Hunting Dogs

"Pleasure Hunter"

Spring is over and the humid days of summer have come to Ohio. As the sun sets below the woods line it brings in slightly cooler temperatures. Blanketing shadows soon cover what the sun touched, while the moon and stars fill the sky. Evening hours have arrived and while most ready themselves for sleep, some prepare for the hunt.

Boots are pulled on, brown nylon chaps are zipped into place, so to keep the briars at bay, and one of the final things is a light that is strapped around the waist. This tool proves to be one of the more important items. The hunter grabs a chain and nylon dog leash and heads outside toward the, kennel.

A chain link door opens and now the leash holds what the kennel held. Tugging at the leash with all the determination asked for, a hound readies for the hunt.

After leaping from the gravel driveway to the tail gate of the truck, the hound is then loaded into a dog box in the bed of the truck. The hound knows the hunt is near.

As the engine roars, the truck then heads a short distance for wooded land where the hunt shall take place.

The truck stops at the destination, the tailgate falls open, and the eager hound is unloaded from the box.

A short walk through dew-covered wheat ends, as then the hound is set free of the leash.

The hunter is now put to the test of whether or not the time and effort used on breeding and training will show through the hound.

As loud and as quick as thunder and lighting the hound screams out for all to hear. Over and over the hound lets loose a bawl of a bark, warning the, prey its track has been found.

Swiftly the hound runs through the wheat field tracking its preys scent, where just moments before it fed on the milky insides of the unripe wheat. The hound now enters the leaf-canopied woods, where sticks that lay on the ground can barely be heard snapping over the hounds screaming bawls. The hound travels deeper into the woods, closing in on its prey. The hunter, sensing the track is drawing to an end, starts walking toward the hound so to hear better.

The excited, bawling barks the hound used to signal a track echo away in the night time silence, and the woods fall as quiet as it was before the hound was unleashed. Then a piercing long drawn out bawl from the hound breaks through the silence, a bark noticeably different from what the hound used while tracking. With this bark the hound is claiming victory to the hunter and prey, and then with every breath the hound takes it returns with an intense short chop of a bark.

The hunter begins the travel to the hound listening intently to the hounds’ bark.

As the hunter reaches the hound there’s no better sight to be seen. Hind legs firmly planted at the base of an old oak tree, while fore paws rest against the trees bark covered sides, and the hounds head thrown skyward with every bark. This is known to hunter and hound as treeing. The hunter looks up into the leaf-covered branches of the old oak, and while using a dim light, searches for the prey.

Minutes later, caught in the beam of light, is a pair of orange glowing eyes. Using a brighter light the hunter exposes the entire prey.

Its silver under belly rests atop a branch, while four padded paws clamp to the branch for balance. Leaves nearly conceal its black-covered back, with brown hairs running throughout. Brown and black fur line its tail in rings, as it dangles off the branch. Warm nocturnal eyes stay hidden within a black mask, a mask that makes this fur bearer known to most as the raccoon. Satisfied with finding the raccoon the hunter leashes the hound after stroking its smooth dew-covered coat as a reward for accepting the training taught. That simple stroke was all the hound needed to realize it had succeeded in the hunting world this night and at the same moment found the meaning of being born and raised a Coonhound.

As the hunter and hound walk from the tree to the truck, their pride in each other shows with every step they take, even if neither will admit to it. The hunter and hound have shared a bond of companionship through the raising and training, and now as each day and night passes it grows more meaningful for both. But as the night is still early, they continue their quest to hunt, for prey, and with every track and tree they make together, the thrill is unforgettable.


© October 2006

Acclimating a Dog to Gunfire

As a professional retriever trainer, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive concerns acclimating a dog to gunfire.  As an example, P. Waits of Indiana wrote:  “I have a female, 1 ½ year old black lab.  I took her this weekend for the first time and exposed her to my shooting clay pigeons.  All she wanted to do was stay hidden either under the truck or up in the bed under the camper shell.  I did manage to call her to my side a few times prior to shooting and she would sit there obediently.  But as soon as I would shoot, she would want to go away.  Please give me some advice.”


