinating!
Here's a few photos for you to take a look at...
In the summer I did a photo shoot with Clara, a lovely little Jack Russell.
Clara wasn't overly interested to see me but did seem to enjoy exploring the garden so that's where we headed for the photo shoot. Normally most dogs run around and show off for the camera, but not Clara. She was like a professional model who once she got into position that was it, she would just pose perfectly still until I was ready to move on.
Probably the easiest photo shoot I'll ever do!
Here's a few photos...
Back in May (yes May) I had a photo shoot with Winnie, a lovely yellow Labrador Retriever.
Michelle her owner contacted me looking for a photo shoot with the bluebells but was concerned as she described Winnie as:
"mad as a box of frogs & very excitable around new places & people."
She wanted to know if I was up to the challenge... I laughed to myself and thought no problem I have a GSP at home!
With that we booked in a session at the local playing fields and here's some of the photos... I think I pulled it off.
Puppy photo shoot - Gordon Setters
On Saturday I was very lucky to be invited to meet and photograph three gorgeous Gordon Setter puppies, bred by Sonia Upton-Lovett - Kennel name ROYDACK.
The puppies are about 7-8 weeks old and 2 of them will soon be departing to new homes - one lucky lady is being allowed to stay.
It was a bit of a damp and grey day so combined with a shaded garden it proved to be less than ideal conditions. However I'm really pleased with the photos I took. Here are just a few to take a look at...
This is my blog about what I am up to with both my camera and my dogs Otto & Hazen.