One of my guests recently emailed me and asked me how our bird dogs fared in this heat we have been experiencing in South Georgia for the past three weeks, and wanted a better explanation of their housing facilities. The best way to answer that question is to first explain that the pointer breed of hunting dog was born and bred for the south, much like the Brahma cattle and us southern rednecks. You just have to be a native to survive this weather.We shave all of our English setters and any other long-haired, bigger hunting dogs late in the spring so that their hair looks very similar to mine.
However, to be more specific,our big dogs all have concrete runs with automatic feeders and waterers in them. Each run accommodates two dogs, and they share a dog house. Over the top of each house, we run a sheet of reflective metal to bounce the sun’s rays back skyward. But, make no mistake about it–It is still very hot at the kennels in July and August.
Now the new digs for our English Cockers are different. To begin with, each of them have individual houses, and each house has a fan mounted to blow air on them. I can just see their neighbors in the lower class kennels glaring at them each day. In my opinion, somebody is going to bite somebody when they get a chance because jealousy has to be rampant at the Riverview kennels.
The most interesting time to be around our kennels is usually around the second week in September. That’s when Moss, our kennel manager, starts assigning dogs to guides. Each guide will have a certain number of consecutive runs that houses his dogs; so dogs that have been living together suddenly have new roommates. Guess what ? Dogs get along with one another about as good as people do. Someone almost has to live at the kennels for a while until we can figure out the pairings of dogs that can share a kennel without fighting. And a bird dog fight is not a pretty thing. They fight to win, and play for keeps. I have actually seen a male pointer rip another pointer to shreds.
When I was a kid, I had a huge German Shepherd that liked to walk out to the dog kennels and torment them with the fact that he was roaming free while they were in confinement. Our kennel manager at that time, Mr. Bobby Sharp, had asked me repeatedly to keep my dog in the yard, but I ignored him. He finally got enough of it one day, and let one of our big male pointers out while Vengie was tormenting them. We never had to worry about Vengie visiting the dog kennels again after he drug his bloody, whipped butt to the house.
In closing, the woods and food plots look great. Hunting and football season will be here before we can blink an eye, and we are ready !