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The Magic of the Check Cord
by Pamela O. Kadlec

Photos Provided by the Author & Loretta Baughan

Many years ago, I was hunting with my black Lab, Striker. Well, Striker was the first hunting dog I ever trained. He wasn't from champion field lines, he was just a black Lab. You know, the kind found in a newspaper, backyard-bred, consider yourself lucky if you get a good one.

I wasn't lucky.

Striker was the hardest-headed, most willful, obstinate so-and-so I have had the misfortune to work with. I never did get him steady to shot. Most of my hunting forays incorporated me screaming at the top of my lungs at this dog. I don't know why I wasted my breath. It didn't phase him and it's a wonder I didn't have a stroke from getting so upset.

The only way to hunt with Striker was to take a long, heavy rope and tie him to a tree. That way, you could hunt in relative peace. If you missed a shot - and I missed often - Striker could only break as far as his rope would allow. If I hit a duck, then I would release the dog to retrieve. I guess you could say we came to an agreement.

"It's much better to have the cord on the dog and not need it - than to need it and not have it on the dog."

If I owned Striker today, I would use the invisible check cord - an e-collar. But, I'm not sure even that would have stopped this dog. I learned from Striker the value of a check cord and use one on every dog that I train. The

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