| to take her on some private
land and worked a lot on wild pheasants in heavy cover."
"This was also a good place to work on hup, sit, and stay
when she would get too far out. Much whistle work was done during
these training sessions. Again, this type of training took a
lot of time, patience, and praise to get the dog to respond."
Mike and Mackie worked on retrieving a lot during the dog's early
months. Then, at about 5 months, Mackie quit bringing back the
dummy. "I tried pheasant scent, but it didn't seem to work.
At this point I picked up a dog Frisbee called a Flippy Flopper.
We called it Flippy and would play with this. I would have
her sit, then stay, throw Flippy and release her to go get it.
She always brought it back. It got to the point where I could
tell her to go find Flippy and she would scour the house to find
it and bring it back. The
GAME DOG book said to only use a dummy
and nothing else. In this case, when the 'dummy' failed to fetch
the dummy, the Frisbee made the difference," Mike remarked.
When Mackie hit 13 weeks, Mike started using a dead pigeon to
work on retrieving. "I would have her sit and stay first,
throw the pigeon, fire the gun, then release her to fetch. While
she learned what the
| shot meant, I would start
throwing the bird over a hill where Mackie could not retrieve
by sight. She would have to use her nose to find the bird.
Again, repetition, patience, and praise were important."
When the dog was 9 months old, Mike started working her on live
pigeons. "At first I would plant the pigeons in some grass,
go through the commands, and have Mackie bring the birds back.
I then pulled some flight feathers and would throw the bird
into the air. After the bird would land, I would wait. This
would give her time to get very excited; then I released her
The use of the flashlight on the wall was stumbled upon when
Mike watched the dog chase the reflection the sun made when it
bounced off his wristwatch. "After watching the dog entertain
herself for periods of