Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I've read in many different magazines and heard in pointing dog discussions that sight pointing can be a bad habit for a bird dog. I am by no means an authority, but I can't see where it hurts as long as the dog also points scent. It seems like it adds just one more piece to the puzzle of getting more birds. Today, Riley proved to me that sight pointing is very useful. Maybe my other dogs have done the same thing, but I have never seen it as obvious as it was today. The conditions are warm and dry on the hills. I've never seen conditions this tough for dogs. Several times today Riley would act like he hit scent. He'd stop and then search the area with his nose looking for more scent. At some point he'd lift his head like he was looking for birds. Sure enough he'd go on point. Not a high tailed point, but a point all the same. I could tell he had made contact. His eyes told the story. As I approached he would break point and circle the birds pinning them between us. This happened at least a half dozen times today. Rileys nose couldn't pin the birds but his eyes did. I'm not trying to make Riley out to be a super dog. I think all dogs are capable of doing this. It's just that he gets out more than most dogs and is pretty much left to hunt and find the birds how he wants. He knows the point of locating
birds is to find them and hold them for me. I don't care how it's done as long as we work as a team. Today was about as good as team work can get. But it was mostly done with his eyes today and not his nose.
One more note on Rileys ability to communicate with me. After 3 hours of hunting the dry conditions today he just quit. I was heading back to the truck and walking a cow trail and Riley fell in behind me on the trail. He stayed about 10 yards behind me for the last half mile pretty much telling me, enough is enough.