Miners Kennel
Retriever Training - Sheridan, IL

"Your Dog Runs On Our Reputation"

Contact us at 815-210-4837 or at johnandnancyminer@yahoo.com

 Home|TrainingPrivate Lessons | Miners Best | High Times Best |Our Results|Studs|Puppies|Photos|Links|Contact Us|


The "Gotcha" Chronicles

(The continuing story of our new "Rooster" and "Keltie" puppy "Gotcha" AKA High Times Magicgolds Gotcha Covered MH).


Thanks to Magicgolds Celtic Causeway** MH and Cheryl Baca for making this breeding happen!!!!! Thank You Cheryl!!! And Celtie!!!!


Rooster left this world July 27, 2010. Gotcha was born: March 7, 2012.  John and I flew to California to view the litter of nine born to Rooster's frozen semen on April 23rd and came home with Ms. White AKA "Gotcha" 7 weeks old on April 24.

"Gotcha" Recommendation Corner

  •  Rooster was really one of the most advanced problem solvers that we have ever owned (clearly his strong suit).  I would like to recommend a book that I read when Rooster was a pup and am now re-reading with Gotcha. It includes lots of interesting material on the learning capabilities of the dog and also gives some fun and I believe useful problem solving games you can teach your puppy.  Gotcha is doing some of them now and seems to be learning quickly and we are having fun doing them  with her. The Book is: The Intelligence Of Dogs, Canine Consciousness and Capabilities, by Stanley Coren (the date 1994, Rooster was born, John bought this book for me.)

Willie, Gotcha and Cali
in Texas at the
2013 Golden
(GRCA) National Specialty


Gotcha at the 2013 GRCA
running her very first Derby

Gotcha and four of her sibs training in Texas
February 2015
Left to right: Cali, Gotcha, T, Reo and Willie 
Gotcha earns Companion Dog title!
November 20, 2016

photo at right

Left to right : Cali MH,  Gotcha MH and "T" MH 

Gotcha and her sisters at
Backwater fall hunt test 2018

They are 6 1/2 years young now!


  • 8/3/17 - Gotcha received an invitation to enter the AKC Obedience Classic in Orlando, Florida, December 16-17, 2017! 

  • 4/9/17 - Gotcha and littermate's - Cali and T - all passed the double master tests at the Backwater Retriever Club on April 8 and 9. This makes 18 master passes for GotchaJ

  • 3/10/17 - Gotcha and sister Cali left the Midwest on January 18th for winter training in Texas. They are enjoying great weather and phenomenal marking and blind retrieves on land and water. While here, Gotcha needing only one more leg to complete her CDX title entered the Baytown kennel clubs obedience trial on March 3rd and came away with her CDX title and a 2nd place in her class

  • 12/11/16 - Gotcha showed in Open Class again receiving a score of 195 1/2 and first place. We lost a point and a half on our score, when Gotcha came over the broad jump and into front position, we apparently had a communication breakdown and instead of sitting in the front position, she stood and then had a crooked finish. Mike Carlucci, a long time National Obedience judge, was watching her performance on the second day from a neighboring ring and when the day was over and we were packing up to leave, he came over to Gotcha praising her performance and telling us that she reminded him of " OTCH High Times Solicitor UDX WCX owned by Don Brinker and the very first High Times Dog. Great memories! And a High Compliment!

  • 12/10/16 - Gotcha makes her debut into the Open class at the Skokie Valley Kennel Club held at the expo center in Rosemont, IL. She got a good score of 197 1/2 and first place.

  • 11/25/16 - Gotcha ran the 2016 Master National in St. Louis Mo. Made it through the third series, and second dog to run. A joint effort between Gotcha and her handler was not the effort the judges were looking for. Gotcha needed an early cast to get into the water on the memory bird of the land/water triple and Nancy waited to long to give the cast which took her into heavy cover and consequently out of control. Moments later she showed up swimming to the bird, but not getting the bird under control.

  • 11/20/16 - On November 19, Gotcha earned a 196 1/2 and 4th place for the second leg of her CD. On November 20, Gotcha earned a 197 1/2 and 2nd place for the third leg of her CD and her Companion Dog Title. We were very pleased JJ.

