Jan 24th

Were Getting It Done @ Wilborn Creek Kennels

By Jeffrey

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After a long training season this past year, it's time to relax and enjoy the outdoors. For me its all about the dog work. I seldom carry a gun at these hunt clubs. This year I was excited to shoot a few birds over these pups I got from a Texas kennel. I wanted to purchase pups that had the best possible breeding, that I could afford for my training and breeding program for my kennel.
 
I have invested alot of time and money to set up a the kennel building and dog runs, the pups, launchers,e-collars and other equipment needed to train these pointers. My goal for my kennel is to develope new training methods
that will have a Pointer pup trained by its first birthday. We are getting closer each year. If the pup is a natural retriever, this helps shorten the training time considerably. The pups that does not retrieve naturally has been the challenge.
 
The reward for me is watching these pups develop into bird dogs and hunting their first season. I get a lot of pleasure at these hunt clubs and other hunters when I tell them these dogs are just a year old and this is their first season. 
Jan 1st

The Pointer's are pointing! - Wilborn Creek Kennels

By Jeffrey

 

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2011 was a good year here at Wilborn Creek Kennels. After being layed off most of the year from a job in the Kitchen Cabinet Business, this allowed me to train almost every day of 2011. I had purchased two pups last winter from a kennel in Texas. This was too good to be true.
 
As with most things, it all came to an end just prior to opening day of our Illinois Upland Season. I was offered a supervisor position at a printing company not far from my home. Hunting season would be limited to just the weekends this season.
 
The pups were taken to Sandy Run Hunt Club last weekend where both pups pointed three birds. Five birds were flushed,four birds were shot and one missed. I did not carry a gun during this hunt.
Monday we're heading to Quail Country Hunt Club with these pups. I am planning on doing the shooting carring my new Stoger's Over/Under  and Mike my  assistant trainer will be filming and taking pictures of this hunt.
 
Will finish the season on wild birds. Upland Season ends January 15 in the Illinois (south) zone. Not exactly the season I planned but we're making the best of what we been offered.
Dec 20th

Tune-up Your Pointer – Wilborn Creek Kennels

By Jeffrey

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Ole Copper had been in his kennel most of the summer waiting for November 5, opening day of the Illinois Upland Season. Like most of you I like to get my dogs tuned up for the upcoming season. If you train your dog using the "POWER STEERING"  technique this is just a simple matter of planting some birds, strapping on the two collars and heading to the field.
 
These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, in my training field prior to his 5th season opener. He was trained and hunting his first season just before his first birthday. He retrieved naturally his first season, but only delivered to hand half of the time. I forced fetched him after season was over. Although Copper is wearing the two collars, I seldom need to use them. The advantage of teaching the pups with this method is you can go back at anytime in the dogs life to correct any bad habits or re-enforce any commands. I formally train my pups in the yard kennel,here,heel whoa. I train the pup to turn on the word "HO" and I use their name to control range  using a bending technique. Once they are formally trained in the yard until they are 85% ,then I start avoidance training taking the commands to 98%. I also teach my pups to come to my voice at 7-8 weeks old in the small training field.With the whoa command, the voice command and the stimulation on the belly means the same thing. The stimulation on the belly becomes the comand to whoa. I use low level stimulation and increase the level if needed.

By using this technique you can stop the dog without using your voice to control the dog in the training field. The pup will not associate the stimulation with you. I get more positive results when using the e-collar to control the pup when introducing them to birds. I continue to use the voice command and the whoa command, think as the stimulation of the e-collar on the belly as a cue for the dog to whoa. The reason this works is that the only command that you  re-enforce on the belly is whoa. The neck collar you are giving several commands and reenforcing them all on the neck.  The command is the cue for here, kennel,heel re- enforced on the neck. How many times have you heard dog owners yelling "whoa" "whoa" and "whoa" to their dogs and their dogs just will not stop?I have also seen owners and trainers give the dog a cue by voice like whoop woop and then whoa. If I give my dogs a command "WHOA"  here at Wilborn Creek Kennels that means they better turn into a statue until I tap them on the head twice, to release them. This technique is for getting the pup started the Wilborn Creek Way. You can not take an older dog that has no foundation in this method and think this will work !  
Nov 6th

Why We Hunt With Dogs

By Ultimate Upland Lodge
This morning I took my lab Wyatt out for a weekend stomp on public ground. Yesterday while in the field at first light I saw several other trucks with hunters trying to hunt the same field which we beat them to that day.

