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Intro - Meet Dobs


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So - Update 18 mos after coming out of the chute - here's a Puppy Pic.  This guy is as nuts as a puppy could be but still amazes me at what he can do compared to older dogs as a retriever.

2019.03.16 New Pup.jpg

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The Most Interesting Dog in the World: I don't always chew things but when I do... Oh who am I kidding - I chew everything!

Hi All - Been a while - thought I'd check in and catch up:   Dobs has been busy with shows lately with a hunt test stuck in between (2nd Started pass) - This weekend he picked up his 3rd 5 p

Update: The NSDTR Region 1 hunt test is in the books and while we didn't pass both days, we passed on Saturday.  Dobs now can change the WC to WCI - I learned a few things during both tests...

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Update: as we approach his 2nd year on the planet, Dobs has had an easy summer - meaning its all about fun, reinforcing training, tuning up bad habits into good and so on.  Part of that was confirmation (for breeding purposes) and club tests - practice field test and generally staying in shape.  So far the show thing has been a bust because of a suspected insect bite requiring the "Cone of Pride".

 

Unlike the "Cone of Shame", this signifies his first wound requiring Vet assistance - the down side is that it crushed a weekend show thing that promised to be full of great people and a great venue - including some trout fishing time for me.  Animal Planet is planning a new series surrounding the event and it's called "Wicked Bummah!"

 

The next event was Aug 10-11 and was a club test featuring WC/WCI/WCX tests - given the grounds we drove the 6 hrs one-way to participate, support the club and be with some really great folks that own little red dogs.  On Saturday, we ran a WC test and it was a great time but I was less than thrilled with out performance - I blame the handler (me) for not setting things up better but you know what they say; "Experience is that thing you get 5 minutes after you need it."  And so it was, we passed but I was not happy about our performance - my standards, not the judges'.  Land was not the issue but water seems to bring an excitement that needs to be reigned in a little and harnessed.  Enthusiasm is not an issue, steadiness and patience needs work.

 

Which brings us to the Sunday test - I took all the advice given, compared notes and so forth.  These lessons were applied and like Saturday, the land was smashed out with style, flair and enthusiasm.  Now to water - Tollers are required to toll - This means that 4 retrieves of an object, parallel to water need to be performed prior to each water mark.  Sounds easy but really this is a point where Toller owners fail tests because "Fun Bumpers" are not the same as "Tolling"...

Well, it's our turn on water and here we go - applying lessons learned we tolled with great style and vigor then moved to the first mark.  We smashed both.  Back to Tolling - the judges were nice enough to heel us in and direct us back to the tolling blind for 4 more bumpers - again with style and flair, something not all dogs displayed during the event.  Now to the tricky water mark - there was a heavy draw for bank running but my previous teachings gave me tricks other handlers didn't have (Thank you Trainers for your knowledge) and Dobs stayed in the water, smashing out the last mark - heeling, holding and delivering to hand to ace the test.

 

I was surprised to be greeted by the judges once the delivery was made - The both came in close, congratulated me and praised Dobs for a job well done.  I was very proud about HOW we passed not just THAT we passed.  I was thrilled, Dobs was floating and ready for more marks - I thought of Al Pachino in "Scent of a Woman", "I'm just gettin' warmed up!".

 

Back at the pavilion, ribbons were handed out and congratulations were made but the smiles got larger on the judges and knowledgeable handlers as Dobs was called out.  It was a very satisfying feeling knowing we nailed the test in textbook fashion.  Everything payed off  - training, practice, failing, learning, growing - a sum greater than the value of the parts.  It was a great reward for me & Dobs - executing sharply as a team - hard to put in words but I think most of you understand this.  Some of my workmates don't quite get it no matter how I try to explain.

 

Pictures - He's healed well since the injury and I'll get a picture once we go through the camera cards from the weekend.

Thanks for looking - I hope this is inspiring for you.

