I didn't expect to be shin deep in run off water tonight. But I learned to expect the unexpected when I bought my GSP five or so years ago. Bella's a good dog. She's loyal, friendly, has a high prey drive, and if I made real effort with her I'm sure she would be good versatile gun dog.
The problem is I don't insert excuse here or there. I've done boarding and a couple of training programs. I'm currently trying this program that I found from a woman on YouTube (ah the rabbit holes we go down). Her videos show her in charge of 3 or 4 pointers in an open field, guns going off, and their sitting there–still. Without an e-collar, and without whining they wait for their next command. So, if I can get half way there with Bella I'd be happy. She's almost six and most people with six year old gun dogs are a few seasons in to having a finished dog. But that's not where we are, and that's no reason to quit. I want to bring to fruition all of her potential.
She doesn't leave the backyard much except for our runs. But I'm trying to turn a new leaf (again) even as her sixth birthday draws near. I think it would be wrong to give up on finding this dog's true potential.
So that brings me to tonight. Bella doesn't leave the backyard much except for our runs. That usually makes her calm enough in the evenings. But the first real cold weather welcomed central Texas this week. So the dog's have been kenneled during the day. My wife texted that Bella was wound up and needed to run. Kick in dog owner guilt. I pulled into the driveway, left the car on, and grabbed Bella.
I took her to a retention pond near the house. It's not ideal but the pickings are slim in the suburbs.
I let her off the leash gave her the "alright", and she was gone. She wasn't wearing her e-collar, which is like obedience insurance. I knew I was rolling the dice, and that I'd probably be chasing her after a few ignored attempts to recall her. As I predicted, she was too busy to return upon my commands, pleas, begging, and offers of a treat quid pro quo.
She was burrowed in the corner of the pond. She found something entertaining, too entertaining to bother with me. I walked to her, noticed she was elbow deep in run off water and mud–ah now a bath awaits us upon our return home–and felt my cotton pants leech onto my shins as my feet became submerged in the gunk water.
I wasn't mad. How could I be? She's been kenneled up all day and wasn't trained to recall without an e-collar. Tonight I'll revise my training pdf. from the YouTube GSP whisperer, and try again tomorrow. For now, here is an option.