The safe way to introduce a dog to gunfire is by developing an association of the report of a gun with birds.  We start by having a birdboy stand about 25 yards away from where the dog is placed, getting the dog’s attention by “hupping” him up, and finally throwing a live clipped–wing pigeon in the air in a high arcing fashion, landing 15 to 20 yards away from the birdboy. The dog handler holds the dog until the bird hits the ground and then releases it for the retrieve.  Repeat this procedure until you see the dog develop a high level of interest in the flight of the bird.  Then have the birdboy throw the bird and fire a 22 blank pistol when the bird is at the top of the arc.  Gradually, over a period of training sessions, move the birdboy/gun closer to the dog.  If you see any hesitation or apprehension in the dog whatsoever, get the excitement level back up by moving the sound away from the dog until the dog acclimates to the sound and associates it with the bird.  The key to this procedure is the development of an association of gunfire with flying/shot birds.  A side benefit from this method of training is that the dog will always look out and forward when it hears gunfire.  Other methods where loud noises are used such as banging on pans, taking the dog to the gun range, or shooting a gun over the feed bowl accomplish little or nothing and run the risk of gunshying the dog because there is no association with something pleasant.

Want to have your training question answered?  Just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I’ll select the most commonly asked questions and answer them here on this page.  Check back often to see you and your fellow hunting retriever enthusiasts’ questions!

The "Nightly" News - Fowl Creeks TFAA Black as Night

It occurred to me recently that it is very hard to find professional information on dog training on the web unless you are willing to become a paid subscriber, or send money for lessons. Some people are looking for basic training tips and others want full instruction on training their bird dog to be the next Grand Champion Hunting Retriever in their state. We, along with are about to break new ground. This column will be devoted to gun dogs, long and shorthaired alike, with tips and training for the beginner to the accomplished. It will be written with love and compassion and will abound with humor from time to time. After all, our pets are funny. But with many things of interest it will have a twist, I will be writing this column, not my "pet" Lynne, who we will refer to as my Owner/Handler (it makes her feel good).

I will bring you training from my perspective (yes the dog’s) and maybe that will help some of you to see it through my eyes. You will be able to follow me through my training from puppy to adult as I strive to become a dog that will be just as comfortable in the field as I am in my PetMate Kennel at home with my family.

For starters, let me tell you how my owner found my breeder and Kennel. I'll let her do this part, you must remember to let your owners do some of the work and give them lots of praise. In return, they will take you to the field more often and spend more time playing with you.

I have had Labradors since I was 9-years-old and have trained dogs for 23 years. Losing my last Black Labrador Retriever after 16 years was very hard for me to cope with. I was in no way, shape, or form searching for another dog. When Star passed away I felt at that time she would be my last. She had been that one in a million dog that every one dreams of. She was a great hunting companion, obedience show dog, and loyal friend. She was a pointing Lab, which made her great for both duck and upland hunting. Where I live, she hunted mostly grouse.

I own and operate Super Dog Obedience Training School. I stress to all my clients when you are looking for a dog search for a reputable breeder and not buy from Pet Stores and Flea Markets. You have no way of talking with the breeder and puppy mills are not a thing of the past. There is no reason to get in a hurry when you are purchasing a new dog, you are making a life-long commitment here. You don’t marry the first person you met do you? Also when looking for a new dog think of what you want this dog to do, be a pet, a show dog, a hunting companion or a dog for field trials. With Labs and many other breeds you need to look for a breeder that breeds for the traits you want. If you want a hunting dog you are not going to purchase a dog from show lines necessarily, there is a huge difference in appearance and drive. It is also important to visit the kennels, narrow down the top three or four after doing your research and call them and see if they will let you come look at the kennels. Pay attention to details when you are there and write down some questions you would like answers to. It could take you several months or a year to find the dog you are looking for.

For several years after Star passed, my husband Jim had urged me to get a new dog, but I wasn’t quiet ready. I had started doing a little searching on the web and in reputable magazines, but I just couldn’t seem to find what I was searching for. I wanted a female black Lab from field stock bloodlines. I was looking for a certain look and temperament and I felt I was searching for a needle in a haystack until I met Stacey West, owner of Fowl Creeks Kennels.

