Saturday, November 10, 2007

The dark side

Good dog:

Bad dog:


Chas S. Clifton said...

Brave Chessie! Part dog, part bulldozer.

I am enjoying his photos -- tell me, how do you get him to sit still in a duck blind? Both of mine have hated that part. Usually they end up chewing the blind framework in frustration.

mdmnm said...


The dog/bulldozer combo is even more apt than the photos really show. That was a crippled wigeon that was diving on him. When he saw the bird, he tried swimming straight across a fairly stiff current and got swept well downstream of the duck, which had eddied out. He started swimming right up river toward the bird, not making much progress. When I tried to call him over to put him back in above the bird, he stuck his head down and powered on up current. Hard head!
As for sitting still in the blind, he is pretty good as a natural matter. He doesn't want to down, he likes to see, but he's pretty content to sit there and watch for birds. Now, breaking at the shot is a whole other thing. A really stout leash looped to a well-set stake is the only thing limiting him. I'm not sure we'll ever come to an understanding on that. Any suggestions?

Chas S. Clifton said...

Maybe I am not dedicated enough as a Chessie trainer, but I do as you do--keep him on a short leash if he is likely to break out too soon.

Anonymous said...

Hardly Chessie-specific or duck-blind specific, but little Kang has a really hard time being calm and quiet and doing her own thing if there's anything going on. She wants to be right in the middle of things, and if there aren't things she wants to create some.

If she's up for more than a minute or two, I down her. If she's trying to put the world in her mouth, I give her a durable toy (the same one over and over). Lather, rinse, repeat. And repeat. And repeat. She's plenty smart, but hard-headed like I hear your big brown dogs are rumored to be.

It's water on a stone, but the progress is visible now, even if Settled Dog Nirvana has not been reached.

Rebecca K. O'Connor said...

LOL-- the pictures gave me a chuckle.

How DO the dogs manage to stay still in the blinds? I don't think *I* could do it! Although I'm thinking of spending a weekend with they guys at a duck club in order to give it a try. Waiting for the ducks to come to me just seems so...patient.

mdmnm said...

If there are plenty of birds flying (cranes, geese, crows, hawks, it doesn't have to be ducks) the dog doesn't exactly freeze. He sits in one place and watches the birds, constantly craning his head around. If nothing is going on, he'll eventually lay down. He seems to have put together the idea of hiding out and waiting with getting a chance at the birds. Once a shot is fired, though, he is out of there and looking for a bird. Most times, I have to physically bring him back as he forgets the meaning of "come".
Sitting in a duck blind isn't as contemplative as ice fishing, but when things are slow it can start to feel about the same. At worst you're hanging out in a pretty place where something interesting might happen. Occasionally, birds will come in silently from behind and completely interrupt your zoning out to the sound of the river. Give it a try!