REMY: FIRST SHOOT DAY
The first day of a new shooting season is exciting for everyone. People are greeting friends they may not have seen since 1 February and, as a result, may not be taking a lot of notice of their own dogs. This can be a flashpoint as older dogs try to establish their dominance over new or younger dogs, and cars and fourwheel drives come in and out — there will be a certain amount of chaos.
Remy can get a bit excited when he meets new dogs, so while I spoke to the beaters and Guns I kept him on the lead at my side. Not only did I know where he was at all times, but it also set out the “rules” for the day — this was not going to be a free-for-all and it was a good lesson, as he had to watch the other dogs meeting and greeting.
As this was going to be an informal day I wasn’t expecting there to be too many birds shot, but I didn’t want to put Remy in a situation where his inexperience could cause issues. My main area of concern was if one of the Guns pricked a bird and it needed retrieving. Remy has “trained” with the other dogs in my picking-up team but on this day I wanted to concentrate on him, so I asked a fellow picker-up to stand near us with an experienced dog, just in case we needed to pick a runner.
Remy’s time will come to deal with a situation like this, but today was not going to be that day. SHOOTING TIMES & COUNTRY MAGAZINE • 37
Remy is kept at Neil’s side while other dogs meet and greet. Below: Paired with an experienced dog