Beau January 22nd, 2007
The pup is almost 16 weeks old now… he’s an amazing and gentle Lab with a wonderful spirit. We started a puppy class this week for general obedience… he’s way ahead of the class! No testament to his owner… he’s just a calm and smart Labrador. He loves to play and train… and I try to keep training as play for him. I’m reading a ton of books on retriever training; Some are better than others, but The 10-Minute Retriever provides a great overview- concise yet very readable while showing how to succeed with training in “10 minutes a day”.
Friday he made his first “field retrieve” from taller grass. May not look like much to us, but just weeks ago he could only see the throw bumper in shorter grass, nor did he use his nose. But two days ago, he took off after the bumper where he saw it fall, ran full speed past and abruptly turned around using his nose to find it. When he saw it he pounced! Came running full speed back… he didn’t even slow down to give the thing to me! Ah well, first things first huh? He brought it back after, but I was pleased with his eagerness.
Now the training gets a little tougher- and his owner needs to study hard to keep him on the right track. May take some advanced training classes too. But in all, he’s a family dog. I have no illusions of heavy field trials or double-blind retrieves from a boat… We’ll see how it goes this year, and if he retrieves consistently that’s about all I can ask. He comes not from gritty hunting stock, but quality English Labrador genes with both show and field champions in the line. I’m not an everyday hunter either; I’ll go when I can, but I love the experience of being outdoors more than anything… the seasons and changing weather… just being there is reason enough. There is only so much time each season for all we love to do, at home and in the field. The pup will have ample opportunity to show his stuff though, and I look forward to it!