Text: Torsti Mäkinen, photo: Torsti Mäkinen not entirely white anymore. Well, I cannot say that we feel particularly diddled because of that discovery. "Piga", as we most often call her, has proved to be just as bold and talented as we expected. She is a good substitute for the unfortunate Sunnie that she replaces, and certainly she has been worth waiting for.

Lärkas life has changed considerably since Piga came in to the house. The socially a bit cautious Lärka was to start with not really confident with the bold attitude of Piga and at times I had to save her from Pigas rather obstinate play. Lärka is not the one who uses aggressiveness in the first place to calm down a puppy who plays too rough, but she tried to escape in the first hand with Piga hanging on to her tail. After some time Lärka however learned to handle Piga and from the pictures below you can see that the matter has found a suitable solution and now they can play on equal terms. Piga made Lärka to grow, just as expected.

The photo above could be interpreted in several ways. You may think that Piga really has frightened Lärka at this fraction of a second. Maybe, dogs reactions are fast as lightning. However, another fraction of a second later the play continued with Lärka as the dominating part so what Lärka really thinks at this very moment is anybody's guess.

When Piga is not found, she does not always come when called, you can be sure that she is somewhere in the bushes that surrounds our house on all sides. Being a sagacious birddog she knows how to train herself and the birds she uses are the blackbirds that we have plenty of in this part of Sweden. Sunnie did the same so I guess it "runs in the family".

It is easy to think that this has led to her early steady points on partridge and her calmness on point and at flush. At least it does no harm since Sunnie also was very good on partridge at a much younger age.

There is not much to complain about her flush but of course it is followed by a chase unless we have a line on her. It is about time to start to obedience train her now. We have not bothered too much about that, simply since she is so easy to live with and like Sunnie has a natural will to cooperate and please. However, training a birddog the lazy man's way may give you an able dog for hunting purposes, but to perform well in field trials some law and order has to be installed in them

As this is written we have just started to fetch train her by the "demand method", as explained elsewhere on our website. The first step is to teach the dog to hold the dummy until told not to hold, no matter what happens around the dog. As you see she knows to hold the dummy but you may also notice that she do not understand why she has to hold it. Well, that will come later. Now, the next step is to teach her to carry the dummy around and keep on holding while she does that. Then she must be trained to grip the dummy, first from hand and then from the ground. After that the fun and more advanced part of the fetch training can start. We are looking forward to that!

© Text: Torsti Mäkinen, photo: Torsti Mäkinen