  • 8/5/16 - We arrived home from our winter training grounds the very end of March 2016. Gotcha and her sister Cali both enjoyed and benefited from the outstanding winter training grounds that we are very fortunate to have. April 29, 2016, Gotcha was entered in a CCA test which looks at her conformation and to what degree it conforms with the standard for the golden retriever breed. All three of her judges, Marsha Schlehr, Ellen Hardin and Nancy Talbott are accredited AKC conformation judges, so she was examined and scored by some of the best. We are especially proud that all three found her conformationally correct and scored her well. Marsha Schlehr (considered a breed authority on conformation) gave her a score of 91 we were /are very proud!!!  Click here to see video of Gotcha getting her CCA.

    The beginning of May we started our hunt test circuit for 2016 in earnest. Gotcha needed 3 passes to secure a spot in the 2016 Master National, she had earned 3 passes from the 2015 fall circuit. Gotcha passed five master tests in a row, WOW Gotcha is all grown up! Triples, quads, interrupted triples (triples where you may pick up one or more of the marks and before picking up the remainder of the mark/marks you are required to retrieve a blind) poison birds, long water entries etc; Gotcha is qualified to run the master national in St. Louis  and she plans on attending!

    June 18th brought a new challenge for Gotcha. She has been practicing her obedience here at home in our training building with an occasional trip to a local obedience club to guest train, so we entered an obedience show and hoped for the best. Gotcha was up for the challenge and earned her first leg on her CD. We were very pleased with how hard she tried, her heeling was great. Her recall very good but when I asked for a finish into heel position, she didn't move; and I gave her a double command to finish in the form of body movement. Of course this greatly hurt her score. Just a week off of the hunt test circuit and she was in her very first show, gotta say she's a great little gal! Gotcha planning more obedience trials in November and December after the Master National is over.  Reflecting...... WOW .......THE JOURNEY REALLY IS EVERYTHING!!!  

  • 5/19/15 - On the weekend of April 9-11 at the Backwater Retriever Clubs's spring double header master test, Gotcha successfully completed both masters and became a" Master Hunter". At the Golden Retriever Club of Illinois spring hunt test May 2-3, Gotcha became qualified to run the 2015 Master National.  The following weekend Gotcha ran the master at The Golden Retriever Club of St. Louis and was one of 13 to pass out of an entry of 41.

  • 4/21/15 - Gotcha completed her master title on 4/12/15 at the Backwater Retriever Club running and finishing 2 master tests run in a day and a half - 6 triples and 6 blinds. Running 18 marks total, she had to have a handle on three marks. Again, I stood in amazement watching her problem solving abilities. Her final triple of the weekend presented a go bird thrown from land out into lily pads with an entry that involved crossing large floating logs in swimming water. Being the last triple we ran for the weekend, the birds were low in the water. She searched those lily pads while clearly able to smell the blind area further down the shoreline. She kept her head, stayed out in the lily pads and hunted intelligently until  coming up with the bird. I was thrilled with her performance. It was great to watch and also I had no idea where the bird was, sooo if I would have had to handle I would have been in trouble.  All is good; Gotcha has run 6 master tests and completed 5 breaking in one. She is growing up!

  • 3/12/15 - A real Texas water blind ... 240 yds. to water entry and then another 140 yds channel swim past a bay on one shore and 2 islands on the opposite shore. Woo-hoo a fun blind. Ha! Here's fun ... Gotcha no Mother Teresa! Charlene in charge ... she is back on the pinch collar and tab. Yesterday she let the little bitch shine thru Y when I showed her the big water blind she looked up and said ... R you gonna run and swim all that way and I said noooo you are!  She said "The prettiest girl in the whole wide world wants you to see her prettiest teeth in the whole wide world. Out came the pinch collar......? She says OH, THAT BLIND OK I GOT IT! THIS IS WHY SHE IS MY GIRL! I LOVE HER MOXI! Of course she lowered herself to the ground to show me her prettiest teeth.  And 4 Whistles got a 380 yd. Blind done! She is sooooo cool!

