Buck is my family’s 6 year old Springer Spaniel. He is fun and energetic and as my younger son likes to say, “he makes smart look stupid”. We got Buck when he was about 8 weeks old. My husband and eldest son had plans for him to be the ultimate bird dog extraordinaire. Here in Texas we dove hunt. So the goal was to create a great dove hunt dog.
If you know anything about good bird dogs, genetics is a huge contributing factor in determining the quality of the bird dog, but nothing beats good training. With the right combination of genetics and training you will have a successful bird dog. They must be loyal, become accustomed to guns and the sound of gun shots, and must not eat the birds they fetch. If they are gun shy, rather than fetching birds on command, the fearful dog will run away from the hunting area and will usually be found later hiding under a truck or an old abandoned building and will not come out until the gunshots cease. If they eat the birds, they are basically worthless to the hunter. The hunter wants to take whole birds home in a bucket or cooler, not in bits and pieces or in his dog’s stomach. So, the training began. There were countless sessions of fetch and return with a training decoy at home. He also had several field training sessions with our other dog Noah. When Buck was about a year old he was ready for his first official hunt.
It was Dove Season.
My husband loaded up the dogs in the truck and off he went to San Antonio to hunt with his brother and nephew. They got to the hunting area and were preparing to get set up in the field. All of a sudden cows started surrounding the truck. The cows obviously thought the truck had hay for them and it was feeding time. Buck was terrified. He had never seen a cow before. He must have been thinking, “these are the biggest damn dogs I have ever seen”. He jumped into the back of the truck as fast as he could and then jumped onto the roof of the truck cab. He was not coming down until those huge dogs were gone. It was pretty hilarious to hear my husband tell the story. Eventually the cows realized there was no hay and left. Not the best start to a first hunt. My husband coaxed Buck down from the roof and he proceeded to do a darn good job of fetching that day. I believe they got their limit. All that training paid off. Since then he has proven himself to be quite the proficient dove dog.
His loyalty, intelligence, boundless energy, and sweet personality have made him an excellent pet as well. He will play fetch for hours, is awesome with children, barks at strangers, and is just plain cute. He and Noah love to hang out with us and are always fighting for attention. What a pair.
I’ll tell Noah’s story another time. After all, this post is all about Buck.
Thank you for reading this. May we meet again soon.