Jan 2019: Branch was owner surrendered at 1 yr old due to some food aggression. We found him to be a young active boy, starving for attention and food which may be the reason seen by his previous owner. We found him to be more insecure than aggressive, not housebroken as he had been kept outside but he quickly learned what he needed to do to be an inside dog! Branch is very birdy, loves to play fetch, carries toys around. No manners or training so that is a work in progress. I think the food issue is easily corrected, he willing leaves his food for affection, I think he had to fight for his food and as he is learning it’s there for him and no one is taking it away he is quickly gaining confidence.
Nov 2019: Hi Rebecca and Shelia, I promised hunting pictures so I'll send those and an update. I tried to get a picture of him pointing but I never can get the camera out in time. I'll keep trying.
Branch is doing wonderful. Over the summer I talked to a bird dog trainer and he said the most important thing I could do to prepare the dog for hunting season was to get him healthy, happy and fit. So that's what I did. Over the summer and fall he got his running and swimming in each week. He loves any type of water (lake, pond, stream, river… etc.) except from bathes. Not sure he really needs a bath in the summer.
He really didn't get any bird dog training at all. He didn't need it; as it turns out he already knew everything. He points, hunts, takes directions, and retrieves without any training. Retrieving needs some work and that's probably what I'll work with him on next year.
This year, I got him out in the field as much as possible and in front of as many birds as possible. I think that's the secret. I had him out in the field at the gun club this morning in the cold and snow he located and pointed two groups of huns. He continues to develop as a hunting dog. It's exciting the relationship we are developing doing this work in the field. I never dreamed I could be part of the process. I'm going to keep at it for the rest of this year and start it up again next year.
I got him down to 51 pounds this summer; he looked great. I upped his food about a month ago when I realized that he was constantly cold and needed to grow a winter coat. The extra food has bulked him up a bit and is now growing a thicker coat. Life is good. Sincerely, Mark
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