Dennis Lynch has been around the outdoors his entire life and understands what a “good time” entails. That’s why in this addition to Filson Life, Dennis explains his experience of training 'man's bestfriend'.
Our new retriever was doing great with her backyard, amateur, redneck training program. She was adept at retrieving our Filson bumpers-not always delivering "to hand" and might include a jump into the swimming pool, do a couple of laps and then chill out on the float. She had no problem doing "blind retrieves" on the morning paper-even returning with two sometimes. This necessitated neighborhood canvassing to see who was missing their paper.
Finding lost shoes and shagging golf balls proved to be routine . Decked out in her Filson collar and sometimes sporting her genuine Bridle leather dog leash, we figured we were styling and had a gold plated Gun Dog.
But then we started watching the dog training shows on the Outdoor Channel. We soon discovered we might not own the smartest, best trained dog in the world. We decided to go ahead and sign up for a two-day seminar in balmy Mississippi in mid-July, just to put the finishing touches on our pup.
We arrived at camp after a 10 hour drive with all our Filson gear to show off ---bumpers, tin cloth water bowl, leash, car dog bed etc. We figured we would go all the way, not knowing what terrain we might encounter-briar busting tin cloth shirt and pants. Three steps out of the car I knew I had great gear for winter blasts of Arctic wind on the plains hunting ring-necks or waterfowl but was severely "over dressed" for Mississippi in July.
I fully expecting to bask in the glow of admiring stares for not only our dog but our rugged Filson togs--wrong! what we saw was everyone with a real "perfect" dog (retail purchase price probably averaged $5K!) and all perfectly turned out in "the right Filson gear"- Feather cloth not Tin was the uniform of the day-really good for Dog School in July.
We were beginning to feel like the illegitimate son at the family reunion by the time the seminar started. The drill instructor - or teacher- was decked out in military pressed feather weight shirt and Filson fishing shorts with moisture wicking sox and boots.
we knew he had a disapproving glare hidden behind those reflector aviator sun glasses.
The orientation speech let us know that dogs are not to be spoiled, let in the house or for Heavens sake introduced to water in a SWIMMING POOL! ( thank goodness there was no mention of getting on the bed.) They were to be kenneled when not training or hunting made to understand that they were hunting dogs, if one wanted a pet get a gerbil or Pekingese !!..and before we start the course, those of you who are not dressed properly can stop in our gift shop and get suited up correctly.
We had done everything wrong.
By the end of day one we were on the brink of flunking out!! We were fatigued and sweating in our cold weather gear. Our pup acted like she had never carried anything in her mouth before and showed a distinct fear of water! She had never been ³barked² at before and was shocked at being treated like a dog.
Under cover of darkness, we blew off the evening ³social² and forfeited our day two fees and headed back to Kentucky.
Our trip, however, turned out to be deceptively beneficial. We learned to always dress for the occasion, lightweight in the summer, heavyweight in the winter. We also learned to trust our instincts when training your dog: Teach her to do what you need her to do in the field, and have her enjoy herself. And it's always cool to have the Filson accessories for your dog.
If you look cool and functional people think you know what you¹re doing, as long as you don¹t enroll in dog school.
Our pup has proven to serve all our needs in the dove, upland game, and waterfowl areas, and has proved herself a loving pet at home. She still gets the paper in the morning, swims in the pool, shags golf balls and the occasional stick, and (yikes!) gets on the bed.