One tired dog!
 (click photos to enlarge)

otcha developed a fond liking for riding in the
 ranger from the big house down to our digs at
 the camp house after the training day has ended

  • 10/24/14 - Gotcha completed her third master leg at the Golden Retriever National specialty hunt test. Her siblings Cali and Reo also completed master legs while brother Willie chose this hunt to take his turn to break. We were forced to scratch the field trial which was due to start on Monday and head for home due to truck trouble. According to Ford, they are surprised we made it home. Meanwhile, Gotcha's sister Reo ran the qualifying at the field trial and earned a jam. Gotcha showing signs of growing up ... behaving well in all holding blinds and heeling well to line. Without doubt the biggest thrill for me at the specialty hunt test was witnessing first hand the problem solving progress that Gotcha has made this year. The first series in the master was a water triple with a water blind. The triple was thrown right to left. The second bird was the flyer and also the last bird Gotcha was sent for. The line to this mark was approx. 25 yards to the water then a swim across a pond then a wide dike with heavy grass cover and then a swim across another pond that was not visible to the dog sitting on line. Gotcha was dog number 65 to run so return scent on the dike was very heavy and since she did not see the second body of water from line she got up on the dike and honored her nose and checked out all the scent (judges comment: she's working her heart out for you) when sure the bird was not here crossed thru the next body of water and found her flyer up on land. Wow! Great problem solving! It's so great watching and witnessing the learning process. The second series was a walk up land triple also thrown right to left with a double land blind. The shorter blind was under the arch of the right hand mark and the longer blind was tight behind the flyer guns back. Tall clumps of cover made tight control a necessity. Another happy moment for me when I lined Gotcha up for the long blind her eyes immediately wanting to focus on the flyer gun station. Drawing from her training skills , as soon as I said "no here dead "her eyes shifted, I said "good" and she was off on the correct line behind the flyer guns back and had 4 whistles to get her there. All of the above says: smart, willing and growing up. The relationship that we are sharing is the greatest of all rewards.

  • 9/23/14 - Ohio valley was Gotcha and her sibs Cali and Willies third master start. Cali and Willie both qualified in Ohio valley and Gotcha broke in the first series. The series started with dog and handler running a cold blind. Gotcha was naughty on the blind and tried to break on the blind convinced that she knew where it was and I don't believe that I worked hard enough to get her under control on this blind although she did the blind well her line control just was not there. So when we sat on the  bucket for the marks which were thrown left (short and in your face and over the top of the line to the blind) right ( thrown in line with the memory flyer gunner) middle ( flyer which required several shots to bring down , Gotcha all ready up on her tippy toes "said" that's it I'm on my way they are not going to kill this one and I'm getting it now) so much for that. No controlled breaks in master. At this time the musketeers have run three master tests each qualifying in two. And  the journey for master has begun and  the musketeers each have two qualifying scores for next year's master national. Meanwhile Gotcha will work on her control.

  • 9/4/14 - On August 23, Gotcha ran and completed her very first master test.  58 dogs started this master and 20 completed it to earn a ribbon.  We believe at 29 months old, Gotcha was the youngest dog to earn a ribbon at this master.  She clearly demonstrated that she likes the dance.

  • 6/16/14 - Badger Golden Retriever Club June 14-15 was the last senior test for Gotcha and brother Willie. They both passed with great marks and blinds. Sure hope Gotcha settles down by fall. She had a controlled break on the walk up go bird ... re-heeled her and made her wait ... reverse's herself and hops backwards with her bird for all memory birds and sometimes when she guess's there will be a blind afterwards and  indicates where she believes it is. She honors surprisingly well. I do believe she thinks she has it all figured out and if I would please wait at the truck or just watch her from the gallery that would work nicely.  She is fun but I do wish she would be more controlled on the water double; she stood up and moved forward on the go bird and I re-heeled her before sending and she did. She is a strong personality with lots of talent. Gotcha and her brother Willie are now six for six on senior passes. Brother Willie is not so keen on the honor and has a tendency to want his presence known to all on line. Both are behaving nicely in holding blinds now and waiting to be asked out to heel to line. We are hoping by fall to have more controlled behaviors on line.

  • Great 2014 Spring News for Gotcha and her sibs ...... Willie, Cali and Gotcha have completed to date 16 straight events without a failure! They have run to date 10 junior tests, 5 senior tests and a WCX test. They are now all three Senior Hunters. And for Icing on the Cake, sister Reo competing at a different hunt test completed her Senior Title also on the exact same day! Now Keltie and Rooster can Brag that six out of the nine littermates are Senior Hunters.

  • Winter 2014 training - Four littermates training together in Texas winter 2014. They had a great winter trip. Lots of taught land and water blinds with marks attached later and then back to their blinds, They did lots of walk ups, sitting in holding blinds and honoring, marks often in excess of 3 and 4 hundred yards, Lots and lots of triples taught as singles only to come back a week or more later and run the whole set up as a multiple and combine with a previous taught blind. Their confidence has grown in leaps and bounds.  Well on their way to Master! 