Needless to say, the public options close to population centers here in Nebraska gets lots of attention. And I think that can get a bit discouraging for some.

But I find it helps to look at this concentration of hunters as a challenge. There are smart birds in these fields that hunters and dogs walk past. I've always believed that for every bird you see there are at least two that you never lay eyes on.

We got up and out at first light again because the only public field you can guarantee that has not been hunted in a day is the first one.

Wyatt worked well all morning and we finally were coming to the area I suspected would be holding the birds. Of course one rooster got up long and cackled as it made a safe escape. But out of the corner of my eye, in the opposite direction, I saw another bird flying low and silent. This was the old bird we look for. Smart birds don't cackle when they take off. This one  flew about 100 yards upwind of us into a hillside with light cover. Now that is strange and something I hadn't seen from many roosters. Normally their policy is the thicker the better.

I got Wyatt headed in the right direction and I figured we had this old bird dead to rights. It was strange that when we made it to the area that I had marked him down, Wyatt picked up some trace but not the typical hot scent of a recent bird. And now I know, that bird flew to light cover because 1) in light cover he wouldn't drag across nearly the amount of grass and weeds thereby leaving a smaller scent trail and 2) he could run more freely in the light stuff.

So we circled around a couple times and though Wyatt was acting birdy, he never indicated that a flush was imminent.

And so we turned back toward the heavy cover and I wrote off this rooster as smarter than us. I stopped to look around  just to speculate exactly to where he had disappeared. And with this pause, five feet to my left the old bird jumped skyward from a small tuft of weeds amongst a hill of ankle-high prairie grass.

A bit startled, I fumbled with the safety and the mount but the shot was true and the bird crashed. Wyatt was only a couple seconds behind for a routine retrieve. But the bird was gone.

I had crushed this pheasant. There was no doubt in my mind that I had hit him with nearly every pellet of the ounce-and-quarter 6s.  And yet somehow he had managed to shake it off and strap on his running shoes.  Wyatt was on the trail but that bird headed right into some of the thickest, nastiest cover and dry creek bed that we've hunted in this state. I put a glove on one of the weeds where the bird hit the ground to mark the spot, then just stood there and listened as Wyatt thrashed through the rough stuff. After about five minutes, the brush busting ceased around 75 yards from my marker glove.

I suspected my little buddy had found the bird and was now just adding a bit of drama. So I shouted for him to bring it up and I beeped his collar a couple times to break the silence. Lo and behold he pushed his was from a brush filled creek bottom with that old super bird in his jaws. I was smiling ear to ear and the folks in the neighboring county could probably hear my praises. A bird that was lost is now destined for pheasant alfredo.

And that's why I hunt with dogs.

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Sep 15th

I like a blue collar dog

By GSP#1
What is it with every magazine you read or television show you watch with the focus on the '"perfect" white collar dog? You know the ones I'm talking about, staunch to point, tail raised high, never move a muscle and then only on command. Retrieve the bird, sit down, hold it until you command the dog again.

Don't know about you, but half the fun of owning a bird dog is the time you spent training them. I've never shipped a dog off to bird dog college, trained them all myself. I've always had good dogs, of course, they were mine so I suppose my judgement is impaired, nevertheless, they: found birds, pointed birds and retrieved birds. They might not be TV show perfect but none of my clients ever seemed to care and I've only been stiffed a few times over the years on tips.

I suppose the traditionalists are rolling in their graves when I let my GSP sleep with us (actually my wife's idea), feed him chicken in his food (my wife cooks it for him) and let him have the run of the house. Of course, my dog also has his own personality, something I wonder if those college dogs ever develop? Textbook bird dogs I'm sure are wonderful. For me, I want the dog to hunt because he loves it AND to hunt for me because he loves me. I just don't think you get that when you ship him off to school.

