Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dumb Handler Error!

Handler error!  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  
Ken working with Bailey and me in April

Senior Hunt test today at Hastings Island.

Great run.  Two great points, steady to wing and shot, perfect retrieve to hand.  Only thing left for a VERY good run and pass was the honor.  

The honor is Bailey's strong talent.  He will honor from a long way off.  

Critical error: It was a 90 degree hot day in the field.  It is 10 to 20 degrees hotter at the dogs level than at my face level.  I KNOW that but forgot.  DUMB.  I had a water backpack sitting in the Jeep full of water!

Bailey's bracemate was pulled because it chased a bird so the honor had to be set up.  The judges had me hold my dog until they set up the situation with a different dog.

Bailey was hot and panting.  I had drained the small water bottle with him a bit earlier in the run.  

So after 15 minutes they got another dog and worked the

 Vizsla into the bird.  Once it went on point I released Bailey
 from about 50 yards away and directed him toward the other dog on point.  I waited for him to lock up into a honor.  I waited as he got closer and closer.  He kept going in.  Now I know he sees the dog.  WHAT!

He ran within feet of the other dog at full tilt and headed through the bird field. RIGHT TO THE WATER TUB. He jumped in and relaxed lapping at the water.  Cooling off as I came up to him. 

We were disqualified as Bailey had not honored the other dog.

I had plenty of time to take him to the water tub, that was on the edge of the bird field, before the set up was done.

In retrospect, Bailey was showing all the signs of HEAT STRESS.

 In my excitement I didn't see it.  Very good lesson Bailey taught me.  Sorry buddy.
Pro handler in Oregon cooling down his dog before brace in tub

I just laughed when I came up to him relaxing in the tub.

Bailey is smarter than I am.  Of course, I think I have known that for the last couple years.

We will try again.  The journey continues.

Footnote:  Bailey's scores from the judges:
Hunting: 8.5 Bird Finding: 9 Pointing: 9 Trainability: 8 Retrieving: 8 Honoring: 0 

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