Do you realize in just 4 short months we can be hunting upland birds with our bird dogs somewhere? Rather out West or in the Northwoods, we can be hunting our Shags again in 4 months! The excitement is building and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait!
It has been fantastic, mostly cool, spring weather—it snowed here on Mother’s Day! 🙂 —and I would give just about anything to be working the dogs on wild birds. But, I can’t. It is nesting season and we can’t—and shouldn’t—be in the woods. Unless it is for Turkey hunting, which I am no longer a fan of. I am also not a fan of working my young grouse dogs in any other cover, except what they will be hunting in, but I have been taking my Cowboy baby for fun runs as much as possible anywhere I can… just not the woods. I am working on simple, but very important things, such as getting him used to riding in the truck, giving him opportunities to explore and experience all he can, learn all types of scenting conditions, learn my walking pace, etc. I love this pup! And I love starting pups. Cowboy is with me constantly and is snoozing under the desk with Kea darling as I type. I am longing for a GoPro Hero 3 setup so I can catch all the action and share the videos in the upcoming training series. Woot! Many of you have clamored for this training series for a very long time and I am excited to get back to making some serious headway on it. I’ve cleared many time-consuming projects off my plate and can finally work on bringing you more of what you have been asking for. Maybe this will be the year I get some good video to go along with the information and release the series over the winter. Or not and I’ll finally release it as is with some additional photography. Who knows, we’ll see what happens.
While on the subject of training, I receive inquiries as to the type of leash I like to use so thought I would share. I prefer the British slip leads, like this:
They are made in the USA, come in a variety of lengths and colors, and are available very reasonably on Amazon and for about half the price compared to what I found them for in walk-in stores. And I prefer to shop in the middle of the night in my pjs, don’t you? I like a slip lead for several reasons: First, I don’t always have collars on the dogs while here in the house. When I have more than one dog together, there is the possibility of a dog getting his or her jaw caught in another’s collar while playing. It has happened and can kill one, if not both the dogs—even if collars are kept snug as they should be. There is also a danger of a collar getting caught inside a crate and strangling the dog. So, I only collar my dogs when we are heading out to work them or when leaving the property. This lead slips around their neck and serves as both a collar and a lead. I can also easily adjust where I want the lead, unlike a collar. I can put the lead high on the neck for correction if needed. You can adjust it to fit any size dog and a slip lead is fantastic for teaching puppy basic leash manners, as well as heel and whoa. This and the Delmar Smith Wonder lead, available over at Gun Dog Supply, and a very special handmade one given to me by a friend are my favorites.
And now on to some updates…
First, many are wondering about Addie and Nash, who are both around 6 weeks pregnant (due 4 days apart) and are beginning to show. Addie is suddenly obviously pregnant and Nash is really plumping up, too. Sorry for the lousy photos, but that’s the best I can do until I get my Canon 30D fixed… er… and the grass mowed! Anyway, all is looking good and in about 3 weeks things will be hopping with puppies which you will be able to watch grow up on the Live Puppy Cam!
And that it will be it for LML puppies this year. We’ll see how the timing and heats work out in the fall, but my deadline for breeding was last weekend, and of course the girls started coming in heat over the past week, and pretty much all at once. But, in order to be free to travel home to PA for our daughter’s wedding at the end of September and then more traveling, training, and hunting—and NWBC 2013!—for the rest of the hunting seasons, the timing for breeding, puppies arrival, rearing, and departure has to be perfect. Addie and Nash’s litters should be more than enough to keep folks happy for now and we’ll look forward to having puppies over the winter months.
With puppies arriving soon you will all get to enjoy the Live Puppy Cam again, and after the puppies leave at the end of July, it will be hardcore training time for my youngsters, getting myself into shape for the upcoming season (and a wedding). I absolutely cannot wait for this wedding and then, to get back to the grouse woods with my Llewellins. I just hope August is bearable… I seriously pray for snow in August. Someday I will have to consider summer training camp on the tundra, like maybe on the shore of Great Bear. You that know me, know that I am not kidding in the slightest bit. Anything over 70°F sends me to bed in an air conditioned room. It literally makes me so sick I can barely function. I dread the coming of summer like most dread winter. Weird, I know. I’ll have to get another place up in the Keweenaw Peninsula with the Lake Superior winds blowing so I can survive summer or maybe in the mountains of Idaho, Washington, or Montana… Somewhere where it doesn’t get much warmer than 70°F! Please, where is that? 😉
In the meantime, I am tremendously enjoying Cowboy, and I miss L-Bird, Shay, and Dora (who are in PA with Scott) terribly. I hear they are having a grand time keeping the neighborhood entertained. Maisy, Gitch, and Minnie are here with me, missing Scott in the worst way. It will be fantastic when we are finally all under the same roof again.
I’ve been working on a few series of articles that I think you will really enjoy: A series on Upland Bird Species, and how to find public huntable habitat that holds them. Be sure to vote in the poll, send me an e-mail, or comment below, so I know which species you most want to learn more about and I can concentrate my efforts to bring you the best information. Next, are articles on canine ailments, how to recognize them, and what to do to prevent or treat them. I’ve been working on more upland hunting gear reviews, a series on planning upland hunting trips, some exciting articles of particular interest to women, another for beginners that want to get started in upland hunting, another on notable Llewellin Setters in history, the start of the Question/Answer weekly series, and a very exciting series of Llewellin Setter training articles—Training the Laurel Mt way as a close friend of mine says when referring to my style of training.
If there is something in particular you would like to read about, or to submit a question for the Q/A series, please comment below or shoot me an email (mlazur at lifewithllewellins dot com) or click on this link for the contact form.
I’ll be having a contest for Addie and Nash’s litters where you can submit your guess including the date you think they will be born and how many pups of each sex. Everyone seems to really enjoy those contests. I’ll try to come up with some cool prizes if I can and will let you know where to submit your entries over the next two weeks so everyone can begin to enter their guesses. I would also love your suggestions for themes for the litters.
I guess that’s all for the updates tonight. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and if I can help you out in anyway with your puppy questions, training questions, etc., please don’t hesitate to ask. This blog is meant not only to share our news, but to help Llewellin Setter owners everywhere. Chime in, ask questions, get answers, and add suggestions, and as always, send your pictures and updates. I have a few updates and photos you have sent and I will be posting those soon. And, by the way, if you don’t see the comment area below or in other posts, click on the title of the post (I linked this one to that text, but for future reference click on the post title to see the comment area). That will open the post and commenting area. Which is another project I am working on now—redesign of this site, making things easier for you to navigate and comment. I really messed it up about a week ago in the middle of the night and now see most of the category headings are not showing. Grrr… But, other people need me on their projects right now so I’ll fix this later.
As always, have a great day and hug your Llewellin Setter.