Gun Dog Adventures First Product Review: Go Dog

“The World’s First K9 Energy Shot.”GoDogBottles

This site is seeing more and more traffic these days and that makes me happy to see that people are finding the information here of interest. I received an email in my GunDogAdventures@gmail.com account not too long ago from a marketing representative from a company asking me if I’d like free samples of a product in exchange for writing a review here on the Gun Dog Adventures site. Now, I have to be honest, at first I thought the email was some kind of spam, but after some quick research, my interest was piqued. So, I replied to the message and soon received my two bottles of GoDog.

Forever Healthy Pets provides a unique product for the pet market. With two DVMs on the Board of Directors, the company also seems to have the backing to substantiate their claims of being “fully devoted to animal health, life and well-being.”

While training for the Lone Star NSTRA Regional Championship, I gave Lily the GoDog products two different times – once mixed with her food and once mixed in her water. She seemed to prefer it mixed in her food, but that may have been the fact that I mixed it with other beef broth and leftovers. While out in the field I poured it in her water dish, but she didn’t drink too much of it. I can only hope that it contributed to keeping her energy levels up and helped to prepare her for placing as the 5th Runner Up to the Regional Champ. And before you started rolling your eyes about an energy drink for your pup, think about the last time you had a protein bar, energy shot or energy drink. I will note that a fellow competitor asked if I would like to give Lily a protein bar in between braces during the regionals. So, if you would like to explore the products for keeping your dog well-hydrated and give it that extra boost, why not try the GoDog product?

You can purchase a 6-pack of these doggie energy shots for $25 directly from their GoDog Page. As they say….

“Active dogs require key nutrition in order to stay healthy and at their peak. Go Dog not only provides hydration, but also energy, vitamins and minerals for optimal canine animal health. Go Dog is the latest breakthrough in pet performance.”

 

NSTRA Lone Star 5th Runner Up

 

Top6In only her 5th NSTRA trial, Lily performed fantastic and became the 5th Runner up to the 2014 Lone Star NSTRA Regional Champion.

SpectatorIt was a great weekend to run dogs and the Scissortail Ranch trial grounds were in great shape.

Blind2Lily ran against 37 other dogs from the region and squeaked into the top 16th spot to advance to the second round.

LineUpLilyPoint1

Her first run produced 2 birds, a safety called on 1 retrieve, and a +200 yd retrieve on the second missed shot.

Competing in the top 16, her next run produced 4 birds, but my shooting was horrible and I only managed to knock one down for her to retrieve. (#1 practice in the off season = clay pigeons)

BlindIn her last brace, against outgoing President Jim S., Lily failed to find a single bird. But I didn’t feel too bad, as Jim’s pointer only found a single. We had a great time and I want to send out a huge thanks to Dale and Tom for making Lily’s inaugural NSTRA year an absolutely fabulous experience!

DaleDale made it to the final 16 cut with Stormy, pictured here on point about 250 yds from the gallery. The judge had a great view of the bird work.

LaniTom’s Lani made it to the final two, but was edged out by the Godwin’s Ella, a pretty little French Brittany, with only a single bird found during the final hour brace.

The last trail of the year is at Tom’s place in a couple of weeks. Lily will be well-rested and ready to throw down a challenge once again!

 

Lily Qualifies for NSTRA Regionals

After reading the spring schedule for the Lone Star NSTRA region, I cringed with the realization that we would be on vacation during the only Amateur Trial.

LilyRegionals

Lily had placed 4th in the Open/Amateur in Arkansas, so I really wanted to see how she’d do in a familiar field. I called Dale, a senior member whom I’ve trained with some and asked if he knew anyone that would be willing to run Lily for me. Without hesitation, he replied, “I’ll run her for you!” and I couldn’t refuse. Dale was the chairman of our first NSTRA trial and Lily was braced up with his regional champion in her first run.

