Nov 2019: Hi Rebecca and Shelia, I promised hunting pictures so I’ll send those and an update. I tried to get a picture of him pointing but I never can get the camera out in time. I'll keep trying.
Branch is doing wonderful. Over the summer I talked to a bird dog trainer and he said the most important thing I could do to prepare the dog for hunting season was to get him healthy, happy and fit. So that’s what I did. Over the summer and fall he got his running and swimming in each week. He loves any type of water (lake, pond, stream, river… etc.) except from bathes. Not sure he really needs a bath in the summer.
He really didn’t get any bird dog training at all. He didn’t need it; as it turns out he already knew everything. He points, hunts, takes directions, and retrieves without any training. Retrieving needs some work and that’s probably what I’ll work with him on next year.
This year, I got him out in the field as much as possible and in front of as many birds as possible. I think that’s the secret. I had him out in the field at the gun club this morning in the cold and snow he located and pointed two groups of huns. He continues to develop as a hunting dog. It’s exciting the relationship we are developing doing this work in the field. I never dreamed I could be part of the process. I’m going to keep at it for the rest of this year and start it up again next year.
I got him down to 51 pounds this summer; he looked great. I upped his food about a month ago when I realized that he was constantly cold and needed to grow a winter coat. The extra food has bulked him up a bit and is now growing a thicker coat. Life is good. Sincerely, Mark
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