What’s Puppy Pickin’ Like? Part Three

New Wildrose pup owners on February 25, 2011: Rob White and daughter, Dana (Jett), George and Becky Wells (Molly), Marge and Willy Schlossberg (Tar), and Carl Vassar (Bentley). The puppies' parents, Ben and Beretta, are in the foreground.

This is the third entry in this series.  To read the first two, scroll down or click on the title in Recent Posts (in the right column).

After concluding the tour of the Wildrose facilities Mike gathers folks in the classroom behind the Wildrose Trading Company and presents a training session, followed by Lanette’s thorough health care briefing.  Then folks step onto the back porch to watch one of the trainers give a demonstration of a young pup performing basic obedience drills and a couple of retrieves.  Finally, the guests get what they most came for: puppy pickin’ and pictures of with their pups and the sires and dams.

Once in a blue moon Mike is unable to make the presentation and someone pinch hits for him.  That was the situation on February 25tth, when I was the substitute, because Mike, Trainer Ben Summerall, and six of our sires were attending a show in Orlando, FL, for our sponsor, Sportsman Pride.

Therefore, I will change the type of story, using the new owners’ reports of their experiences.  Later, I will add another puppy pickin’ entry to tell about the training and health session that Mike and Lanette present.  For now, enjoy hearing from some new Wildrose folks:

Rob White Medfield, MA

Wildrose Jett (Ben X Berretta) will by my first Labrador Retriever. She will be a gentleman’s gun dog, for both waterfowl and upland (pheasants mostly). She will live in my home, where I have access to a great amount of varied terrain.  I plan to send her back to Wildrose at 6 months for her formal training and, upon completion of her first hunting season, I will again send her back to Wildrose to complete her Finished Gun Dog training.  I grew up with Cockers and always liked the sporting group. Jett will be the only dog in our family.

My daughter Dana and I truly enjoyed our trip to Wildrose.  To return home we flew out of Memphis, arriving in Medfield about 1:15 a.m. in the morning.  In true Wildrose fashion, Jett was the perfect lady the entire ride home and has settled in nicely.  A fresh one inch dusting of snow made our 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. outings exciting, enjoyable, and educational for Jett and me.

Dana and I enjoyed meeting the Wildrose staff.  Everyone made us feel welcome.  The staff is knowledgeable, professional, and eager to deliver excellent customer service.  I am proud to say Jett is from Wildrose Kennels.

George Wells Little Rock, AR

My first lab, Dixie, died last September at 12 years, 9 months, and I was crushed.  Swore I wasn’t ever getting another dog.  That lasted about a week and I started thinking about it when someone mentioned British Labs.  I spent a lot of time on the computer and finally learned about Wildrose.  I turned 60 on 12-1 and I told my wife, Becky, that I wanted to go see Wildrose for my 60th birthday, so that’s what we did.  I had put down a deposit a month earlier. My hunting days are about over.  I had a bad stroke 20 years ago from which I’ve remarkably recovered but my balance is not great and I can’t walk in water.  Also, I fell walking in the neighborhood and broke my knee cap a few months ago and had it operated on.  It further hurt my duck hunting future.  Thus, Molly will likely end up and be my best friend.  I have spent considerable time reading and listening to Wildrose books and tapes.

After the return home with Molly, frankly, I quickly learned that it’s easier to raise a lab puppy at the age of 47 (Dixie) than the age of 60 (Molly.)   The 1st two nights home I set my alarm for 2:00 a.m. and got up and took her outside and walked her.  Since then I’ve been getting up at 5:30 a.m. and she hasn’t had any accidents.  I bought a medium size crate at PetSmart, and while at Wildrose last week, upon departure a nice young man named Steven Lucius told me that Molly would be  better off the first six weeks with the same type of crate in a size small which Wildrose had, so I bought one and substituted it.  I think this is why she has done so well in the crate.

Molly wants to chew on everything.  I don’t recall Dixie being this way.  Perhaps this is attributable to my bad memory but I did catch her one time chewing on a nicely covered chair, which we had to have recovered.  That’s the only time we had a problem with Dixie chewing. We have had success stopping the chewing by using a spray bottle.

Molly and I walk down the street several times each day.  The first couple of days she would eliminate right after her feeding, but now there seems to be no connection.  I will continue to use the Wildrose tape.  I would like to get her to a position where she will follow my commands and be a great companion, even though with my physical problems she won’t be a hunting dog.

Willie Schlossbach Easton, MD

My wife and I are retired and live by ourselves on a five-acre country property with adjacent lake.  Tar will be kenneled outdoors in a 10X10 run beginning in April (I’ll keep him in a crate in a side room until the winter passes and he grows a little). . .  No other pets, have raised and trained two gundog Labs prior to this one. . .  Both lived long, useful lives and are gone now, and never forgotten.