LilyIconI’m proud to report the Lily placed 1st in the B Field, earning 3 Amateur points and qualified for the Regional Competition. I wish I had been there to see it because she had a 5/5 (5 points and 5 retrieves) for a score of 960. Guess who’s practicing shooting clay pigeons this weekend?

Thanks Dale, we all appreciate it! And we’ll see you in Corsicana!!

Last Duck Hunt of the Season

As duck season came to end, I wanted to get Lily in the blind and see if she remembered that she’s supposed to be a versatile hunting dog. And she wanted me to get a shot at something a little slower, so maybe I’ve have a better chance at hitting it.

Water like glass....bring your jerk string?

Water like glass….bring your jerk string?

She sat in the blind for me and even swam a little in the cold water…..at least toward the first duck knocked down, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a retrieve. I invited Rick, a co-worker and Afghanistan veteran, along for his first duck hunt, so he had honors on the first one in. As beginner’s luck would have it, the second one flew in right over his head for a two-shot, two bird morning. Lily took less coaxing on the second bird, bringing it back to shore, but not exactly to hand. I mumbled something about a lab, but she didn’t hear me.

Rick's first ducks - Congrats!

Rick’s first ducks – Congrats!

We walked behind Lily through the field on the way back to the trucks and she found a quail.DuckPoint

I moved in front of her and flushed the bird, but one of us (to remain nameless) missed the shot. Thanks to Tom for letting us set out some dekes on his pond!! 

Daisy Needs a More Active Family!

Meet Daisy, a shy, but friendly Vizsla/Rhodesian mix (we think). Whatever combination, this girl is a sweetheart with eyes that catch your attention.Daisy2Daisy currently lives in Oklahoma City, OK, but is willing to move anywhere she can have a little more room to run. Her current family loves Daisy’s disposition, but feels she would be better suited for a more active family that will let her burn energy through runs with them or just stretching her legs in the the park or nearby fields.

Daisy6

A buddy of mine stopped by Oklahoma on his way home from an out of town visit and brought Daisy out to watch some birddogs in action. Lily and Bodie thought Daisy was pretty laid back and thought it even better that she really didn’t show any interest in the quail – “More for us!!” you can imagine them saying!Daisy5Daisy3

Daisy4

If you think you might be interested in meeting Daisy or know of someone else looking for a great companion, please contact me at the Gmail address GunDogAdventures.

Please join me in hoping Daisy finds a great new home soon – and thanks for passing the word!

 

NSTRA Strategy???

NSTRAlogo

[Thanks for the editorial comment on my typo! I like to give credit where credit is due.]

Well, I felt the need to create a NSTRA Strategy page on this site to support the claim I made in an article that’s been selected to be published in the Feb/Mar issue of the NSTRA magazine. I made the comment that searches for strategic methods employed for being successful at NSTRA trials had returned very little information. Maybe that is on purpose or maybe someone just hasn’t taken the time to put content together to share with others.

So, for all those interested in entering a NSTRA trial or maybe even those that thought they had it all figured out…..you might just find the content of interest. Please feel free to add a comment to the NSTRA Strategy Page so others can learn from all our experiences, successes, and yes – failures too.

Gun Dogs or Family Pets

There may be a stigma about gun dogs being “kennel dogs” that live out by the barn and only get out to road, run, or hunt. But the more I get involved with others that have gun dogs, the more I understand that their gun dogs are also their family pets. For instance, Lily rotates between the foot of our bed and our daughter’s bed depending on whether our daughter calls her up to go to sleep.

PoopedPoochesWhen Jo went to live with her new family, they definitely wanted to start training her to be a gun dog – hence her new name Benelli Jo!

Benelli2Now, just as Benelli, she’s beginning to retrieve consistently in the backyard. And she also got pulled into the family Christmas photo.

BenelliJoRetrieveBenelliJoXmasLooks like someone has a new hunting buddy!BenelliSpeaking of hunting buddies, Pat K.’s been keeping in touch and passing along updates on how Ruger is progressing in his training. Ruger_2Ruger_1

That training really takes a toll on you sometimes!

