30 May 2010


Yesterday I ran Miska in an FDX (Field Dog Excellent) at the VSO field tests. I only entered her in the one day because:
  • She hadn't been on birds or done any field training for the past 8 months due to our lengthy sojourn in AZ
  • I didn't know if she would be in good enough physical condition given that the main form of her exercise for most of the past 6 months while in AZ was very brisk leash walks
  • I wan't familiar with the grounds having found the venue at other field test locations far too small for FDX level.
I thought that perhaps her lengthy absence from the field might deliver some positive results (wishful thinking, eh?).  Well, I didn't really expect Miska to pass although I was hopeful.  She started off well, covering a lot of ground quickly. Then she honored (backed) her GSP brace without me commanding her.

Miska backing her bracemate

Miska holding her honor position
Miska stayed in position throughout the flush, shot and retrieve of the GSP's bird.  I saw Miska flinch when the bird flushed and knew she was desperate to retrieve the other dog's bird but although she re-positioned herself (well, she just moved a tiny bit) she otherwise stayed pit.  At that point, my hopes really started to rise because remaining steady through the shot & retrieve of another dog's bird has been her nemesis.

Then Miska found a bird & went on point, exhibiting a beautiful style. We had to wait quite a while for the GSP to be rounded up so he could display his backing skills. The GSP either saw Miska on point and ignored her or looked right through her because he needed a command from his handler to whoa.  Finally he backed Miska. 

Miska pointing her Chukar

The Chukar was right in that grassy mound so it was easy for me to spot. I told Miska to whoa while I flushed it. As soon as it took flight, she broke her point and started to chase it (aaarrrgh!).  All hopes were dashed at that moment because it meant a FAIL.  Why did she break her own point but held it on the honor?  Who knows?

Despite the 'Fail',  I was still very very pleased with many aspects of Miska performance. She covered a lot of ground; she scored a 9/10 for desire; 8/10 for style of running; 15/15 for pointing and a 10/10 for her honor.  I can't possibly fault her for what she didn't do or did. I realized afterwards that this was my first time handling at this level in Canada as Miska's field trainer, Mike Wilshire, had always handled her. So I probably made some mistakes or failed to take action when I should have.  But Miska came out of the field very tired and happy because she did was she loves to do and I was very happy with her honoring.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Miska! Your mom is proud of you.