A BEFORE DINNER SNACK
With A Real Bird Man, Alvin Nitchman
Points To Ponder" by Karoleigh Nitchman about Alvin
I offer here, for your perusal, some nuggets of Nitchman wisdom (Nitchamanisms) , natural
biproducts of 55 successful years in the field trial business. I've heard Alvin say some
of them more than others, but in the last twelve years, I've heard all of them plenty.
I've even had the opportunity to throw a few back at him.
When your dog starts to make game, shut up. You hear handlers saying "whup, whup Watch out now".
Well the dog's got the nose, not the handler, so if you want to help the dog, just shut up amd let him decide whether to point or not.
Every time you call a dog and he doesn't come, you are un-teaching him his name.
The greatest single mistake a bird dog makes is not hunting.
Henry Davis used to say that whenever you get finished with any piece of bird work, ask yourself one question "Could you have killed this bird?"
Don't tell them, Show them (This refers to all the times you've heard or even said yourself,
"I've got this great young dog coming on..")
I'd never breed to a dog I hadn't seen perform in the field. That's why I'[ve always had good dogs.
I insisted that the females as well as the males be quality bird dogs no matter what their pedigrees said.
You get into trouble when you start to breed on paper.
For every ten minutes you spend beating a dog, you'd better spend two hours petting him.
You can win a field trial with any kind of a dog but a lost dog.
If you lose your dog in a field trial, you are last place.
When I hear handlers out there running their dogs, yelling "whoa! Whoa!" the whole time, I feel like going up to them
and asking "What in the hell do you say to him when you want him to stop?
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
I'm sure that if you';ve all tried to figure out which one I've heard a million times during
the last twelve learning years, you would have no trouble choosing the last one.
It used to irritate the stew out of me when I'd voice my opinion about a training situation
and hear Alvin sarcastically mouth that clever little remark. I finally learned to use it myself.
Now I bait him, goad him into commenting on topics of which I am more knowledgeable
(there are a few) then I disagree with him, I smugly return the neat little epithet.
"Hehe, Petty? Yes. Satisfying? Extremely!