Frodo & Co, Lords of Game

Meet Frodo & Co

What a lovely chat we had recently. Being in France pleying with my dogs, I figured to give you a humble sample of what my boys and me are playing at.

The castle where I stay has a lovely grassy garden where it is easy to set up a training. So I took out sweet Pippin (5), rascal Took (4), his little brother pit-bull Ranger (2,5) and gorgeous Legolas (2).

For the last month my dogs are working on game and their interest in silly dummy’s is not very exciting. Their speed is therefore a bit slow.

I set up a 4-shot dummy launcher at the right, shooting dummy’s on my remote control when wanted. The burring the you hear is the compressor and the plop when shooting a dummy with the remote control in my pocket. 

I use this device to excite the dogs; this machine is very tempting, but they are to do as I tell them.

So together we bring dummy’s in the wood a bit on the left. The dogs have registered that. We come back and again I give a diversion shot-dummy at the right.

Legolas is sent first to the dummy in the wood (he has to ignore the shot and dummy). It is obvious that he is out before I have given him a decent order, anticipating my intentions (imagine I might change my mind and send one of the others). 

When on his way back I shoot another dummy from the launcher and being a young and eager dog, he is looking but comes in after my recall. I want them to look where it falls, but respect and bring this dummy first.

Next I send young Ranger: dynamite but not always deep enough, so I have to push him ‘get out’ a bit. On his way out he well ignores the just shot dummy on the right. Nice, simply .

Next I send Took, but do not give him any direction, so he goes for the one he likes best: a shot one. When he has picked it, I shoot another just behind him and the rascal is tempted to swap (totally forbidden!).

The next shot is from where I brought the dummy’s and I send Pippin. You can see that I want them to work for it on scent (by throwing the dummy in higher grass). When on his way back he also respects the shot + dummy nicely.

Okay let’s throw more dummy’s in the back and after that I send Took in that direction. There was however a dummy left to the right and so I stop him halfway and send him to the right. But Took has a mind of his own and has to be told twice!! You hear that I praise him for stopping immediately: my teachings are all about praising the moment of desired behaviour; always! Dogs are simple beings, and it is my praise that overrules their desire to do other things. Praise is just ‘tone of voice’. C’est le ton qui fait la musique.

When he has picked one, he sees another and swaps (making me very, very angry!) but when he comes in all is forgotten about that. I can’t possibly be angry any longer when he comes to hand me a dummy, whichever, the mistake was made ‘long’ ago.

As for the location: this is where I live part time for several months of the year. Sometimes in the white house (castle as locals call it), sometimes in another house ‘La Loge’ on the estate (dedicated to me and the boys and my colleagues pickers up from Holland when they are over for a few days).

Life is mighty good here!

France, november 2023

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