Jumping Run Farms

Fowl Creeks Kennels located in Louisburg N.C. is nestled on 3000 beautiful acres of rolling fields and ponds at Jumping Run Farms. I met Stacey a year ago this past February at the Dixie Deer Classic. Jim, my husband, and I were working the event for several of our sponsors. Stacey was there with his dogs doing seminars and exhibitions. His dogs were exactly what I had been searching for, the look, the temperament, and a breeder with the knowledge and loyalty to the breed I had been looking for.

Stacey has hunted as long as he can remember, mostly dove and rabbit with his Dad and their beagles when he was young. Stacey owned his first beagle when he was 14 years old. He began Duck hunting when he was in the 7th or 8th grade but mostly jump shot birds which does not require a dog. Stacey owned his first lab when he was a senior in High School, his name was Hooch. They learned a lot together and he fell in love with the breed.

Stacey wanted to become a Veterinarian but changed his major and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fish and Wildlife from N.C. State University and a Master’s Degree in Zoology from Clemson. Before dog training became his passion, he was a Wildlife Biologist at Johnston Community College where he assisted the environmental program for K-12 graders and also assisted with the outreach for 4-H.

Stacey started doing field trials with his dog’s six years ago and decided he wanted to take it to the next level. He is now a professional trainer and has been for 5 years. His accomplishments and titles are numerous. He and his black Lab GRHRCH UH Wingmaster Scout Sta-West were the first in North Carolina to achieve the Grand Hunting Retriever Champion title. Stacey competes nationally in field trials and hunting retriever trials as well as the ESPN Super Retriever Series. Stacey is a breeder who believes in quality breeding instead of quantity. He is a breeder who does all he can to keep the breed true to it’s origin.

I had talked to Stacey numerous times about what I was looking for, after a year he felt that he had the breeding that would result in the puppy that I had been searching for. You need to remember to let your breeder assist you in finding the right puppy for what you plan to do. I have people tell me that they do not want to pay for a puppy from a breeder, that they can not justify the expense. What they don’t see is that puppy you get from the Flea Market or Pet Store may have underlying problems that have resulted in bad breeding practices. In turn you will spend double the amount on Vet bills and medication or even worse have to have them euthenized. This is not the case all the time, some of the puppies you get will be perfectly healthy but more often than not that is not the case.

We drove to Louisburg to pick up Night on May 29, she was 71/2 weeks old, and Stacey makes sure all his puppies are OFA (eye certified) approved before he lets them go home. Eye CERF test (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) are done much like a visit to your family eye doctor.  The eyes are dilated to where the retina can be viewed.  Puppies as young as 7 weeks can have this procedure done.  When breeding this is a very important step in preventing hereditary eye disease that occur in many breeds. His pups come with a 30-month guarantee against health defects, such and hip displasia and other common defects. The dogs that he breeds have to have their eye and hips certified before they are considered for breeding. Their pedigree is also a huge consideration. Stacey breeds for quality field champion lines and works hard to keep his breeding program at extremely high standards.

When we arrived at Jumping Run Farms, Stacey, his assistant Roni, and the litter of puppies met us. Stacey gave us a complete tour of the farm, kennels, and his training facility. His operation is well run with anywhere from 5 to 30 dogs in his training programs. He teaches fieldwork and obedience. Some of the dogs in training will stay anywhere from a month for some beginning work or until they have completed the titles their owners desire and are reliable hunting companions.

There was a gentleman and his 7-year-old son there who were to get pick of the litter. They were taking two dogs back to Minnesota with them. After they had picked their two, Stacey assisted in helping us pick our puppy. I must admit I was very impressed with the puppies, they had been hand raised, were kennel trained, had been introduced to water and birds and were accustomed to riding in a car or truck.

After the paper work was complete we headed home with a very well adjusted puppy ready to start her life with her new owners. The 5-hour ride home was a breeze, no whining, no barking except when she needed a pit stop. I am very glad that I took the time to grieve Star and to find Fowl Creeks Kennels and Stacey West. Night is already a great addition to our family and we look forward to spending many years with her in the field and in our home.

