By Ken Matthews
The ultimate gun dog should
be as universal as the diversity as the hunting of its master. A true gun dog should rightfully be like an old trusty shotgun
that can pull off a pop-shot at an exploding grouse, a gliding mallard, or that rabbit dodging through hedgerows. Compiling that trusty gun with a universal gun dog can make the most of an afternoon a field. As most working sportsman dedicated foremost to employment and family as a pre-requisite
to a partial day a field, it’s important to have the right dog to make the day.
The Weimaraner has made not only
a dedicated companion, but is that ultimate gun dog. As a father of two young
toddlers, our Weims revert from playmates to loyal field dogs with three magical words; “Get the Birds?” Like a hypnotist setting his trance, my dogs are instantly converted.
For my bird dogs, training starts right at
birth. Bird scent is brought to their attention immediately. When first suckling to the nipple for their essential colostrums, a few wafts of grouse training scent
has the prospect to install automatic positive association (bird=food=survival). I
will also go as far as lining the rim of the bowl filled with their first substance meal with scent as well. Small feathery bird toys are introduced as soon as their eyes open. Such imprinting can play a key role
in the creation of an extraordinary gun dog.
Weimaraners are an intelligent breed, capable to be trained and receive direction.
They are dedicated dogs that aim to please their master. They hunt with
you, for you, and not for themselves unlike so many other canine breeds. They are a versatile dog that can be seen hunting
an entire spectrum of game and return home to be your lap dog at the end of the day (after a good bath and a long nap of course). Not only are Weims remarkable for their pointing instincts of such small game as pheasants
or grouse, but it is not uncommon to see them posing in photos with big game hunters boasting their quarry of anything from
a mountain lion, coyote, or bear.
Endurance is a major factor of a Weimaraners success as a hunting dog. This
compiled with intelligence, obedience, and devotion to their training, makes a Weim incomparable to any other breed. This perhaps is why Weimaraners are often portrayed as having human characteristics.
I am certain that every outdoorsman has a memorable day a field with his companion .I specifically can recall one early
January day when the clouds of uncertainty had set in. A free morning was rare
with the rat race of the realities of life surrounding me. Half frozen rain drops
descended from the sky. I glanced up hoping for a miracle, and then glanced down
to see my gray floppy eared hunting partner glaring at me, followed by the wiggling of a stubby tale. How could you disappoint such a happy creature? I could not.
I would not, so, a hunting we went.
Luck would weigh in for Grouse Ridge’s Delight (Lila), for the frozen wet rain would turn to flakes of snow. For this would mean we could continue our hunt.
She however would have to earn her point because any traces of old or remnant scent were either washed away or sealed
in place by ice. She was forced to find her game not only by scent, but by wit and experience…And that she did…Lila
would offer countless points through out the day. She would pursue he quarry even in the most challenging conditions. She
would prove herself even on slopes two degrees less than a cliff., Not even the thickest raspberry patch would deter her.
Lila would follow every hand signal; left, right, to, and fro like a radio controlled car with a joystick. She maintained a perfect forty yard radius while working in perfect symphony with myself. She truly is my ultimate gun dog.