 

Cone of Pride.jpg

WC Ribbon.jpg

 

Ancillary:  These words resonated with me, motivate me and help me keep a high standard for myself and Dobs - I think they are the reason I'm so proud of our performance in the test:

" Ribbons and titles are nice, but more importantly are indicative of standards of proficiency having been met or exceeded by methodical and diligent training."  - Irishwhistler on "Team Mac Titles"

We have a "pack" of people helping us - and some of you are here, know it or not, and they All help me be a better owner, handler, hunter and human.

So, thank you - I hope We make you proud.

 

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Where you going to find another heart? You might have to now that this guy has a hold of your's. 

 

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Cooter Brown

What a great looking dog!  Congrats on your good work!

 

What happened to Dobs's face to require the cone?

 

A couple of months ago I was leaving Cabela's.  There was a retired looking couple who had a camper with a toad there and they were airing out a dog in the grassy area.  Mostly from your posts over the years I knew the dog was a toller from 100 yards out.  I stopped and waved, and asked about the dog--they were shocked that anybody actually knew what it was!

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He got a "wound of unknown origin"  We think it was a bite of some kind - wasp, bee, spider.  It was weird, we went to dinner, he was fine - came back he had a bump much like a bee sting.  Next morning he looked like Rocky Balboa after 9 with Clubber Lang.  Went to the vet, got some meds and he cleared up pretty well over night - they put a drain in and stitched up the holes.  The cone came with stitches - I hated it so I put stickers on it and called it the "cone of pride".

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/14/2019 at 12:54 PM, Cooter Brown said:

What a great looking dog!  Congrats on your good work!

 

What happened to Dobs's face to require the cone?

 

A couple of months ago I was leaving Cabela's.  There was a retired looking couple who had a camper with a toad there and they were airing out a dog in the grassy area.  Mostly from your posts over the years I knew the dog was a toller from 100 yards out.  I stopped and waved, and asked about the dog--they were shocked that anybody actually knew what it was!

 

In a way I liked it better 30 years ago when they were a secret. And Eric Johnson had the Toller listserv couldn't post pictures back then not enough bandwidth. But it concentrated the owners instead of facebook and all the groups and everything else out there now. But in the end things have worked out. Was really worried once they gained AKC membership not long after the turn of the Century. So far looks like the AKC has learned their lesson and are letting the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrieving specialty club (USA) lead the way and maintain standards. Fingers crossed.

 

2 hours ago, sprocket said:

I'm almost 2 years old now - throw the damn ball...

2019.08.25 BALL.jpg

 

Great picture there Sprocket! Been wondering how Dobs has been doing that says it all. BTW my oldest left Apple and is in Boston since January. Ended up in Cambridge, he turned 32 Sunday. Thought more than once I should contact you but he is not a dog guy. Unfortunately. 

 

That is the same title I have for my first Toller and a picture I took of him, just throw me the damn ball. There are 2 deer bedded behind him in the front yard and he was aware of them. Didn't care.

 

15431655014_5da6bcb110_b.jpg

 

If Dobs is anything like Nova and my other Tollers were they know what is coming. What a handful lately. In a couple of weeks will be out and doing what he loves.

 

24040410248_d4100b61c8_b.jpg

 

OK so not sure who is more excited him or me.

 

Hopefully you are still involved with NSDTRC (USA) it is important. Nova, Herbie and Ariella at Dan Rode house and training grounds.

 

20206680463_0d22fba3cf_b.jpg

 

Dan is now president of the NSDTRC. And does a heck of a job as we all knew he would.

 

Good luck to Dobs and you!

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Hi Mike,

Been a slow summer - Hardly any training and mostly just reinforcing good habits.  Passed the WC out in Syracuse last month.  He passed strongly and with great tolling style.  Some of the other dogs didn't pass as strongly but they are primarily agility or other non-hunting game dogs.  I've seen a lot of tests and I know what kind of do I have and the kind of handler I am - I don't think some of the ladies that were there picked up on things the same way a hunter or someone serious about putting on hunt test titles would...So he's got a JH & WC - next year I hope to put an SH on him but that's on me.

 

We're still in the club and those emails are killing me...

 

BTW - I upped my game: WSM 22" + Party-Q...Honestly am 18" would be fine for most of my cooks.

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  • 9 months later...