From left to right: Willie, Gotcha, Cali and Reo

Gotcha MH CDX

  • 12/20/13 - Well here we are almost Christmas and Gotcha's sister "Cali" and Brother "Willie" are home with their families for the holidays. Both will return in January to head to Texas to continue their training and ready themselves for a couple more derby's before they age out in march and then move on into the senior level in hunt tests. In their absence Gotcha continues to work on going as sent, memory and taking long straight lines. Also she has found a strong liking for obedience work as it involves "cheese" and knows that Nancy's pockets are always full. Her heeling shows her "Joy" as her head is held high and her feet offer a high stepping prance. Her stand is becoming clear and she has learned to step back into her stand and that foot movement of any kind doesn't bring cheese. She is getting the idea now in between front and heel position and also down and sit position and can walk backwards when asked to back up the entire length of the training building (80 ft) Gotcha is doing her articles well as she knows the quicker she brings the correct one the quicker her cheese comes. This is a good time of the year to work on obedience as we have gotten over a foot of snow.

  • 11/20/13 - My dominant little brat ... I was working her front position with a ball which I have done with all my dogs. I throw the ball between my legs when they come front they go between my legs and retrieve the ball and then assume another front. Oh not the Gotch, she had me convinced that she didn't know what I wanted and would not go between my legs to get the ball. To prove it to myself that she just didn't understand, I used cheese cubes instead of a ball. HAH ... RIGHT BETWEEN MY LEGS AND BACK INTO FRONT POSITION! LITTLE WITCH!!  As an afterthought ... could this be operative owner training by Gotcha?

  • 11/10/13 - Over early spring and summer Gotcha and her brother Willie ran and passed 10 junior tests, in five different states. Traveling to events, sitting in holding blinds and experiencing many different marking situations with lots of shot flyers, honing their marking skills in much varied terrain and cover. While continuing to run blinds and learn handling. Come September they traveled for two extended weekends to their sister Cali's training paradise in Indiana where they retrieved fresh shot pheasant flyers, worked on triple marked retrieves and learned new marking skills in a large pond filled with lily pads and logs. Also were afforded long water entries. All in preparation to run a few derby's come later fall and early spring. Gotcha and Willie traveled with us to Fall River Kansas, the site of the 2013 Master National where they had the advantage of daily training in again new and different land and water, many long water entries and cheating singles, long land marks thru sage and other varied cover types.   Came home to IL for 3 weeks before heading off to Wichita, Texas to run in the GRCA national Specialty WCX and derby tests. All three siblings: Gotcha, Willie and Cali earned their WCX's! Two days later the derby started. Gotcha and Cali both completed the third series, Gotcha with a gorilla hunt that got her dropped. Willie never saw the memory bird and got lost on his way out to the memory bird. Cali ran the fourth series only to take an end over end tumble on her way out to the memory bird and lose her line. We were pleased all three put out maximum effort and were thrilled to be there. We believe learning and having a foundation in field trial marks is a key to stronger master dogs in the future. This past spring and summer has seen them growing and getting stronger and stronger in their marking and problem solving capabilities, while continuing blind retrieves we have made their marking our primary focus. All three have great attitudes, with lots of enthusiasm on land and water. sometimes their enthusiasm overwhelmed ... Willie took out two holding blinds on his way to line in the WCX and all three had at least one controlled break in the derby and at least one in the WCX. 

  • 7/29/13 - Had a pleasant week with the musketeers. A drill day early on a couple trips to bucks and once to Seneca. Working on cold multiples mostly for the concepts. Yesterday at bucks we set up two converging marks (ducks thrown from wingers) long mark was 230 and go bird was 125.(so figure a 90 yd. split on the converge) cover was12 to 18 inches high and marks were downwind. I had three very enthusiastic musketeers sitting beside me. All fired up and focused and Fast Very Fast all three! They made my day! With exact marking great style and focus they smoked. Sooo very pleased with their progress. As their genes suggest they are now coming on.