We will be taking you through her training and welcome you to stop back by several times per month, we will keep updates and a lesson plans going from start to finish. Please feel free to email us with your questions and comments, as we are here to help you with your dog as well. We hope you will enjoy "Night’s Column" and learn from her success and failures. We plan on sharing all of her training with you good and bad. No dog has ever been trained that did not have a set back or two. Maybe you could drop the webmaster of this website a note as well and let her know what you think of this new online training concept. We look forward to working with you and your dog and giving you training tips and helping you troubleshoot through your problems. Night’s first column will be on what to do when you bring home your new puppy.

Until next time, keep your nose in the wind,


© 2004

Age to Begin Training


From T. Kylor of Nebraska :  I just got an 8 week old chocolate lab and I don’t know when I need to start training it.

From C. Baugh of Lafayette , Indiana :  My retriever, Trigger, is nine months old.  At what age can you start field training a dog?

From D. Beck of Lindsay, Oklahoma :  I have a black labrador retriever about one year old.  Is there an age limit at which it is too difficult and not productive to train a dog?

From M. Sabeh of Beirut , Lebanon :  I would like to know at what age it can be possible to train my dog?


As you can see, this is truly a universal question and one that is frequently asked.  The adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is not true.  What is hard to do is to break a dog of formed habits.  Once an animal has been conditioned to a behavior, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the animal will revert back to that behavior given the opportunity either through timing or place.  The only option that one has with a dog that has already formed an undesirable habit is to teach it a new replacement behavior.   The trainer’s job is to teach the animal the right way to do his work to begin with.  Then you don’t have any holes to fill later on.

Training is easier starting with a pup because the pup doesn’t know anything, except what you teach him.  However, it is not imperative to start with a young pup.  What is more important to understand is that whether a dog is eight weeks or eight years old, you need to start at the beginning.  An animal that has not been exposed to the work you intend him to do, i.e. work involving swimming, birds, training bumpers, gunfire, boats, decoys, etc., has not yet been brought into the classroom.  This is the first order of business. 

The logical approach to the successful training of an animal of any age always involves teaching the animal exacting responses in a sequence of subtasked events.  This method works because of the way a dog’s brain operates.  Dogs can’t think – they can only remember.  This is hard for the layman to understand, but is supremely important.  A dog does not “know” anything unless it has experienced it.  Therefore, presenting information to the animal in a subtasked format of chained events facilitates learning. 

The trainer’s approach to the dog’s lessons is also important.  The essence of being a good teacher or boss is the ability to get your student or employee to like his work.  Ideally, a good hunting retriever is “hardwired” with a high level of desire to retrieve.  The successful trainer is one who is able to manipulate the animal into responding to working words because he’ll let it fetch.  This kind of approach creates a student that has a willingness to learn the material presented and has a positive outlook towards its work.

Now we will address the concept of training.  Once you have taught a dog what you want him to do, you can then train him to do it.  In the process of training, you are utilizing points of contact, timing, and repetition over learned behaviors to create operate conditioning.  Trained behavior is the result of operate conditioning. 

Want to have your training question answered?  Just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I’ll select the most commonly asked questions and answer them here on this page.  Check back often to see you and your fellow hunting retriever enthusiasts’ questions!

The "Nightly" News - Bringing Home Pup

Hi Everyone, Night here to bring you another addition of " The Nightly News". I am seeking out information from all of my reliable sources to bring you current and up-to-date news and training tips. Remember if you have any questions please e-mail them to me and my "pet" Lynne, my owner/handler and we will be glad to answer your questions and give you assistance if you are having trouble in your environment. This addition is to help get your new pup off to a promising future, with a little work and encouragement, you and your pup will get off on the right paw. My pet and I hope you enjoy this addition and be sure to look for more info in the following months. This column is to help you and to watch me grow into a retriever that will be a pleasure to be with in a blind, on a hunt test or even in the big chair that I share with my family. So without further needless barking, lets throw the bumper and get ready for this addition of "The Nightly News".

