From left: Stefan Stefik, Carrie Hamilton, John Jeanneney with Tommy, and Andy Bensing.
Tommy is four years old now, and thanks to him we learned a couple of new things. As readers of our two blogs know, a lot of our puppies are very precocious when it comes to their tracking and hunting ability. We start to work with our puppies early, and when we sell pups at the age of 10-12 weeks, they usually can track fresh liver drags or blood lines with several turns in them. When we see this level of performance in the pups, it reassures us that they are good blood tracking prospects. But not all puppies are precocious, and Tommy was not precocious either.
Four years ago we imported two male puppies at the same time - Joeri and Tommy. Joeri was 14 weeks old at the time and Tommy just eight. While Joeri was a super-achieving puppy, Tommy was not. Joeri tracked blood, hunted rabbits, retrieved from the pond, and Tommy could not do any of these things... for a long time. We never put pressure on him, and just let him develop at his own pace. Only when Tommy turned one year old, his hunting and tracking instinct really kicked in. Now at four, the only area that Joeri surpasses him is retrieving from the water. Tommy turned out to be a better rabbit dog with better line control and voice, and on artificial lines he is a better tracker too. On natural lines they are probably on the same level.
So what have we learned here? Well, it is nice to have a precocious puppy, but sometimes patience gets rewarded in a big way. What counts ultimately is the quality of mature dog, and I don't think anybody would argue with this statement.
|Tommy at the end of successful track.|
There is one more thing, which is different about Tommy. Our dachshunds usually show the same working style on deer blood and on wild rabbits. For example, Sabina was a slow, deliberate worker on both. Billy is fast on rabbits and he is fast while tracking wounded deer too. Tommy, who is a high-energy excitable dog has very different speeds and modes depending on what he tracks. On rabbits Tommy is extremely fast (and he voices strongly). On artificial blood lines his working style is completely different - he is slow and meticulous. On natural lines, he has a moderate speed. In my experience he is the first dog that has completely different working speeds on different scent lines.
Congratulations to John and Tommy!