I've always believed that a good dog is made with three things: genetics, time and birds. Genetics are tough, either they have it or they don't and you only have minimal control over what they get from their mom and dad. Time is yours to spend, sometimes you have more of it than others but truely the more time you spend with your pup the less time you'll worry about him in the field. Birds,the more birds the better.

I started my current GSP, Kramer, on live birds when he was 4 months old -he was guiding at 7 months. Kramer's four and a half now and has seen over six thousand birds and has had forty three hundred shot over him. He's a machine. Of course, he'll go on point, wait for the clients to get within 10 yards of him or so and then circle around to prevent the birds from running. Doesn't retrieve to my hand, rather likes to play like he does with the kids, keep away I think it's called. About the only thing "white collar" about him is that he has to drink bottled water -won't touch anything else. So what if he's spoiled and will never be on TV, he's mine and more than anything he's just like his blue collared old man.
Sep 14th

Time Will Tell - Wilborn Creek Kennel

By Jeffrey
Hard to believe that a whole year has past by here on the "Farm" at Wilborn Creek Kennels. Both of these pups flew into St Louis Lambart Airport on American Airlines. Wilborn Creek Black Talon aka "TALON" in October amd Wilborn Creek Hollow Point aka "HOLLOW" in February.   American Airlines will only ship pupies that are at least 8 weeks. Talon was 8 weeks and Hollow was almost 9 weeks in the above pictures. These pups were purchased because both had National Champion and Champion Bloodlines in the parents and grandparents. I purchased them to be part of my training program I am developing for my kennel.  I have trained Labs for waterfowling and hunt tests during the past 40 years out here on the farm. During this time I trained some Labs for the public. I have taken the training knowledge I learned from training Labs and added this to the upland training. A lot of what has been written on the training of upland dogs was based on a trainers training dogs for clients, where the trainer would not take a pup til it was 8-16 months of age. From my bad experance of hiring a trainer back in the 70's and waiting two hunting seasons for him to develope a young Brittney, only to have him ruin the pup, I devoloped a interest in training upland dogs. I made the switch from waterfowl dog to upland dogs.  I wanted to set up a kennel building for meeting with dog owners and to welp pups and a outdoor run for 8 kennels on a septic tank to start, with room to add 8 more kennels if needed. I poured the concrete with the help of several friends. I had the septic system put in for the building and the kennel runs. We had Coach House Garage's put up a nice building 24 X 40. Mike my assistant trainer, and I wired, plumbed,,built interior walls and insulated the outside walls,drywalled and hung the cabinets, carpet and tiled the floors. We hired a person to blow in the insulation in the ceiling . We also hired a company to installed a Heat pump/forced air furnace/air conditioning. We had sidewalk and  porch poured and had the drive dug out and graveled. If you interested in the cost because your thinking about setting up a kennel, around $60.000. without the land. My kennel and my home are set up on almost 44 acre farm that is enrolled in a Illinois State Training Facility Permit that allows  training year round. Wilborn Creek Kennel's was established in 2006. When I started training English Pointers I read books and watched DVD's on training. Alot of what I learned from these books and dvds did not make sence to me. They were based on client/trainer relationships. I was sure I did not want to go that route again. Richard Wolters in his book" Water Dog " and Dr J. Paul Scott director of the Animal Behavior Laboratory ,worked in conjunction with Guide Dogs for the Blind believed that breeding was the answer to the suppling puppies for training. The best breeding only produced litters having 20 % of the pups having the ability to become Seeing Eye Dogs.  Dr Scott found the answer  to the supply problem was not the breeding but in the way the dogs were trained.The answer was a new new accelerated approach to training. They were able to increase the litters having 94% of the pups having the ability to become seeing eye dogs. They learned there were 5 critical periods in a pups developement.These new method of accelerated training resulted in 74% increase over TRADITIONAL METHODS ! The kicker was that all this takes place before the pup is 16 weeks old. Scott's work also proved that waiting could be harmful.   