Took my 17month old GWP Griff on our first pheasant shoot of the season saturday
Drew a peg first push (we are mainly a walked up shoot with some standing guns)
First shot I got a nice cock bird that glided down into the woods at the side of me! Griff did lift his rear as it went by but held position (great start)
Second shot saw a hen crashing down into the same wood, still no attempt to run in
2 pigeons followed, tried a right and left but missed the 2nd one.
The pigeon went down in the field and the next guns lab ran in to retrieve, Griff did start to go but held to whistle (wow)
At the end of the drive I sent him on to retrieve the 2nd bird in the wood, followed him in as he hadnt retrieved after a few minutes Found him pointing the hen 8ft up in amongst the branches of the tree it had crashed into .
Poked it out with a stick, then sent him back for the cock bird I had shot first, text book retrieve on that one.
Next drive got walking gun on the side of a thick hedgerow with a stream running through it.
Got 2 really good points and he sat to flush, shot 2 more hens both were runners, not ideal but they were a long way out, and as no other dog was on my side sent him for both, brought them both to hand still alive (will be skinning them tonite to check for teeth marks)
At this point I had my limit of 2 brace for the day and decided put the gun away to concentrate on griff for the last 2 drives,
During the break lots of praise on how well he was doing and comments like, cant believe how well behaved he is for a GWP
Then the next drive
As we set off I sent him on along the set aside at the edge of a wood. There is a small depression fifty yds along full of the usual junk that farmers tend to fill holes with, he slid to a halt on the edge of it did a feeble point then dived headlong in to the tip emerging on the other side in hot pursuit of a fox (oh s**t) my fellow guns were then treated to a display of foxhunting GWP style.
As an experienced trainer once told me, this is not to be considered a failure just another training oppotunity.
Roll on next week then.
Still the proudest dog owner that day secretly a little miffed he didnt get the fox