As the weather has changed from deep snow and cold, it is now starting to warm up, the sun is shining, and all the snow is gone. I have set a goal for myself to be out working with the dog, daily. Most days, it is feasible and I am able to give Dahlia a 30 minute obedience workout. I have been using a positive reinforcement technique utilizing a clicker and treats. She responds very well to it and in a few short days, has come along way with all the training that I have provided her. She is very proficient with her sits, downs, heels, and stays. I need to incorporate the whistle into things but I am taking it slowly. I want to ensure that she will have a good foundation for her training!
If I had to label which seasons I enjoy the most, I think I would put Spring, second, right after Fall. It was a beautiful day to be out and about. The signs of Winter's end was all about. The birds were singing, the geese were honking, and the turkeys were gobbling. Need I mention that the temperature outside was 50+ degrees this morning?! I have a break today from work and school and figured I would go explore a buddy's property. Two times, he has taken a limit of 5 rabbits off of it and I figured this would be the best bet for finding Dahlia a rabbit. We found at least 4! One, right as we got out of the car...it was hiding in a clump about 10 feet a way. Dahlia showed great interest in following the track! I have to say that she did quite well for her first experience. She was a little distracted at times, but I have to say there was a lot of scent around. I could not believe the amount of rabbit pellets on the ground. I was able to refocus her several times and she showed a willingness to work for me. I would say her longest track was about 50 yards. Her improvement will only come with more experiences and time; I have more plans to visit this piece of ground in the near future! One area that I was impressed with was Dahlia's ability to worm her way into the brush piles. As you can see from the pictures below, she was working quite hard for me.
Took Dahlia out and wandered the family farm looking for some bunnies. This is the second day of row that none were found. It was still quite an eventful day as we did stumble upon 3 opossums. Dahlia was the direct cause of one's demise, the other 2 escaped; one up a tree and the other took off running down the fence row and ducked into a hole before she could figure the track out. She did give a tongue on the treed opossum. I think I need to invest in a pistol. We saw probably 50 wild turkeys. They were getting out of the standing corn and running across the open fields towards the woods. After they disappeared, Dahlia began to work their tracks. I watched as she did a 200 yard track across the melting snow of a chisel plowed corn field. Of course my camera died before the whole thing played out. I am extremely happy with Dahlia's work and drive. She is not afraid to get in and work the cover. Overall, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day to be out and about.