I decided to develope a training program for English Pointers based on how the pup learns. Alot of what I learned training Labs I tried to apply to training these pointers. My theory was a lab pup and a pointer pup would learn the same way.I found in reading and watching training methods that some methods did not make sence and were out of order, but what did I know. How many times have you heard that its easier to train a pup to perform a command than to correct a  behavior. Gun shyness comes to mind. My pup that I sent to the trainer was gun shy when I got her back. Just the sight of the gun being pulled out of the case would send her behind the barn cowering down. She was not that way when I sent her. She was also bird shy, when we planted a bird for her, she did not point, she blinked and ran. She was not that way when I sent her, she would stop and point a quail before I sent her. The pup was scared of the gun and birds. Your not going to have much of a bird dog if its scared of the birds or the gun ! I started conditioning my pups with a 8 shot ring type cap gun sold for children. I start out the first week the pups out in the outdoor kennel. I call "Hey Pup" a few times to get there attention and shoot the cap gun from 50 yards. The pup is excited to see you and will associate the noise to you coming out to feed them. I move 5 yards closer each day until I can shoot over him eating out of his food bowl. I then start shooting when I throw a dummy or flush a bird. I do not shoot a blank or shotgun until the pup has been conditioned and finished obedience and avoidance training 18-20 weeks old. I introduce a pup to locked wing pigeons the first week I have the pup in the outside kennel while the pup is on a check cord. My pups are introduced to birds by using a bag method and are pointing birds by 10 weeks old. They will point and hold point naturally. I am not the first trainer to do this. Jim Marti is credited with this, although I have not seen it in written form. His method seemed to agree with the finding of Dr Scott work with the seeing eye program. Why would you allow a pup that has been bred to stop and point bird scent, to chase birds to increase intensity only to have to go back to correct the behavior when the pups older ? Why not teach the pup to hold there point, since it would be easier to train the pup to hold.rather than correct the behavior of chasing, once they are older. I teach the pup to hold point, not allowing them to chase birds. This is also the key to my approach. When the pup starts to put the scent and the birds together and starts chasing, I pull them off birds and start obedience training, followed by avoidance training for kennel,here heel, and whoa.  The pups 75 %  when I start avoidance training and when finished they are 98% in the yard. Now you are able to go back to the training field to teach them to hold point. I do not wait on the pup to tell me when he is ready to be staunched as old methods would have you do. I simply teach them hold point. The pup knows the commands and been through avoidance training in the yard. They're 98% in the yard so they know exactly what you expect from them. I never correct a pointing dog with my hands. Or I do not have to raise my voice when giving a command.  A lot of problems have been avoided. If you have a pup that lacks intensity, why not wait till the pup is supposed to chase or move towards the bird. When would that be? Ater you have flushed the bird. This just makes good sence. If the dog is not allowed to chase the steady to wing and shot will go a lot easier and a lot faster. There were alot of old trainers that waited unti the pup was 7- 16 months old to start the training.  My goal was to take these two English Pointers pups start to finish by there first birthday or hunting season. I am working on taking a pup start to finish before some of the older trainer from the past started them. My training is being developed for a person that would like to train their own pup using a step by step approach that is based on how a pup learns. We have a couple months to go. November 5 th is opening day here in Illinois. Time will tell !  
Sep 1st

Getting to the Point - Wilborn Creek Kennel

By Jeffrey

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WILBORN CREEK IS CHANGING DIRECTIONS
 
 Over the past year we have continued working on a training program at my kennel. I have recorded almost every  training session and shared some of them on UUL and with my Facebook friends. I set up my kennel  with several goals in mind. I wanted to video my training sessions to be able to watch the reactions of the pups to there training and to work on a training program that would take a pup start to finish in there first year of life. I was on my facebook page when I saw an ad for UUL almost a year ago. I joined to share and learn training methods with others and to learn more about other dog owners and there dogs.
 
