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Ruffed Grouse Hunt

About eight months ago as I was paging through my Grouse Point I started thinking about getting a second dog. I ran the idea past my wife and she was very understanding, with a few stipulations:

1. The new dog must be an English Setter, as she has one visit her at work and fell in love with it.
2. I must put in a dog door, as it seems that all our dogs have asked her for the door.
3. I must place an outdoor kennel outside the said dog door. So the said dog will have a place to go.

Iíve heard great things about English Setters for grouse hunting so we started calling around and found a breeder we liked. Dan at Bayview registered Setters gave us some great references. So we have a Setter on the way. It will be a male and its name will be Scout. So Iíll be telling you about him and his training in the next few months. By the way within three weeks of my wife giving me the stipulations Gunner was enjoying the freedom of his new door and outdoor kennel.

With the loss of Gunner it left us with the big question do we still want two dogs. The answer was yes so we started looking on the net to see if there might be any breeders of English Setters out there that had pups available. We got in touch with Suzanne Sliney of Andover Kennel. She knew of a pup from a litter that she had provided stud service for that was still available. The pup was 15 week old and staying at the home of the dam. I got in touch with Doug Wylie of Ramblewood Kennel and he told me that the pup was available and staying with him in his home. At this point I asked for and received a picture of the pup from Suzanne, he was what I have in my mind as the perfect setter pup. Before calling Doug back I was thinking of what to name him and was planning on Sergeant. I called Doug back to let him know that we would be down to pick up the pup, as we talked I asked him if he had been calling the pup by any name? He had and the name was Major. The pup at this point was field promoted to the rank of Major.

WOW! what a great dog Major is. He adjusted to his new home like it was nothing new and He and I had a great time in the woods his first full day with us, one flush out of a pine. There is a lot of ice on the ground in our area so I was greatful for that one flush. Major looked up at it, as if he knew that that was the prize!

Major's eighteen weeks now and this weekend we got out both days. Saturday was a good day Major and I walked in the woods, four flushes two that we could see. Of course on the two that we could see I brought Major in on the spot that the bird took off from and praised him. Sunday we went out and planted a pheasant as we were on our way in to the fields we flushed a grouse and again we worked the scent an worked the bird and got a second flush, Major was very birdie looking but didn't get a point. On to the pheasant, that bird was so gone as soon as I set it down even though I dazed him, the dog gave chase and I shot off a few 22 cal. blanks Major didn't take a look my way he wanted that bird. After the bird touched down in the wood some 300 ft, away, we worked in on it and it started running so Major got some work on ground tracking. All and all it was a good training weekend in my opinion

We have had Major in our home for two weeks and I can not get over what a good dog he is. He wet once the first day and that was it. Major is very responsive to training, he come on command, retrieves a dummy on command and sits. That's only the first two week I'm very excited about the possibilities of this English Setter pup.

Training is going very good, Major is 5 months old now and in the past two week we have had him in the woods five times for a few hours each time. We also have worked on his whoa command, for the first week I held him in place as I gave the command and slowly let go of him and moved to his front. I have found that as I give the command that it is very helpful to use a hand signal (arm in front of you, palm facing the dog) and as always praise when he does good. At this point I whoaed him and walked around him repeating whoa with ever step, if he moved I would pick him up and move him back to the spot on which I had whoaed him and repeat from the start. Now I whoa him as he is milling around the yard, house or woods, and as above if he does not stop on the command I pick him up and move him back to the spot where I whoaed him. I have said whoa so much that my wife is sick of the word, but as we know if you want a well trained bird dog the whoa command must be followed

"The Second dog is here"

I am so excited to introduce this new pup to you and I hope that I'll have some time to share some more of his training then I did so far with Major, Did I mention that Major is doing a great job finding and pointing Woodcock. Back to the new pup I said the name would be Scout however it up in the air as of now. Two days later and the name will be Scout. Dan at Bayveiw the kennel where Scout came from said his dogs would come to a lip whistle and I will give you my word, that if I whistle he is at my feet in a few seconds. By the way, I don't know who is more afraid of each other, Major or Scout. The first night they sleep side by side so I think they will get along just fine.

Major at eight weeks.
Major at seventeen week.

Major at nineteen week.
Major at nineteen week.
Major at six months.
Major at eight Months.
Scout at nine weeks.

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