  • 6/24/13 - Raining right now ... Ran a great marking drill yesterday ... 12 marks in the water total ... Shoreline swims, past a point, over a point, angle entries, back from shore, angle across a bay and up on land, throws from one piece of land to another piece of land. All were stand alone marks, some were walk backs and some were remote sends. Addressed ... Steady, crossing over their lines, re-entries over scented points and hard cheaty angles and return with focus on handler. All done with white dummy. All are ready for this marking drill to be done with a black dummy. This drill forces tremendous thought process, encourages straight lines and positive marking. They are showing good progress. What a nice string I have ... feel lucky!

  • 5/21/13 - Just had a most delightful experience. :-):-):-) Ran Will and Gotch on their very first 4 sq. T in the water. That's a full T done all the way around in a sq. Their tenacity never creases to amaze. Their overall willingness ..... Oh My they were good today ...... stop/tread water and cast ..... sooo good. We be happy .... line up ..... yes ma'am ..... hit the water. Life is good. And go as sent ...... Not a problem.

  • 5/6/13 -  At 13 months old, we all have Bragging Rights!!!!  The Rooster/Keltie litter includes 6 Junior Hunters!!!!!! Roca, Rascal, T, Willie, Cali and Gotcha.  We suspect number seven will be happening within a month and that will be Reo. We have picked up ribbons and title ribbons for the last 4 today! Yippee!!!!! 

  • 4/23/13 - Got out early and beat the rain :-) Willie and Gotch reviewed corner drills that they learned in Texas.  Today was the first time they did them here in IL. We were very pleased as they transferred from Texas to here without a problem. A slight correction on one corner for each of them and interestingly it was the same corner. These need to be in place before we move on to more advanced cheating singles and taught doubles. Feeling really good about their basics. 

  • 3/14/13 - The end of Gotcha's Texas Tour will include land retrieves only. Gotcha has come into her first heat cycle at 12 months old. No water work while her cervix is open. She wonders why. All of a sudden all the boys think she's the best looking chick here. :-) She was always sure she was.

  • 3/13/13 - Well we be delighted! The Musketeers did their first cold triple today after doing a sight blind of 130 yds. The triple was short and sweet ... 170 yds. 80 yds. 74 yds. all thrown in the same direction. All three did the triple. Life is good and we are going forward. Of course we are not asking for them to be completely steady we still have a light hand on their collars. The whole focus on the Texas Tour was on marking and momentum and we feel real good about the progress in those places. :-)

  • 3/12/13 - Yesterday started on land with a cold converging double. 260 and 160 yds. thru a diversion when they were returning with memory bird.  All three did this well; later brought them back out and turned this double into a marking drill by bringing the long gun half way back and putting the short gun out longer to twice the distance. So marking was absolutely essential for success. And "yes" they were successful. Looking forward to completing our Texas tour with some 500 marks under our paws for the tour. Not working as hard on their blinds and handling (although they can and do) but grabbing every marking situation we can. Happy with their progress.

  • 2/8/13 - We are in Texas. Today we took another big step forward :-):-)  We set up a triple land blind in the big beautiful rolling hillside.263, 114 and 76 yds. respectively.  All 3 moved half way up on each and ran then backed up to line and ran all three blinds. Later everybody came back out and retrieved a live pigeon mark before being sent to each blind. All three smoked - picked up their mark and promptly dropped an locked when asked for "here dead" :-) we be happy!!!!! All were fast and focused and we are proud!

  • 2/6/13 - We are in Texas.  The Musketeers completed their water force today with 4 stars! Yesterday we went counter clockwise and ran from all four sides. Today we ran clockwise from all four sides. Yesterday we ran a taught double with the memory mark crossing thru a slew and up on land. Today we had a long/short set of marks where they had to hug behind the short guns back in route to the long gun station. T and Reo ran the marks. Everybody was successful.

  • 12/9/12 - A really, really good morning for the Musketeers - we have taken a Huge step forward. All four piles out on our two handed back drill! We were on a long line I was able to move to the end of the long line, throw a bumper to either right or left and cast them back to a bumper behind them. They were not to retrieve the thrown bumper. Each one of them had a one time correction with the long line for making an attempt to retrieve the thrown Bumper rather than taking the cast. All three responded in an appropriate fashion by doing the right thing! All three remained stationary, gave eye contact while waiting for the cast of either a right or left back. Oh Happy Day!! We will remain at this until I  am no longer holding the end of the long line :o) And I beat the Rain! Another really good thing!

