Greetings Retriever Life readers! My name is Lucas Hassemer and I host a blog called Fowled Up – Learning to Duck Hunt with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. As the name implies I am chronicling the journey of training Shandy, my Chessie puppy, to duck hunt.
Let me start by wishing Shandy a happy belated birthday. She officially turned one on May 13. Shandy is our first Chesapeake; however, she is our second dog. This fall I am determined to take her duck hunting. We still have a lot of training to do before we are ready to hit the marshes.
It has been quite a year for my wife (Sarah) and I as we have incorporated Shandy into our family. Learning to live with a Chessie is definitely an experience and not one for the faint of heart. The continuing process of training Shandy is challenging but extremely rewarding
When my wife and I moved from our apartment into our first home, we began thinking it would be nice to get Arby, our English Bulldog, a friend. I was looking for more of an active breed in our second dog. As I researched different breeds, I began thinking a Chessie would be a good fit. After locating a breeder in mid-Missouri who recently had a litter we went to look at the puppies and picked out Shandy. A few weeks later we drove back to the breeders to bring her home.
In learning about Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, I found they are excellent waterfowl hunters – and, in fact, were bred for it! This is what started to peak my interest in duck hunting. I had been upland bird hunting before; my dad has always owned English and Llewellin Setters that we would take quail and pheasant hunting, but never once had I hunted waterfowl.
As soon as we brought Shandy home I had decided that we would try to learn to hunt waterfowl together. Of course before ever trying to take Shandy hunting she had to learn basic obedience and first on our list (especially in our new home) was house training. With Shandy we used crate training to house train her. By keeping a consistent feeding and potty break routine we were able to house train her in a short time.
Another great thing that we did for Shandy this past year was getting her enrolled in basic puppy obedience classes. I still remember her first class, I so anxious for her to do well.
Not everything this past year has been easy, as anybody with a puppy knows, there are challenges. I read that Chessies were stubborn but did not realize to what extent until Shandy. Overall she has been a great dog, but especially at first it required our constant attention to keep her out of trouble. At one point she literally had the devil inside her – after consuming Arby’s Halloween costume. Other bad habits we’ve tried to break her of include digging and a gross eating habit.
I’ve recently started working on training activities that will hopefully teach Shandy skills she’ll need to be an excellent waterfowl hunter. As the next duck season nears we will continue to work towards our ultimate goal of bringing in ducks. I look forward to sharing some updates on our progress with you. It is a learning experience for both Shandy and me – so far it has been an amazing journey.
Category : Fowled Up