Hi All,

Quick update:

2.5 years old and he's finally calming down and realizing not only what to do but when to do it - he's still a goof at times be he's going to settle in nicely.  We've got a road trip coming up for a week of training (training the trainer type stuff) in the field.  Later in Aug we've got a club WCI test we're working towards - that's like a SH or Seasoned level.  Some of you may scoff at club tests and I can understand why having seen some "passes" I would disagree with but I hold my standards to the written rules of the test.  Last year I passed the WC but felt it was a tie - I had the option to go to WCI the next day but stuck with the WC - We nailed it in text book fashion and I felt we earned it properly.

 

Working slowly on handling skills and drills, taking my time to do it right and enjoy the work. 

 

Looking forward to hunting this year and marked my calendar for the openers! 

Dock dives into the salty for bumpers...1494413440_06-27-20DockDive.thumb.jpg.422eed667c24733e339657bad34ddce9.jpg

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Irishwhistler
45 minutes ago, sprocket said:

Hi All,

Quick update:

2.5 years old and he's finally calming down and realizing not only what to do but when to do it - he's still a goof at times be he's going to settle in nicely.  We've got a road trip coming up for a week of training (training the trainer type stuff) in the field.  Later in Aug we've got a club WCI test we're working towards - that's like a SH or Seasoned level.  Some of you may scoff at club tests and I can understand why having seen some "passes" I would disagree with but I hold my standards to the written rules of the test.  Last year I passed the WC but felt it was a tie - I had the option to go to WCI the next day but stuck with the WC - We nailed it in text book fashion and I felt we earned it properly.

 

Working slowly on handling skills and drills, taking my time to do it right and enjoy the work. 

 

Looking forward to hunting this year and marked my calendar for the openers! 

Dock dives into the salty for bumpers...1494413440_06-27-20DockDive.thumb.jpg.422eed667c24733e339657bad34ddce9.jpg

 

Aye Todd,

 

Grand to see TEAM DOBS is moving forward.  Holding to the standard is a smart strategy and one ye will never regret.  Pretty ribbons look nice hanging on the wall, but are meaningless if marginally earned.  Your attitude regarding training and testing is right proper and will translate into grand performance afield, that being the ultimate "test" in me own humble opinion.

 

Keep at it Mate !  A belly rub to DOBS please 👍.

 

Slan,

Mikey ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

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  • 4 weeks later...

UPDATE:

We made a road trip to an undisclosed location for "training" - what we really got was a full evaluation of skills - handler, dog & team - we're OK overall - not outstanding or anything - we have items we need to work on - each individually and as a team.

 

It was a great learning experience - for me, I've got a lot of work to do as a handler, he needs to be worked - on drills in the yard and practical application in the field.  We as a team need to figure it out.  We also got instruction as to how to instruct the dog...Huge key.

 

Large take-aways:

  • Sit - without this, you have nothing.
  • Yard vs Field - if you don't know, ask you trainer.
  • When you send a dog out for "training", get a full understanding of what you want vs what "training" means = "I want to pass XX level test." is NOT training a dog, it's teaching a test.
  • Get the keys back from the valet = It's gonna take some time to learn how to run a dog when you send it out - like 2 days per week of training, not just an 8 hr session.
  • "There is NOTHING like passing a test with a dog you trained."  Believe it.  Based on the amount of training I have to do now - I'll be more proud when We get an SH/Seasoned than I am of anything so far.
  • Training not related to hunting is very important.  We're going to take formal "Obedience" classes - heeling position is as important as coming to the side, a "Sit" is everything out in the field.  This is established in "Basic Obedience" class - apparently because I now have to find classes...
  • Formal assessment of skills from outside your usual circle of travel is very important - where are you and your group's level compared to others - understand that there is more than just your selected trainer -
  • There is more than one way to train.  Force Fetch vs other methods of getting a dog back across the line and delivering to hand.  I know of these things having sent my dog out a couple times.
  • There is no "One method" - dogs have personality and just because 90% of [breed] fits this training model does not mean ALL dogs fit it as well.
  • Undoing is 5x worse than doing it right once - YOU CAN'T SKIP STEPS!
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes - the above are examples of my mistakes.   I know now I didn't teach my dog bad habits - not teaching my dog was a bad habit...