  • 11/27/12 - We are working on the two handed back drill and today cast back in both directions in a "T" pattern as a single pile. The directional casting part is great! The sitting ... giving me eye contact and waiting for me to cast them is exactly what we discussed today ... absolutely no collar pressure but pinch collar corrections and by the third time around the square everyone had a clean run and a clear understanding, just young, smart and eager ... All Good!!!!!!!!!

  • 11/25/12 - Again this morning we were in the building ... backing up the length of the building, still not much eye contact but we are working on it :o) then we all wanted to work on down and sit, U know the Utility down and sit ... backup down and backup sit and a good time was had by all. It just keeps getting better! A break for breakfast and the we were back out doing our FIRST two handed back drill. Forward progress.  Of course we are back on a cord for this to ensure correct turning. After this we did a stands alone double mark. I left them sitting walked out in the field thru a mark then walked to a different area and thru a mark and then  walked back to them and sent for the double. It was all good!!!!!!!!   Pups will be 8 1/2 months old on November 27.

  • 11/24/12 - I'm in for breakfast so a chance to update the morning ... after airing we went into the training building and worked on a trust and control exercise ... check cord and flat buckle collar and heeling stick to tap flanks and chest. Willie, Cali and Gotcha were asked to start in a frontal position and back up (walk backwards) the length of the building (80 ft) with me tapping either flank or front to encourage their holding their position. We did this the length of the building 4 times each. This exercise stresses eye contact, trust in me and absolute control of their directional movement.  All 3  will do this again. Noticed different degree's of passive dominance and avoidance but by the end of the lesson they were clearly pleased with themselves and all responded well to praise with increased effort.  
    After lunch - Put out all 4 piles ... across the front pasture and thru the front ravine. Each pile is 75 yds. long and the white buckets are gone. We sent to each pile .... first from a clockwise direction and then counter clockwise .... All 3 have a good understanding of back and are absolutely clear on going as sent. Time to move on and begin handling drills. Since the weather has turned cold we have chosen to wait for back pile and go as sent work in the water until we get to Texas at which point the Musketeers will be 10 to 11 months old.

  • 11/20/12 - Back pile across the ravine, with three stand alone marks ... the last being in line with their back pile! Awesome no problem! We are ready now for all four piles out at the same time :o) and that done we will be ready to start our two handed back and remote sit, great puppies!!!!

  • 11/9/12 - The Musketeers have added a new dimension to their 75 yd. back pile (of 4) across the front pasture ... After they are sent and return with the first one, they are asked to sit while I walk off either to their left or to their right about 30 yds and they watch while I throw a stands alone mark. I return to them and send them for the mark, when they return with this mark into heel position they are in position to be sent for the long back pile and are sent ... The transition into double marked retrieves has started :) of course this encourages any inclination for a first or secondary (going back to an old fall) refusal, Yes! it does! and it did by All Three! "Oh Happy Day" We shall continue this for two or three more sessions before crossing our line across the front ravine (another 75 yds.) which will be sometime next week I am guessing as this week-end we will be at Bucks training fields with Ducks, Wingers and multiply throwers :) a huge and welcomed break......... 

  • 11/1/12 - Gotcha, Willie and Cali have progressed in their pile work to the front pasture and their pile has increased in distance to 75 yds. (4 placed dummies) they work for 3 days first going one direction and then the reverse direction. There are numerous break  days where drills are interrupted for causal marks and new experiences.

  • 10/1/12 - The good news about Gotcha is her FF is coming along Great....  Not yet on the collar for Fetch, but is on lead sitting in heel position, reaching to the floor fetching, returning to sit position and upon request releasing the dummy. We will stay at this for several more days before introducing collar pressure. Now the naughty!! Very Naughty!!!!!! Gotcha ate our anniversary dinner. Deciding to splurge for our 35th Anniversary we bought one  lb. ($30.00 a lb.) of Sea Bass, prepared on the grill with olive oil, dill weed, 2 whole sliced lemons and capers. Getting ready for dinner we left the kitchen momentarily only to return to find Gotcha finishing up the last of our Sea Bass and also eating all of both lemons ...  She liked every bite and surely ate some of the foil it was wrapped in. Needless to say Miss Gotcha did not land on the most favorite list! And for the time is banned from the kitchen without our presence.  Another day in the life of ......