Ruger_3

Cody and Knox are also doing well, I got this pic from Michele who informs me that the two boys from Lily’s litter are growing like crazy.CodyKnox1Nellie helped out quite a bit when Webber came to visit and I had her sit down for our own family photo.

Pack1So folks, don’t be shy about making that gun dog part of your pack around the house. I’d argue they are just as obedient as any house or lap dog your neighbor has, and they sure don’t yap as much!

NSTRA Training

A few of us got together just north of McKinney, Texas to get some NSTRA field trial practice in before some upcoming events. The temperature almost reached 70 and the wind wasn’t too strong to cause the dogs any confusion.

Start

We each took turns running our dogs – either by themselves or with other dogs. In my opinion, it’s sometimes just as fun watching the other dogs run as being in the field with your own dog. For instance, this picture might be hard to make out, but the English Setter on the far left is on point while the center and right dogs are honoring from 40 and 50 yards away.

Honor2Here, Jimmy backs up Bodie’s find and point from about 30 yards away.Honor1

I brought Lily in behind another Shorthair on point and steadied her during the shot and retrieve.

Honor3

Graham brought Webber out who seems to be getting more and more serious about her bird work. Here, Momma Lily is honoring the find and point for her daughter. If you look closely, you can see the quail at the bottom right.

WebberI’ve entered Lily in a regional Amateur run in March, so I wanted Dale to handle her with me out of the picture. She’s never been handled by anyone else, so I was interested to see how she’d do for him. As shown below, she pointed birds; he shot them over her; and she was just a little timid about retrieving them to his hand. So, I need to have the neighbors help me on some retrieving drills with her.DaleWhen I took her out on a couple runs, I handed my phone to a buddy to get a few pictures. She had some nice looking points….Point2Point…and then the ones I like to call the “hunchback” look:Point3We definitely had some happy dogs by the time we ended the day.GSPGSP2HappyAnd of course the day wouldn’t be complete without some antics. Here, a bird had flown out of the field and landed on the windshield of Chris’ Subaru. Bodie and Webber both looked to be saying, “Here, I’ll take it!!”Webber2

 

Wary Woodcock

Chris and I got Bodie and Lily out into a hardwood bottom a couple weeks ago to see if the dogs could find some woodcock. ParkingThe habitat was certainly conducive to the preferences of woodcock, at least from what I’ve researched.

Habitat

The dogs took to searching the woods quite well together.HonorThey seemed to catch scent every now and then, but never came across any birds. It was a nice day for a walk in the woods though.

TrailBound

We even managed to find some potential duck hunting areas like the open backwater slough.

Point

We met the game warden, whom I had talked to before coming out to the area – he was interested to see if we’d found any birds. We chatted a while and told him that while we didn’t have any luck, we’d definitely be back in search of the wary woodcock!

Retriever Training

I was trying to think of a different field to get the dogs into for their run this morning and remembered an open invite I’ve had to come out to Brushy Creek Retrievers for weekend training sessions. Tim Marshal is a great guy that I’ve known for a few years and seeing him work dogs for his clients is a real treat. I think Lily thought we were at a Hunt Test or Trial after I staked her and Webber out behind the truck.

RetrieverTraining

RetrieverTraining6

Tim starts with the younger less experienced dogs running retrieves and then moves up to Senior and Master Hunters.

RetrieverTraining1

RetrieverTraining2

RetrieverTraining3

This yellow lag broke early, but didn’t get too far under Tim’s watchful eyes.

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Tim encourages his clients to come work with the dogs on the weekend so they can learn alongside their dogs. Here is Mike working with his 8-month old black. Good looking gun dog Mike!!

RetrieverTraining5a

RetrieverTraining5b

RetrieverTraining5c

Lily and Webber even got to take their turns! Lily ran out for a 60-yd bumper run and Webber retrieved this duck from about 25 yds!!

RetrieverTraining7

RetrieverTraining8

RetrieverTraining9

It’s all about getting dogs in the field and networking with others that do the same……oh, and having fun while doing it!