Bear with me a bit. I have to admit that I am a fan of the movie Gladiator. The way the character Maximus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe, stayed loyal to his lifelong friend, Marcus Aurileus is admirable. When asked to return Rome to the Romans, it became his new mission in life. The loyalty and love for his family that he clung to brought him through his difficult times as a gladiator.

Stock Image from Internet

 These are attributes that I see in our bird dogs. Loyalty to us as the handler that they will run through briars and thickets in the heat of the battle (hunt) for us. The love they show our family members when they are not in the field and bring smiles to our faces. They warm our homes with their antics that make even the bad times a little easier to bear.

 After my last attempt at a puppy, which we read here, I was ready to give the whole thing up. However, with the loyalty of family and friends, I decided that I was not going to let one failure deter me from doing what I thoroughly enjoy.

 This brings me to Maximus Meridius. Not the character in the movie, but the new English Setter puppy that has come to live with my family and me. Who, at a young age, is already displaying the characteristics of his namesake.

 So how did he come to find his way home. I was looking at a Facebook group for bird hunters here in North Carolina. There were ads for puppies every couple of days. Mostly GSP’s. Not a bad thing, just not the breed for me right now. After a few days there was an ad for English Setter puppies that were descended from Multiple Champion Grid Iron. That peaked my interest. So I messaged the breeder.

 He is not a professional breeder and only breeds once every couple of years. We exchanged some messages and then I called him. He told me that he had ten pups and ten people coming to pick them up. I asked him to keep my number and let me know if anyone backed out. A few weeks pass, and I get a text with pictures of two pups that need to be placed. So after some more discussions on the phone, we decided which one was coming to live with us.

Max 8 Weeks Old

 One caveat: the understanding and effort that this guy did when it came to getting this pup and us together is unprecedented. It was amazing to deal with someone that cared so much for his pups and ensuring that the client was satisfied as well.

 He is now about 16 weeks old. We have been working on the typical puppy stuff: housebreaking, learning his name and basic obedience, and, most importantly, putting recall on him. He is doing fantastic with all the work that we have been doing.

 I have taken him to the field a couple of times already and he is definitely not intimidated by tall grass or new things. I think he is going to be a very bold dog. I have not taken him off the cord yet, that is going to be a while until I can get a good solid recall on him and know that he will come when called.

 In the field we are working on staying to the front and not doing any back casting, and also getting him to turn with me when I turn. Which will make for enjoyable days afield.

 In the yard I have played the wing on string game very minimally, just to really satisfy my desire to see him point and he is very good looking when he does. The points on dragon flies are what is on the agenda most days right now.

Pointing Wing on a String

 So as the days go by we will continue to work on obedience, and the bird introduction will be coming soon. I will be sure to let everyone know how it goes. 

 I look forward to sharing our adventures as we train and start out in the field chasing our feathered foes.

A new team

6 Replies to “MAXIMUS”

  1. Hey Brian, loved that article. Glad to see you have a new fieldmate! Also, nice to see you’re not only fostering enjoyment of the sport, but putting the time into your pup’s training and social well-being to ensure his enjoyment too! It’s a win – win! Good luck and happy hunting!

    1. I am glad that you liked the article. He is a handful as puppies are but I am excited for things to come. I really enjoy developing puppies into bird dogs but just as important respectable member of the family and society. We have a long trip ahead and it is going to be interesting. I hope it is as fun for him as I expect it will be for me. Thanks for joining the conversation.

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