  • 9/30/12 - The end of September brings big changes in Gotcha's life ... 3 sibs come for a visit, sisters Reo and Cali and brother Willie. Cali and Willie are staying on for FF and pile work and in January the three Musketeers will travel to Texas together for winter training.  Their lives will now forever change, training begins in earnest and their love of retrieving turns into their life's work.   FF starts in our training building and grows from basic fetching  into pile work which in turn grows into a "T" pattern with 4 dummies in each pile in our building and then becomes not just a back pile but a go as sent lesson.  They are asked to retrieve in both clockwise and counter clockwise directions.  The command has changed for distance from "fetch" to "Back" and the command "here dead" is introduced to signify a dummy that is placed rather than thrown. This accomplished and the Musketeers  are ready to move on.


Gotcha and her sibs
6.5 months old

(click photo to enlarge)

  • 9/12/12  - The 2012 Golden Retriever Club National Specialty finds Gotcha exactly 6 months old and able to compete in the 6-9 month puppy conformation class.  She is the only all-field bred puppy in a class of 49 puppy bitches and also one of the youngest.  She had a great time as witnessed by her happy performance and I had a great time being her partner!  She did not win or even place,  but in my opinion she was the best puppy :) I have added a video here of her very first show dog performance.   

  • 9/9/12 - Gotcha ran her first Junior Hunt Test. She over ran her very first mark on land. She hunted hard and long and  deep eventually needing help from the gunners.  Although a very happy puppy, retrieving a fresh shot flyer, why wouldn't she be!  On Monday Sept. 10, Gotcha ran her first field trial puppy stake.  She aced her land marks.  The water marks were run from a boat landing dock.  The boats were all lined up right next to where the puppies ran from and were of great interest to Gotcha after being released to retrieve she investigated every boat and then ran all the way around the shore to the gun station, the gunners then thru a rock and she hopped in and got her duck. The next mark was thrown out to sea. After a quick run around John got into the water and started toward her duck, nearly there she started toward the gunners on shore, they then threw a rock and she went for her duck and preceded to head straight back to the gunners (this girl had a plan) got up on land and ran all the way back to line via land with her duck.  Proud as she could be :) all puppies that somehow managed to bring all four of their ducks back got a ribbon! Gotcha got a Jam, a Rosette as long as she is tall.

  • 8/17/12 - This is a video of Gotcha doing scent discrimination on 8/17/12 she is five months old! Click here for video.

  • 8/15/12 - Had a great training day yesterday.  Had a big Qual. land test set up. Having trouble writing of her progress lately for fear it may disappear ...  Gotch ran the two shorter marks as singles, thru changes of cover and about foot high cover and did Great! No problem with the cover changes and nice intelligent hunts when she got there. Went to water ... first mark was in the water on opposite shore and I did not expect it so was not hanging on tightly to her collar ... SHE BROKE! Whoa!!!!!! You Go Girl .... the next mark across the pond and up on land ... considered cheating changed her mind bailed in and swam over got up on land and picked it up and came back! Good Girl!!  The day before John ran her on water marks and she did great Too! She's starting to show confidence in herself and again becoming that bold puppy we came home with.  Working on Free baiting, but think when she gets in that ring with all those puppies she's gonna be crazy ... Oh well her first specialty. Still trying to get video of her doing her articles also starting stand alone marks and beginning fetch process. Very slowly, using lots of ducks on marks and yesterday had her first duck out of a winger.

  • 7/23/12 - It doesn't ever cease to amaze me ... training techniques are continually moving forward and since I am a field person I have not kept up with the very creative new ways to teach some of the more difficult utility exercises ... I must say I am in awe, watching my 4 and a half month old puppy learning scent discrimination! We now have 3 articles out and she is consciously making a choice by scent! "Truly Amazing" We are lucky to have Bridget Willing to help.  When she is really really good we will do a video. Tomorrow Gotcha goes to Sandy Cummings (one of our area's very top conformation persons) for a conformation evaluation and her very first "Show Groom."

  • 7/10/12 - Gotcha has been on her Princess collar with the Magic Wand for almost three weeks now. She rarely has tested the Magic Wand only once or twice when she was busily eating duck poop and just plain forgot herself. She's much wiser now and watches where the Keeper of the Magic wand is and has pretty much decided that any of the exotic poops she finds isn't really all that tasty. Today Gotcha went visiting at Aunt Bridget's to learn a new innovative way to do Utility Articles. It involves treats and Gotcha thinks anything involving food is a great idea and anyway she is sure by the looks of this game she will be way better at articles than Indy and Billy are.  Aunt Bridget was also teaching her how to sit on a balance ball to get her treats and this was way over the top fun!! Life is Good!!!

