Hunting Dog Profiles | Pip The Wonder Dog
Pip The Wonder Dog
Five years ago, if you had told me that I was going to become an avid waterfowl hunter, I would have laughed in your face! I was already a deer and turkey hunter and some small game, but never waterfowl.
I had started taking my friend’s son, Dylon Bailey, hunting with me for deer and turkey. But what Dylon really wanted to do is start duck hunting. No matter how often Dylon would ask, my answer was always no! I had a myriad of reasons to not go duck hunting. I had never duck hunted before. I didn’t have any decoys. I didn’t have any waders. I didn’t have any calls. I didn’t want to get cold and wet. And lastly, I didn’t have a duck hunting dog!
Dylon, who was 14 at the time, saved up his money and bought a dozen decoys. Then he taught himself to call. Soon after, he had bought a pair of waders. With all this considered, I was running out of reasons to not go duck hunting. I relented and took Dylon duck hunting and I was instantly hooked! It wasn’t long before Dylon and I were spending almost every weekend chasing those swamp chickens. But we still didn’t have a dog which made Dylon our retriever. Honestly, I don’t think he minded at all…
Enter Pip the Wonder Dog. Pip was born and raised on a commercial hunting ranch where she was used to retrieve pheasants. When she was three, her owner/handler passed away and Pip needed a new home. Another friend of mine who had hunted at the ranch, took Pip with the intentions of using her to retrieve quail for him. The problem with that was that Pip was a very high-drive dog who didn’t know the first thing about quail hunting. My friend, Carl, had seen that I was now duck hunting and called me asking me if I wanted a lab that would retrieve birds for me. I already owned one lab, Mr. Boots, who was a house dog, not a hunter, a Toy Yorkie, and a cat. I agreed to take Pip, thinking that worst case scenario, she would make a good playmate for Mr. Boots.
After the first few attempts of taking Pip out into the field with us, I was convinced that she was only going to be a play mate for Mr. Boots. It didn’t help that I was a new duck hunter myself, and knew very little about training a duck dog. Luckily Dylon’s dad, Wes, was a former K9 handler for the local sheriff’s department and agreed to help me start training Pip with obedience and duck hunting. Wes would go with me, Dylon and Pip when we went duck hunting. Wes started training Pip by holding the leash until we wanted her to retrieve the ducks. Besides her constant squirming trying to get out of the blind, our main struggle with training was the fact that she didn’t know the difference between a duck and a decoy! There was no telling what she was going to bring back to the blind.
“It was a wonder that we got any ducks at all, which is how Pip became the Wonder Dog.”
With a lot of patience, love and understanding on Pip’s part, and a lot of time on my part, she and I have become an inseparable duck hunting team. She now stays in her blind until she is told to get the duck. She has retrieved ducks, geese and doves for me as well. Anytime we go duck hunting she is expected to go along, and you can see the disappointment in her face if I don’t take her with us. She is a valued member of our duck hunting crew, which now includes, Dylon, his fiancé, Arrianna, and Dylon’s best friend, Bowin. Dylon used to wonder why we bothered to take Pip and last weekend he took off his jacket and covered up Pip because she was shivering from being cold and wet.
Would I be a duck hunter without Pip? Probably. Would I be an avid duck hunter without Pip? Definitely not! She has not only become a valued member of our crew, she is a valued member of my house as well. She has become a waterfowl dog, a dove dog, and I am currently working with her to track deer. With her drive and willingness to work, I have no doubt she will be a deer dog in no time!
You can follow along with our adventures on Instagram! @the_wild_okie And Pip even has her own page, @pipwonderdog.