Bringing home pup is a great day in both your life and ours, we are ready and eager to play, to please and to work with you. You have to remember though that we will not just fall into the routine you expect. For the most part we will be between 7-12 weeks old and are new to the world and our surroundings. We are very curious and want to seek out all the cool things in every corner of our new home and we will settle in nicely with a little help from you. Here are a few things that my "pet" (Lynne, owner/handler) done for me to make sure my new home was a great experience.

Getting to know your breeder will be an asset now and in the future, most breeders don't feel like their job is over just because the last of the litter is gone. Be sure to call them if you have any questions about us, as an individual or as a breed.


Bringing home a new puppy is almost like bringing home a new baby, there are some very important things that need to be in place when we arrive. Make sure you know what type food the breeder was feeding us and how much. It is better if you don't change our food right away, it will upset our stomachs. If you want to change food make sure you do it gradually over several weeks this way our bodies have time to adjust to the change and we will do just fine. My pet recommends that you feed the highest quality dog/puppy food that you can afford. It is true that you get what you pay for, a high quality dog food is easy for us to digest, keeps our coats shiny and helps our bones and muscles grow correctly. Lynne feeds me Purina Pro Plan Performance Chicken and Rice Formula, it is a fairly new formula designed with us hard working pups in mind. My pet has fed Purina Foods to all her critters for as long as she can remember with great results.

Another very important part to our diet is to feed us dry food, wet food can be mixed at first if the breeder was doing so. Dry food will help us maintain good dental health, it is nutritionally balanced, and our stools will not have the offensive odor that you get when feeding wet food. Also, when you feed a high quality food the need for supplements are not necessary. It is not true that we need variety in our diet, we are not like people in that regard. The same dog food everyday is fine with us, feed us puppy formula until we are one year old and then you can switch us over to adult formula. My food is adult food now, the new performance has more of what I need than regular puppy food. My pet does not recommend that you feed a high protein dog food if you are not working and playing hard with your pup. When working we need the extra energy and calories so we can run faster, swim farther and play harder. We are much like people in that regard, the less you do the less calories you burn the harder you work the more you need and the more you burn.

A lot of people ask my pet how to feed puppies, a good rule of thumb is 3 times a day for the first 3-6 months. We will need to be fed 2 times a day from the time we are 6 months to 1 year old and then once a day after that unless we are hunting or working hard. If an adult dog/pup is hunting all day it is good advice to stop at mid day and feed them and give them a break this will give them extra energy so they can continue to hunt without tiring so quickly. Then at the end of the day feed them again this will keep them well nourished if they are going to hunt several days in a row.

Feeding dishes and placement are very important as well, make sure that our dishes won’t be in the way or moved often, we like them in the same place. My pet uses stainless steel non-skid bowls for me, they are easy to keep clean and I don’t have to chase my dinner every night and spill my water all over the floor. Did you know that plastic bowls can turn yellow and chocolate Labs nose’s pink, it is called a "Dudley Nose". Some Labs are born with a pink nose but others have dark nose’s and the plastic will turn them pink. Yellow Labs are also prone to having a Dudley Nose in the wintertime this is not caused by plastic but genetics and will turn back dark in the warmer months. 



Next you will need to decide where we are going to stay when we come home with you, will we be outside or inside. If outside you will need to make sure we have a safe place to stay, for instance a hand built lot or chain link kennel. We will also need a good doghouse with bedding and it’s a good idea to put down gravel in the front of my area. Gravel drains well and will keep pup up off the ground when it’s muddy and it will help keep your feet clean when you come in to feed and give us water. Make sure we have plenty of water that can be reached and not turn over, a 5-gal bucket is not a good choice to begin with we can get in it and drowned. Yes, a puppy can drowned in a bucket of water if they get in and can’t get out.


