Saturday, January 21, 2006

Day 184

Today Pat Nolan hosted a MADTrainers Gather. MAD stands for Mid-Atlantic Dog Trainers and this Gather is the International Association of Canine Professionals ( ) mid-Atlantic regional gathering. We have a gather about 4 maybe 5 times a year, each one hosted by a different IACP member. There are regional gathers held in many parts of the country now, but the MADTrainers get to claim the title of First Gather. Anyway, they are always fun, educational, entertaining and sometimes even exciting. For those of you who are professional, semi-professional, serious hobby or even beginners if you have a chance to attend an IACP Gather, it is something you really don't want to miss. You do not have to be a member in order to attend.

Here are a few pictures of the making of a Doberman/Retriever or how Sanity learned to mark and retrieve ducks. We started with the introduction, as in, Sanity met Duck.

Here Sanity shakes "hands" with Mr. Duck

Then comes a serious sniffing
Which just naturally leads to a jolly good roll.

After a good roll it was time to try the pick up. It took several tries before the taste of feathers stopped being a deterrent to actually getting a good grip that was neither to strong nor too weak.

Then she followed another dog out to see what you are supposed to do when one of these flying things actually hit the ground.

If you look carefully in the top right side of this picture you can see a duck in the air.

This is where she put it all together and was the first one on the scene. No hesitation at all in actually picking it up.

And here you see a world-class DobermanRetriever in action.
Yes, she did return it to me. It took several more tries, but in the end she was waiting her turn, making the retrieve and delivering the bird pretty much to hand. Not a bad morning's work.

Then it as time to eat and every one trooped inside to stuff themselves on Donald McCaig's venison chili, Pat's hamburgers and too many other goodies to mention. I mustn't forget Heather's rum balls. Yummy.

After lunch we all drifted outside and sort of stood around digesting all the food and watching the dogs run around. Sorry, no pictures. I just forgot to take any. Sanity showed just how well she is going to do as a playgroup leader and future yard boss. She lead all the dogs on a wild chase until one by one they all toss in the white flag and gave up. Next she managed to get Tammy to toss a field bumper for her and she made darn sure she was ALWAYS the one to get it and bring it back. Later everyone piled into cars and headed for April's farm so we could give the sheepdogs (Border Collies to most of us) a chance to do what they like doing best of all. Working sheep.

This one got up close and personal to Sanity.And then Donald sent Luke to save the day.
Woolies on the inside and humans on the outside as the day came to an end.

What a great time and Sanity completed yet another major training day. She demonstrated a deep, inner calm for such a young dog. She also showed everyone just how sure she is that she rules the world. Far be it for me to disabuse her of that idea. Thank you Pat for hosting a great Gather.


  1. Anonymous8:02 PM

    This looks like a wonderful way to spend a sunny, warm, winter Saturday. Wish I'd have been there.

    SK, HH, NJ

  2. The sun may have been out, but it was most definately NOT warm and the wind was blowing at a slow gale force. Just right to suck what warmth you might have gotten from the weak sun right out of you. BAH! I hate winter.

  3. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Hi, Just found your journal and I adore it! We are getting a Toy Fox Terrier to add to our dog family and I'm considering creating a similar type journal using your idea. I hope you feel imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

    I love your beautiful Sanity. We have a doberman and a Springer Spaniel. Took the Springer out in the field once with friends and had fun but realized we didn't have resources for a whole new hobby. :)

    Best wishes, Nancy

  4. Dear Nancy,
    Thank you for your kind words. I've been keeping a training log of every dog I train for years. The thing that has made this one both more difficult and more rewarding is having to write it in a manner that will make sense to more than just me.

    If you are not accustomed to keeping a journal then I suspect you are going to find making daily entries a major chore at first. Stick with it and you will soon form the good habit of doing some sort of entry every day. Here's a tip; write something every day, even if it is only to say that you have nothing to say. One of the things keeping a training log or journal does for you is to make you an honest trainer, unless you decide to write fiction. Sometimes I think that would be more interesting than what I write. The nice thing is it makes it possible for you to go back and see where a training problem started to develop. Then fixing the problem is ever so much easier.

    As far as field work goes, the reason I have never had a sporting breed of my own is my intense dislike of cold, damp weather. Dobermans just seem so much more sensible to me. Like me, they are heat seekers; something I'll bet your newest addition will also be.

  5. Anonymous2:47 PM

    I really enjoyed this very much. It reminded me of the fun I had in the UK when I was a kid and we did
    drag hunting with a pack of all breeds of dogs up on the Downs.

    There are so many things that Dobes are good at. Joanna Walker

  6. Dear Joanna,
    How right you are about the versatility of the Doberman. Some days I wish more people knew and understood that facet of their personality and other days, I'm glad I have my own little secret.

    Recalling the harm great popularity did to the breed in the 70's, I vote to keep their wonderful traits a secret at least sort of. After all, I do want to keep on writing this blog.

  7. Margot,

    Thanks for letting me "see" what a retriever doberman can learn and the "duck, duck - what do to with the duck?" episode. Great learning for me.