Today, Nina and Theresa went duck hunting with their favorite gunner, Ken. This was both Theresa and Nina's first real duck hunting experience even though we have loads field training and hunt test experience.
For those of you who hunt (and those who don't), there is something special about watching a dog do what it is bred to do -- art in its own way. Flat-Coated Retrievers were bred to retrieve birds and small game. As breeders, we think it is important, and we are proud that our dogs have a natural ability to work as retrievers. We train using positive reinforcement and then work side-by-side with our dogs as partners. For us, field work and taking our dogs to the line is a privilege. Seeing them "do their job" with happy flat-coat enthusiasm is beyond poetry in motion. Our Nina meets and, in her own way, exceeds expectations as a hunting retriever; she is a eager worker who loves being out in the field. At hunt tests, judges always comment that they "love her style." While this was her first real hunting experience, she easily used her natural ability, her skills from training and her experience at hunt tests to have a great day. All that and she's so easy to live with -- such a sweet, sweet girl!
Today's adventure provided a spectacular sunrise, the joy of seeing Nina work in a real hunting situation, and extra kisses when the day was done! We are thrilled to keep working with Nina for more advanced hunt and field experiences...Can't wait to see what comes next!