Neva, our recent addition to our pack of Wachtelhunde’s, is growing rapidly. Close to twice as big as in the photo. She’s a smart dog, but does get into a lot of trouble.
My friend Gerhard (he likes to be called Gary) Gehrman and his wife Irma dropped by the other day to see Neva and show us their new little female Wachtel. She’s a month or so younger than Neva, so she is somewhat smaller. But Gary already has her calmed down. I tend to have troubles keeping my dogs from being ‘overly exuberant’ around people, at least until they’ve gotten a little older.
Training is going OK, but it’s not without its challenges. Because of wolves (they are still numerous, and hungry – a few people in the area have recently reported their pets have been taken by wolves and others have had close encounters – we have been keeping Neva on some sort of leash whenever she is out of the house. When she’s on the long leash, it’s hard to keep her from getting tangled up in the trees and brush, but it’s not a problem doing fetching and searching and finding and whatnot, because we do that in the field. The problem is that at some point I have to start letting her run without any leash, and trust she won’t run off (and get lost, or eaten by wolves). As puppies, Heidi, Brill and Dory all ran off at some point, usually chasing game. Eventually they did come back, with the exception of Dory, who was picked up twice by other people, once, several kilometers from home. It was on her last run when she broke her leg, although that was the result of a genetic defect we were initially unaware of. It’s a long story, but the fact is Dory has never been able to be a hunter because she’s ‘physically challenged’. And Brill has been too old and crippled up to hunt for four years. Neva’s the BIG HOPE.
Gary is letting his little Wachtel run with Edsel, his older dog, when he rides his quad. He does worry about the wolves as well, and he did say she was taking off after game (grouse, mainly). I don’t have the confidence in my training – while Gary is trained as a professional dog trainer. Just have to keep at it, I guess.
Seeing as it’s just about the middle of July, Lil and I have less than 2 months of training to go before the opening of the local duck hunt on Sept.10. When I took Brill out on her first hunt on the opener, about 15 years ago, she retrieved my limit of ducks, which I think was 8. That will be hard to match.