This is a  raw breakdown of my last week at "Dog Camp" - it was HUGE for me and fun for Dobs - We [ I ] have a lot work ahead of us to get to SH/Started passes.  I have to learn and then teach - I maintain my statements, this dog needs a better trainer - we all have a first dog and this is mine.

 

I'd like to thank you All Here for your help and advice so far - I understand a lot more of it now than I did when you gave it.  I'm grateful for this forum being available and the input from the knowledgeable folks here.  I should have asked a lot more questions before I ever got a dog, it would have helped me get better results when sending my dog out for training.  Right, wrong or indifferent, it's all just part of my path as a dog owner/trainer/handler - I hope to improve moving forward, it's the best I can do.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update:

The NSDTR Region 1 hunt test is in the books and while we didn't pass both days, we passed on Saturday.  Dobs now can change the WC to WCI - I learned a few things during both tests...

 

Saturday he made me sweat, especially at the tolling portion - once we got through that, he smashed his water marks.  I had to handle on the land series and need to work on my job there to really nail the handles.

 

Sunday we never got to water - he decided to pluck the first mark and that became the fail.  Oh well, at least I know what I need to work on.

 

The tests were within the rules and the judges were fair in their assessments.  The club test atmosphere was relaxed and we all had fun - the judges had time to review things with almost every handler, especially if there was a fail.  It was very encouraging to see that interaction, especially between the newer folks testing.

 

Am I disappointed because I did not pass both days?  Not really, I learned where some holes are and that we're just starting out on this SH/Seasoned level and there's a lot to learn and practice before I can expect to apply correctly 100% of the time.  We're both just getting on this ride for the first time.

 

So if you're inclined, raise a toast of your preferred beverage and honor the trainers that helped Dobs and I get this far - as well as your own list.

Sláinte Mates

 

WCI.jpg

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Irishwhistler
On 8/18/2020 at 7:11 PM, sprocket said:

Update:

The NSDTR Region 1 hunt test is in the books and while we didn't pass both days, we passed on Saturday.  Dobs now can change the WC to WCI - I learned a few things during both tests...

 

Saturday he made me sweat, especially at the tolling portion - once we got through that, he smashed his water marks.  I had to handle on the land series and need to work on my job there to really nail the handles.

 

Sunday we never got to water - he decided to pluck the first mark and that became the fail.  Oh well, at least I know what I need to work on.

 

The tests were within the rules and the judges were fair in their assessments.  The club test atmosphere was relaxed and we all had fun - the judges had time to review things with almost every handler, especially if there was a fail.  It was very encouraging to see that interaction, especially between the newer folks testing.

 

Am I disappointed because I did not pass both days?  Not really, I learned where some holes are and that we're just starting out on this SH/Seasoned level and there's a lot to learn and practice before I can expect to apply correctly 100% of the time.  We're both just getting on this ride for the first time.

 

So if you're inclined, raise a toast of your preferred beverage and honor the trainers that helped Dobs and I get this far - as well as your own list.

Sláinte Mates

 

WCI.jpg

 

Todd,

Congrats to ye and Dobs.  I'll hoist a dram o' Connemara to TEAM DOBS tonight, and ye can count on that Mate. 👍

 

Slainte TEAM DOBS,

Mike ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

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  • 9 months later...
sprocket

Hi All - Been a while - thought I'd check in and catch up:

 

Dobs has been busy with shows lately with a hunt test stuck in between (2nd Started pass) - This weekend he picked up his 3rd 5 point major to earn his CH with 17 points total.  Super proud and grateful to my pack that helped him along the way - the plan is to go for a GCH for fun and keep in contact with my show friends - good head space for me and Dobs.

2021.06.05 - BOW - CH.jpg

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Greg Hartman

Great pic of a great dog.  Sounds like he has you trained well - what with his own wingback chair and all....  🙂  Dog contests aren't my thing, but I'm very glad to see you and Dobs out doing this together.

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