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Dave's Commentary, June 16, 2000
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I use to field triala bit myself but have gotten out of it as I like the hunting end of bird dogs the most. I must admit though, I had a great time this past weekend at the South Plains Pointer Club in Shallowater, Texas.
My stepson Clint continues to gain momentum in his interest for Brittanys. Being a lifelong competitor himself, he now takes great pleasure competing in the field. He attended his first AKC trial with a young hard charging prospect puppy of mine named Zak.
Zak, 13 months, hadn't had too much done with him in his first 12 months of life so it was totally up in the air as to what he would do. Considering that it was a Pointer Club Trial, I told Clint not to expect too much as he would probably be the only Brittany person there.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a couple other Brittanys there and we all had fun.
Clint ran in the Open Puppy and the Open Derby with Zak. Open Puppy did not go too well as the other pup wouldn't leave our pup alone. The next day, Zak had a wonderful, far-reaching ground race in the Open Derby.
Zak had an honest to God hard slam on point at about 6 minutes, as there was a wild flush down wind. Later he had another hard slam on point at about 12 minutes and was steady to wing.
When the dust settled, Zak finished fourth and Clint was pleased. Considering that Clint was completely inexperienced, as was the dog, I'd say they both did very well.
Zak is a full brother to Zeb (different litters). Zeb as you may recall, won a huge NSTRA stake and is owned by Rusty Calhoun. We will be repeating this litter (Dot and Chief) this next Spring.
Trials aside, we feel that a companion-hunting dog should be top quality in the field and home. I've heard folks talk of other breeder's dogs, saying "That dog is only good for hunting". What does that mean? Do they mean that a hunting dog is inferior in some way??? I sure hope not.
O.K., soap boxes aside.
'Til next time, keep your training lessons short and fun.