Tar will be a gundog, primarily for waterfowl hunting in the Maryland/Delaware area and a yearly two-week trip for waterfowl and pheasants in the Dakotas.  I was looking for a biddable, steady dog, with a good nose and a no-quit attitude, as the hunting I like best is just me, maybe a friend, and a dog for ducks on marshes along the Atlantic Coast and in Chesapeake Bay.  I haven’t done much of it since my last dog passed and have done mostly field goose hunting, which most times can be done through simple handling, as well as driven pheasant hunts. Anxious to get back to the marshes. . .  We also will be doing some RV travel and I am a sailor and a boatbuilder. . . so the dog will be a companion for us on these occasions, as well as around the yard.  Tar did real well on the road and we thank everyone for a fun day and for the good years to come.

Since being home, the experience to date, has been “WONDERFUL” ; this based on his first week and my memory of my two earlier labs, both very good gundogs. Tar is curious about everything around him and full of positive energy, but not what I’d call aggressive behavior, balanced with a reasonable amount of caution.  At this age, the bonding process is coming along very well and his responsiveness is spot on.  He has met some of my kids, grandkids and neighbors and is sociable.  He understands the concepts of “No” and “Come” and will come easily when called through voice commands and my bodily gestures when not distracted by other interests.  Pretty soon I’ll get him used to the collar and leash and then proceed with the other obedience concepts.  His retrieving instincts are there and I’ll not try to develop them much until his obedience concepts are well imbedded.

As for other  hunting instincts he shows much promise.  I live next to a lake that has, at the moment, about a thousand Canada geese roosting and getting ready to migrate in about a month.  They fly over within several hundred yards all the time.  We also have herons, eagles and assorted small birds and mammals.  He quickly marks them by sound and/or sight. .  so his marking capability is clearly there.  He uses his nose all the time, I think as much or more than his other senses and this is real important to me as I want to hunt ducks with him in the marshes and trailing winged ducks is going to be key.

One extraordinary event has occurred.  A day ago I lost my cellphone. . . wasn’t in  the house but I thought I might have dropped it in the yard. . . all five acres of it.  I looked all over for it. . . couldn’t find it.  This afternoon I was walking in the yard with Tar and he came off a line, walked a few feet to windward and started mouthing something. . .  I got right over there and it was the cellphone!  So there you have it, he’s already earned his pay.  I have an idea for Mike and Cathy. . .  their dogs are trained as Gundogs, Adventure Dogs, and Scent Detection Dogs. . .  I think there is at least a niche market out there for Cellphone Detection Dogs and it already in the Wildrose bloodlines! I’ll of course waive the percentage of the profits due me based on intellectual rights, for bringing Tar to Marge and me.

Spent most of the week getting together with Tar since coming home, but we will be going up to Ohio to pick up a RV to trail behind my new Dodge Ram and then we will be taking trips out to future waterfowl hunting sites along the Delmarva coast and Chesapeake Bay, as well as to inland mountain areas. . .  I’ve also joined the Talbot Retriever Club here in the county; it runs both AKC Field and Hunt Trails and it’s a good way to get going with the dog in his training after the obedience stage.  I did it with my earlier labs and it worked.  Next year may try to get him certified in the Hunt trials, as their tests are more reasonable for real hunting scenarios.  My first lab (Jake) had real potential in Field trials (great pedigree and at least one littermate had  AFC/FC titles) and he had some sanctioned Derby wins, but I wanted to hunt the dog and didn’t have the time,  money, or the social inclination to make a go of it.  Jake didn’t know the difference; we had a wonderful time together.

Got to go…I hear Tar calling…(he only calls when it’s potty time or when I kennel him back in the crate. . .  only for a few minutes. . . but about six times day and night. . . this too will pass). . .

Carl Vassar Buchanan, VA

The puppy, Bentley, is doing great.  We had a long drive back, making several stops when he would wake.  I started training on the way back to Virginia.  House breaking and sit are first on the list for him.  Also he has made five retrievals.  Coming back strait to me with no drops. First retrieve on the night we got home. I have marked my calendar for training days.  The only way I can explain the experience at Wild Rose Kennels: they are the only breeder, kennel, and trainer I will ever go to.

John Stout Bluffton, GA

(Although not pictured in the group, JohnRay and Carolyn Stout sent information on their pup’s home situation.  JohnRay manages Kolomoki Plantation, a quail-hunting destination.)

We have two labs here now that are nine and eight years old. They are as good as they come.  They are housedogs and hunting dogs. They retrieve dove, quail, and duck.  Our new puppy will be doing the same. We will house break him and he’ll be riding mule wagon next winter.

After the pup arrived home, he has been doing Great.  We are very busy socializing right now.  He is around people all of the time, we crate him in our house at night.  He visits the big kennel—24 hunting dogs and two labs—he will be staying there some when he gets older.  Our white lab keeps him pretty busy.  He went to the vet last Thursday for follow up shots, did well and got a good report.  Right now we are just being a puppy; when time comes he will be trained to ride the mule wagon and pick up quail and also duck and dove.

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