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Too Much Pride in My Bird Dog

My bird dog, Trammell, searching for the scent of a crippled rooster.

Do you suffer from hubris when it comes to your bird dog?  I confess to often displaying symptoms of the affliction.


As you may recall from high school English lit class, Odysseus paid dearly for his own hubris in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.   Odysseus’ hubris, or excessive pride, led the gods to punish Odysseus by sending him on a ten year journey following the Trojan War to teach humility. 


Like Odysseus, I’ve been guilty of having excessive pride in my bird dog, Trammell.  My own hubris became apparent to me while reading Grayson Schaffer’s excellent blog post on the Filson website recently.


Below, you’ll find some of my favorites from Mr. Schaffer’s unofficial rules of dog etiquette for people who take their gun dogs seriously.


1. You might have the best dog in the field back home, but that likelihood lessens with each mile driven.


2. Undersell your dog—always. He’s a better shower than you are a teller.


3. Every time you’re about to brag about your dog, stop yourself and compliment another dog’s fine retrieve from the day, instead.


4. Only the underdog can overachieve. The best the over-dog can do is meet expectations.


7. Never give another guy a hard time about his dog. Believe me, he knows.


10. When your dog leans against you, it either means that he’s trying to dominate you or that he has an itch he’d like you to scratch. Your call.


After reading Mr. Schaffer’s rules of dog etiquette, I realized that I’ve boasted with pride about my own bird dog far too often during the early days of this pheasant season.  And after my pup’s failure to retrieve two crippled roosters during my most recent pheasant hunt with my good friend “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand, I’ve been burdened by the guilt of my own hubris. 


Consequently, with the Rooster Road Trip fast approaching, I felt it appropriate to repent for this hubris.  The last thing I want is to spend 10 years on the road with Andrew and Anthony trying to get home.  Never can be too careful, right?


Follow Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 at www.RoosterRoadTrip.org, on Facebook , YouTube, and Twitter (#rrt11). 


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

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6 Responses to “Too Much Pride in My Bird Dog”

  1. Mr. Schaffer is a wise man. I have a GSP named Hunter. I say, He’s the hunter; I’m just the shooter. Behind every good man and hunter, there’s a good wife and dog. Good Huntin’ to ya. Dave Stengel

  2. Ryan says:

    Let your dog do the walking and talking for him/herself. Nothing funnier than hearing about how great someones dog is and how birdy he gets and said dog is found getting birdy and chasing a field mouse.

  3. @Ryan,
    Ahhhhh, those pesky field mice have made me and my pup look foolish before! :)

  4. Ian Magee says:

    Have fun over the 5 day hunt! A Canadian invite would of been neat?


  5. Irving C says:

    I believe we are all guilty of this, but remember “God never made a bad bird dog”

  6. I have often thought the same and try to stay the course during good and bad days for both pupper and me. I will qualify to say when the dog is in his senior years it is time to give him his due. Always praise the good work of your hunting companions pupper!


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