As an upland hunter the training will end November 5 when Illinois opens there season. Thats when the fun and games should start. This year has been a challange with the snow and freezing rain over late winter and heat of summer. Talon was a little behind because ofthe weather. We are in the middle of force fetch training. Hollow has almost caught up with Talon. Hollow is 39 weeks old, while Talon is 52 weeks.
 
I am researching pedigrees from Natl' Champions to purchase a pup for next year. Next year will be the last year I will buy a pup from another kennel. I want it to be from the best bloodlines I can afford. I plan to train this dog with my training program as I have done the other six pointers. I am planning to train just one pup next year. This will be another female. This will give me 3 females to breed Copper to.
 
This is where things start to change directions. I want to breed Copper to Talon, so the pups will be born in the spring. This will be stage two of my training program. I plan to keep 4 pups to train starting at just a few days old. I am not the first trainer to do this. Ferril Miller talks about this on his training tape.  It will be a learning experance for sure. There is very little information about training a 1-7 week old pups. That is what sets  Wilborn Creek Kennel apart from other kennels. I am not satified using old methods of training. I want to develope new methods that shorten training time, that are based on how a dog learns.
 
I was watching a program the other day where a interviewer was told the only thing that has changed  in dog training was the e-collar. He was a older gentleman. Was he right ? It really did not matter, his way worked for him.
Do I agree with him ? To be honest, no! In my world ,I have used methods that other have developed, but I am looking for better ways. I have developed a step by step training program that others may not agree with or ever heard of. Some of which does not follow traditional wisdom. I purchased a dvd just a week ago from a sporting good store, that the trainer was very sucessful, there were methods that I do not use and methods that were out of sequence. What does all this mean to a person wanting to train his own dog ? It can get very confusing for a person wanting to take on the role of a trainer.My suggestion is to start with one trainers dvd. Follow their training program step-by-step for your first pup. Do your homework to get the sequence of how and when you will introduce the training to the pup. It has been my experance at my training facility, that people are waiting too long before they start and not sure where to start.
 
If you have read this far, I am sure your wondering what makes my training program so differant. I am going to outline some of my training program for UUL Members.  
 
1) Buy a pup from field trial bloodlines or well bred dogs. My opinion is that it will save you time and money. See a Vet. asap !
 
2)Socialize the pup for several weeks before kenneling them outside, away from you if you're the ones training
 
3)Introduce the pup to the toy cap gun, locked winged pigeons as part of the socialization.
 
4)Feed and water the puppy by hand for a few days and be there when they're eating
 
5) Introduce to a lead and collar when taking them to relieve themselves.
 
6)Get your hands on the pup as much as possible. Not on the belly or ears.
 
7) Keep them in the barrier kennel, where you spend the most time, for short periods and at night
 
8)Everytime you put him in the crate give the "Kennel" command
 
9)Get them around as many people as you can
 
10)Take them for a ride in the truck.
 
11) I introduce them to the training field. Hide and have them come to your voice.
 
12)I believe you should introduce the pup to everything he will encounter in his life by 16 weeks old  
 
13)Use the bag method to introduce pups to quail the first week you have them
 
14) Have them pointing quail 7-10 weeks old !
 
15) NEVER let the pup chase birds ! Why would you allow the pup to chase birds,when he is pointing and holding  them naturally.
 
16)When the pups starts breaking point and associates the birds with the scent,it time to start obedience training
 
17)When the pup starts breaking point start obedience training, followed by avoidance training.Kennel, Here, Heel and Whoa.   
 
18)If your pup lacks intensity, you can allow them to chase birds they point and hold after obedience and avoidance training is completed. This way the pup never learns to break point and can be controlled when put back on birds by the whoa command.
 
 19) Control range by using there name.
 
20) I do not believe in waiting for the pup to staunch or hold its point, teach them what you want.
 
21) Run pups on a check cord and start slowing them down and the restraining them when the bird flush after the bird has been pointed.
 
22)Do not correct the pup by use of your hands !
 
23)Use equipment to help the dog learn faster without mistakes.
 
24)Teach them to handle,by command.
 
25) If they will not retrieve,teach them. FORCE-FETCH

I am sure I left a few things out.
 