My pet, Lynne, and many other hunters will raise their new pup in the house, a wonderful and necessary addition to your home is a kennel/crate, we need our own space and a kennel is a great way to start. We have one in both of the vehicles I ride in and one in the house, this keeps me safe on the road and at home. Some people think kennels are cruel but they are just the opposite. All canines have an ancestry of wolves, our great grandma and grandpa 4 begillion years ago were wolves. We are still pack animals and love a dark den like place to go to sleep and get a little quiet time, a kennel is all those things and more. My pet uses Petmate Products, they have a full line of kennels in every size, shape and color. Petmate manufactures a full line of pet care products for all your animals, they have kennels that fold up, airline kennels and even a "soft kennel" that goes up in a matter of seconds and has it’s own carrying case! They also produce kennel covers so their wire kennels look nice in your home, my kennel cover in the house is blue and tan and fits nicely over my Deluxe Edition Wire kennel, it makes my home very cozy.

A kennel can be a very useful training tool, you can think of it as a playpen for pups. If you are diligent you can house break us for the most part in about 2-3 weeks and if you need to keep us safe during the day while you are out, in the kennel we go. You don’t have to worry about what we are tearing up or getting into while you are out. You know that we are safe and that everything will be where you left it when you get home. One thing to remember a kennel should never ever be used as punishment, it will make us afraid of our new home and it can cause problems in the long run. If I don’t like my kennel how am I going to safely ride in the truck or go stay with grandma when Lynne is our of town? Where will I spend the night, locked up in the bathroom to eat a hole in the cabinets and drink all the cleaner that is under it? Then you will have a huge vet bill and cabinets to replace and in your eyes it will all be my fault when in reality it’s yours for causing me to be afraid of my kennel.

You need to decide where you want the kennel when we come home and keep it there, mine is in the living room. My pet slept on the couch the first few weeks so when I needed to go "potty" during the night she would take me out. This way I was taught to not use my kennel as the potty and I have never had an accident in it. I could hold my bladder all night by the time I was 10 weeks old (from 10:00pm-6:30am) so when my pet started sleeping in her bed again I was still in my place and I never knew she was gone.

When I came home from the breeder (Stacey West, owner of Fowl Creek Kennels) I was already use to a kennel, riding in a dog trailer and being handled a lot. Some of us don’t have the same up bringing. Be patient with us the first few weeks, the kennel will be a new experience for us so we may cry a little the first night or two. Remember if you come get us every time we cry we are training you to do this and we will never do anything but cry every time you put us in it. If you will leave us alone and let us cry it out we will learn that this is where you want us to be and that it is a really cool. By all means put us in a blanket or a rug, my pet prefers something she can wash while I am still small. You need to remember that we are babies and we can’t hold our bladders all night to begin with so something you can wash often is better than a bed you will have to throw away. A nice warm water bottle wrapped in a towel feels like our littermate and a ticking clock on or by our kennel at night is soothing as well. You can also put in a few hard rubber or nylabone type toys in with us, that way I can chew on something if I get bored and you don’t have to worry about me swallowing it. Don’t forget the kennel cover for pups kennel in your house, it feels like a den and I even go in mine during the day and have a nap, my pet leaves the door open when she is home. Petmate makes some great mats for our kennels I have a big one that has sheepskin on one side and the cover is removable for washing. We keep my mat in the den where pet works, she has taught me that this is my place to sleep in the den and will put the mat in my kennel when I get older and stop trying to chew it.


Now for potty training, some of us catch on quicker than others, again the kennel will help you with this. One thing that will help is by feeding us separate meals, like my pet advised. If you "free feed" us, leave food down 24/7 you will never know when we ate or how much. Usually we will need to go to potty anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after we eat. The quality food you feed us will also make a difference, if you feed a poor quality food we will have to go often and our stool will be loose. This can be corrected with a high quality food, we will usually have a bowel movement after each meal and the stool will be solid. Let me tell you if your pet has to clean up an accident in the house they don’t get as upset if your stool if firm but try to remember to tell them when you need to go out.

