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Exploring the Training and Use of Versatile Hunting Dogs in the South with Philip Mailey
Not too long ago, I received a voicemail on my phone from a gentleman that mentioned that he listens to my podcast and “falls into the old school dog trainer type category” and has “been training dogs since ’97”. He wanted to talk to me about my approach to training as compared to his and humorously, I hadn’t met many other African Americans running shorthairs….well he’s another one.
As of late, admittedly I’ve been a snob about sticking to my Georgia tradition of running pointers and setters on bobwhite quail in the South, so I give my friend Hunter Morton of All In Kennels (and most other Shorthair folks for that matter) grief for their choice. By now, it should be known that it is all in good fun, and us bird dog guys love to poke fun at each other. Well, this gentleman by the name of Phillip Mailey, who is also a good friend of Hunter Morton, has been such a pivotal figure for me and has since I return his call, and inevitably turned into a wonderful friend and colleague in this community. He has proven that I may have just put my foot in my mouth for all of the grief I give to the German shorthaired pointer community.
Phillip Mailey has been a contributing member to many NAVDHA groups and aspiring trainers and has really broken down what it really means to work a versatile hunting dog, a subject that we both really wanted to explore in depth along with his history of training bird dogs. We do some compare and contrast, as Phillip and I have found that many of our overall ideals align, though our paths may be a little different. Where I am more interested in American Field, he took toward NAVDHA, but the way and art of handling a bird dog seems as it they are one in the same.
In this episode, Phillip breaks down many nuances in the distinctions and definitions of versatile dogs, Kurzhaars vs. Shorthairs, his non-conventional methodology, and hunting expeditions. There is so much body to the word “versatile”, and I have to say much of it we need a second episode for. Phillip is not only wise from his years of training bird dogs, but also a historian in his own right. All of this and more is covered in this episode, and stay tuned for a second episode much later down the line.
Facebook: Phillip Mailey
Durrell Smith is a 28 year old Georgia native, visual artist, wing shooter, and dog handler. While creating compelling ink and watercolor illustrations based on his field experiences and hunting dogs, he also runs a podcast called The Gun Dog Notebook, which can be found on iTunes and Soundcloud. Aside from hunting upland game and waterfowl, he participates in Hunt Tests with his Labrador Retriever. As a first generation hunter, Durrell seeks to learn and contribute to the community by connecting with visionaries and veterans within the bird dog community who are willing to share stories and knowledge about the various breeds, creating a bridge to welcome new and novice dog handlers to the gun dog community.