Training is not fun and games for the pup or the trainer. Both will have there feeling hurt by the time the training is complete. Teach a dog what  you want them to do, prior to adding any kind of pressure. My method does not use any type of punishment, but I have been known to lose my temper. Alot of trainers will not take a pup till they reach a certain age. My methods are being developed for the average guy or gal that wants to train his own pup, step by step, by its first hunting season.
 
If you find yourself thinking this can not work or it can't be right, welcome to my world. I feel that same way at times when I read or see other training methods. Trible knowledge passed on by trainers  is very slow to change. I will ask the question again? Do you think the only thing in dog training  that  has changed is the e-collar? If you want my opinion:  In my world ,Jeffrey, at Wilborn Creek Kennels says no,  everything has changed.
Aug 22nd

Miss Talon - Wilborn Creek Kennel

By Jeffrey

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This is the first pup I purchased for the kennel in Texas this year. I am a firm believer in buying a pup in the late winter or early spring, January- March. You just loose to much training time over the winter months in Illinois where I live. I wanted a pup from this particular litter, so as luck would have it, I recieved this pup at 8 weeks old prior to winter.
 
This pup carries 2007 Nat'l Champion Funseeker Rebel on the sire side and Ch Black Crude as the grandsire on the dams side. There is also a line of  Miller bred on the dams side carring Ch Miller's White Powder and 25X Ch Miller's Silver Bullet.
 
I have a three year old Miller bred male, Wilborn Creek Copper Bullet call name "COPPER" that carries Ch Miller's White Powder as the grand sire  and 25 X Ch Miller's Silver Bullet several times through the pedgree. He also carries 17X Ch Miller's True Spirit, Ch Miller's Chief, Ch Miller's Ladybird,Ch Miller's Showcase, A few other dogs 25 X Ch Crow's Little Joe, Ch  Additions Go Boy, Fiddler's Ace, Fiddlin Rocky Boy, Ch Big Shot Rebel, CH Hook's Bounty Hunter Ch Whippoorwill"s Rebel,Ch Branscum's Nickle, Ch Barshoe Brute,Ch Rocky River Hank and the Bob Wehle's famous dog Elhew Strike. I thought this would be a good pair to breed, for future pups. I know very little about breeding dogs. I am still researching and working with my vet before I will make a decision to breed this pair.
 
This pup was named Wilborn Creek Black Talon call name "TALON". The Black Talon was a solid, copper hollow point with a hollowed out rear shank containing a lead core. The bullet includes a Lubalox coating giving it an unusual black appearance. Also known as a hand gun bullet that was too good and was marked by a black colored projectile seated in a nickle plated case, which has  been described as a very sexy round! Wincherster later discontinued production, it was too good for the public.  It has been said that only a prayer will stop a Black Talon !
 
Miss Talon just turned one year old. She has completed all of her field training and is being forced fetched at this time.  She started pointing quail in the training field before she was 10 weeks old. She started preschool and Obedience at 16 weeks old. She went through avoidance training. She has been trained on her name, to control range. I elected not to do pattern work on this pup. Time will tell if she will live up to her name !  
Apr 2nd

Ultimate Upland Breed Breakdown

By Ultimate Upland Lodge
Since we launched the site late last year we've been running polls to learn more about our visitors and how they hunt. These questions have gotten great response and give us a pretty interesting look at members.

Below are the results we are getting to the question "What Breed Do You Hunt Over"? 

If you haven't had a chance to add your own vote, head to this link and also be sure to participate in our other polls which we'll be sharing results for in the future.

What Breed Do You Hunt Over?
 

Jan 19th

Oh Boykins, The BSS Upland National

By Ultimate Upland Lodge

It was great to have the Boykin Spaniel Society's Upland National right here in our backyard,  just a short drive down the road at The Clinton House in Clinton, SC. Since Spartanburg is ground-zero for this breed, it's apt the event was just a stone's throw south of the Boykin epicenter.

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I'm not sure that prior to this event I've ever seen a Boykin afield, maybe never even seen a Boykin at all. But gathered at this competition were around 80 spaniels including some of the top dogs in the country.