As an avid outdoorsman, I always dreamed of having a dog to take duck hunting. So at the age of fourteen my dream came true; we purchased Sadie, a black Labrador Retriever. Not knowing how to properly train Sadie my parents and I decided to seek professional help, dog training that is. Like many hobbies, one dog was not enough. My parents each purchased a dog to train, continuing to train with the professional, who has become a true family friend. Through hard work and dedication, we have been training successfully for the past four years for hunt tests. Between short duck seasons and my bad shooting, I am obligated to the dogs to work to fulfill their natural instincts throughout the year. Although we use the plastic dummies, we set up “hunting tests” for the dogs. The dogs are retrieving and they love it.
Running the Hunt Test events has been a great experience for me. Over the course of Junior, Senior and Master Hunter levels, I have met many new people. The Hunt Test program is a fun environment because you are not competing against one another but an established standard.
My plans are to continue training, participating in Hunt Test events and judging. I have always enjoyed the companionship of any dog but the outstanding abilities of the Lab make them special. A future goal is to train for search and rescue with my Labs also. I do not foresee my future without a dog in it.