Here's a picture I wasn't sure I'd be taking so soon -- but this is from this morning. Momo and I have been going out every couple of days to build up on his retrieve skills and keep things fresh and fun. He's doing great. The one challenge we've had is that deep-frozen chukar don't smell a lot so if he doesn't quite mark it down visually, he gets a little unsure of himself and needs reassurance to keep going out for the bird.
It's been very interesting working through this with him, in part because (and I'm sure this was how he and Momo defined their relationship) Bob was concerned that when Momo was blinking on the retrieve with me down at Cliffside, he saw that as a refusal/dominance issue -- but which I now, and while I defered to Bob's significant experience then, see as an insecurity issue. Because of my prior relationship with Momo, he seems to be working happily for me with reassurance rather than compulsion. Having said that, if Bob hadn't force-fetched him, I wouldn't be able to write this. Hopefully there'll be a lot more pictures like this.
Bill at the Black & Tan Bombshell has a few observations on 'breaking' dogs -- and for those interested in the low/no force, 'natural' training technique I would strongly recommend reading a couple of books you can see rotate through my MyLibrary widget: Ben William's Bird Dog and Joan Bailey's How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves.
Neil has a few reflections of his own on the way we personify our relationships with our dogs -- and it's always interesting to see that Momo and his mother really do appear to have some very similar personality traits. For anyone considering agility for their vizslas, it looks like Lael + Neil are in it for the long haul... so keep an eye out.
Looks like Rocket, too, might be about to get some agility training.