My Favourite Hunting Companion
A J Wilson tells the story of Jock



Jock is the most faithful, dedicated, and determined hunting companion that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is a Labrador Retriever with outstanding abilities and natural instincts. He specializes in hunting upland game, but is equally accomplished at hunting waterfowl as well.

I live in Northwest Kansas, and enjoy hunting areas like creeks, CRP grass, milo stalks, and corn stalks. The most exciting part of pheasant or quail season, is without a doubt, watching Jock work his magic out in the field. Jock is a necessity, a machine working on a combination of instinct, experience, pleasure, and training. Because he has an excellent nose, I know fairly quickly if there are birds in a particular area, simply by observing him. He works at my pace, and patiently holds his point until I am ready for him to flush. One lucky shot later, he quickly and consistently retrieves the bird and faithfully places it in my hand.

Part of what makes Jock such an irreplaceable hunting dog is his determination and desire to hunt. All I need to do is grab my shot gun or my hunting vest and he immediately goes from mellow house dog lounging on his pillow to crazed bird dog ready and willing to work. In the field, he is as determined to find a dead bird as he is when he spends all day in the stock tank trying to get the rock that I threw into it. Having Jock in the field makes a day of hunting enjoyable and successful.

I started training Jock about eight years ago. He was a natural pointer and retriever from the moment I brought him home at eight weeks old. I spent every free moment that I had with him because I could see his great potential. We built an incredible bond and he was easy to train because he was so eager to please me. I started working with him using a wing on a fishing pole until he became consistent at pointing it. I also taught him the basic obedient skills; sit, stay, come, heel, and whoa. Then I went back to working with the wing, teaching him how to trail. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time rubbing my hands (my scent) on a stick, hiding it, and letting him find it in order to further develop his nose.

Then, using pen-raised quail, pigeons, and pheasants I worked on training him to quarter and helping him develop his live bird sense. I was also careful not to shoot birds over him that he did not point. Finally, I went hunting as much as possible and brought Jock along every time to get him used to hunting wild birds.

The finished product is the exceptional dog that I have today; Jock, my favorite hunting companion.


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