  • 6/9/12 - The bestest puppy ever! This would be her third hunt test. She slept all night in her soft sided crate in the motel room, not a peep, came right out this morning and did her business, ate breakfast and is starting to do some part time short time rides in what will be her sometimes hole on the trailer. Of course she rode to the hunt test loose in the back seat or perched on the console in between John and me wearing of course her hunt test camo visor (we are having fun with this one!)

  • Memorial Day Weekend - Gotcha, 11 weeks old, Memorial day week-end "On The Retrieve."  All Memorial Day Photo's were taken by Marilyn Wilcox.

  • Memorial Day Weekend - Gotcha Memorial Day Week-end showing her dummy work in the water.    Sentimental Old Fools!!! were cleaning out a dog drawer in the training truck and found "Rooster's puppy collar.  Green and Embroidered with pheasants.  Gotcha's pretty head just slid right into her daddy's collar like it was just sitting around waiting for Gotcha all these years.

  • 6/3/12 - Gotcha took her "Here command" to the front pasture. Pinch collar and 50ft check cord and a pocket full of treats. We walked along until Gotcha found something really interesting: a frog, a bird, a squirrel and then I'd give the here command with a slight amount of pressure on her collar, when she came lots of praise and a treat. This went on for about 20 minutes or so and all was good she was bounding in on her "Here's" happily. When we got closer to the house the little poodle drew her attention, I said Gotcha "Here" and guess what Gotcha had a better plan "The Poodle" A couple fair pops on the collar and Gotcha thought she'd cut and run and found out that plan two didn't work as well as it did when she was chasing the Kiwi Bird. A couple more corrections and all was good and again she was bounding in for the praise. We liked her response to the pressure, she's soft but has enough stuff to say wait a minute I'm not sure l like this new game. And ask questions. She re-bounded from the pressure beautifully. We hung out by the poodle for a few more minutes until we had an understanding that visiting was ok, but when told "Here" that a response was required. So Gotcha and I took a walk down to the neighboring farm approx. a quarter mile so she could walk along and Not Pull!, collect beer cans and sticks and seemed content and excepting of the stress of being controlled by the pinch collar and long cord. Another day in a beautiful life.

  • 5/31/12 - It's raining, a soaking all day rain, Gotcha's running along with her new 50 ft. check cord on during an afternoon airing when, "The Kiwi Bird" nesting along the corn field decides she is too close and takes off across the rain soaked corn field with Gotcha in Hot pursuit and me running after gotcha as fast as I could go my once tennis shoes are now combat boots as I am trying to catch up to the end of the check cord.  Out of breath, I finally manage to step on the check cord (full of mud) and promise Gotcha a daily spot in the training building to work on her "Here" skills. So, now training begins in earnest, Gotcha is on a pinch collar and a long cord and is performing "here" back and forth between John and I as a daily learning exercise in the training building.  Another Day in a Good Life!!!!!  PS. John promises pictures of the chase.

  • 5/27/12 - Gotcha on her evening hike ran down to the point leading into the pond for her evening ritual of digging wet sticks out the pond for chewing, throwing in the air and eating, when she stuck her head under the water and came up with what did not look like a stick, but "No" she had a pair of sun glasses (most likely lost during Saturday's work shop).  This was a real treasure and she took off running with me in hot pursuit, finally getting her somewhat cornered I talked her into a trade for a dummy, and a photo of her wearing her designer glasses that she is terribly proud of.


See Gotcha's Pedigree


Gotcha Videos
First Swim of the Day

Click here for video
(Video - please be patient - large file)

10 weeks old.  Life is Good!!!!

Click here for video
(Video - please be patient - large file)

Learning to swim (notice don't care if there is a retrieve involved, Just swim and learn to be happy and comfortable in the water).  We typically just call our puppies back and forth in between us from shore to shore. Starting with shorter swims and increasing to longer swims as the confidence grows. And chase the birds, not real concerned with the return, just chase'm. They learn quickly that if they don't pick'm up they run away.


 Here are pictures of Gotcha at nine weeks of age and at her first hunt test: 

9 weeks old






Contact us at 815-210-4837 or at johnandnancyminer@yahoo.com
Copyright 2007-present -  Miners Kennel