You will need to take your puppy out every one to two hours while you are at home. Take them to the same place in your yard every time and tell the to "Potty" or use a word of your choosing. If pup don’t potty bring them back in after about 5 minutes and sit with them on your lap for another 5-10 minutes then try again. The reason for siting them on your lap is more than likely they will not use you for the potty. Make sure that when you take them out to potty you do not use this as a play session. Pups learn quick and if you are playing with them every time you take them to potty they will ask you to go every few minutes so they can play. This is not fun when you ask your "pet" to go out at 2am and all you wanted to do was play. Our owners don’t understand this behavior and don’t like it, they don’t understand that they are the ones that taught us this behavior.

Also, make sure you really praise us for going to potty where we are suppose to, you can even give us a treat when we get it right. Treats are a great way to let us know we have done exactly what you wanted. Just remember to be patient, we are babies and sometimes accidents happen. If we really get to playing hard with you in the house we forget to ask to go out, try to remember to take us out after we have been playing hard for several minutes. If we have an accident in the house, scold us and take us out if you catch us in the act, we need to know that this is not acceptable. If you don’t catch us and find it later don’t drag us to it and stick our noses in it, we won’t understand and it will cause a terrible infection in our nose. Just clean it up and try to figure out why this happened, maybe you didn’t watch us closely enough or gave us to large an area to play in.

Some pups will bark or whine when they need to go out, I don’t, I just go sit by the door and patiently wait. My pet tells me that I should say something but I think the silent starring approach is better. I have a few 4-legged friends that ring a bell that hangs on the door. Every time their pet takes them out they ring the bell and say "potty". My canine friends catch on to this very quick and learn to ring the bell with either their nose or their paw. I still like the silent approach better it keeps my pets on their toes.


Vet care is probably the most important part of having a healthy pup from the beginning. Your owner should have an appointment for you within a week of bringing you home. Make sure you get the vaccination records from you breeder on what shots and worming pep had already had. We will have regular puppy visits until we are around 4 months old. Each puppy visit will consist of the following:

  • A Physical Exam
  • Being weighed
  • Temperature taken
  • DHL-P shot (Distemper/hep/lepto/parvo/ (and my vet adds corona)
  • Eye, ear, mouth exam
  • Stool Test (for worms)

When your puppy is 4 months old they will receive their rabies vaccination and Bordatella, commonly called kennel cough. If you are going to kennel your pup or have it around dogs Bordatella is highly recommended. With proper Vet care you and your pup will be off to a good start and will have a happy long life together.

The Vet’s office can be a very scary place for any dog especially pup, so here are a few tips that can make each visit a good experience.

Take time every day to look in pup’s ears, mouth and at their eyes. Rub their feet and toes, their tummies and tails, this will get them use to being handled and it won’t be strange to them when they have this done by the Vet. It is also a good idea to stop by your Vet’s office for a social visit every now and again. Take pup in and let them give her/him a treat and pet them, the people at the front desk are usually very happy to do this and the Vet will come out also if they are not to busy. This makes for a good experience for both pup and the Vet, only stay for a few minutes and be on your way. Pup will learn that this is a great place to go and that everyone there loves them.

Some owners only ride their pups/dogs in the car when they are going to the Vets office, they never get to go on a joy ride or a trip to the field. This sometimes causes us to relate the car with the Vet and all of us don’t like the Vet, they give us shots. This is one of the reasons dogs get car sick, you would get sick to if every time you were put in the car you ended up at the Vet’s office. If you will take us for short rides to get us use to the car/truck we will learn to like if quickly. Make sure you get us out and give us the opportunity to potty and do some snooping when we get there. This will teach us that when we get in the car/truck we get to go to new places and you play with us when we get there. One word of warning, please don’t take us with you if you are going shopping and you will be leaving us in the car. It gets hot in a hurry even with the windows cracked. Think of it this way, could you stand to sit in a parked car with a fur coat on for 30 minutes or an hour??? If not don’t take us, leave us at home in our kennel we will be much happier and safer there.

I hope I have answered some of the questions eveyone has about their new pup. I will be bringing you information on early training, introduction to water and retrieving fun in the up coming additions and some cute pictures of me and some of my friends as well. I hope you have enjoyed this addition of "The Nightly New", until next time.

Until next time, keep your nose in the wind,


© 2004