A LIFETIME OF DOG TRAINING
Bob Paucek, from Bar Mills, Maine has spent a lifetime training bird dogs. As a young boy he started working dogs with his father who was a Maine Guide. Bob’s dad guided several well-known people including Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox Legend. As a teenager in 1945, he started working as an assistant to a bird dog trainer in Lebanon, Maine named Arthur Stackpole. Stackpole had previously been a professional player for the Chicago White Sox. After two years of working for Stackpole, Bob had the opportunity to work for H. O. Brewer a man who had a large horse farm in Massachusetts, along with several businesses. Bob’s job was to go out each day with three dogs and work them on wild birds. Since Bob had no driver’s license, Brewer’s chauffer would drive, and the dogs traveled in the trunk. Bob’s job involved killing a limit of birds for himself and the chauffer each day so that Brewer had a freezer full of game. If they found a good cover he was not to clean it out as Brewer himself wanted to hunt on the weekends.
Bob and his dad also boarded dogs around that time. There was a gentleman from Cape Cod who had twelve hunting dogs of various breeds. The Paucek’s were getting twenty-five cents a day at that time and calculated that they needed to increase their charge per day. After announcing they were going to thirty cents, the man with the twelve dogs pulled all the dogs. They were only gone about a week until they came back!
In the late 1940’s Bob trained several dogs for John Denton Scott and his friends. Scott was editor of Field and Stream magazine and a huge proponent with the importation of the Weimaraner breed
Years ago, Bob had a bird dog client named Dr. Rudy Winkelbauer who had imported several dogs from England and Ireland. One was a tri-colored setter named “Sharnberry Red Bracken” who was a multi champion prior to being imported. Also memorable was a pointer called “Blackfield Bonnie”, who later was bred to Hall Of Fame trainer, Gerald Tracy’s winning dog, “Andy Capp”. This breeding produced “Blackfield Ben” who Bob ran very successfully on the east coast.
In 1978 Bob’s training methods were showcased in the book by Sports Afield gun dog editor, Jerome Robinson, titled “Hunt Close”.
For several years Bob owned a boarding kennel in Buxton, Maine which he operated along with bird dog training.
Bob worked at a lot of different jobs over the years but always returned to training bird dogs. That was what he loved doing and he has made a great career out of it. His preference in bird dogs are pointers followed by setters, but he has worked many breeds of bird dogs over the years. He gets enjoyment out of any dog, of any breed as long as they can do the job.
Bob’s training career has undergone many changes over the years. When he started training as a youngster, all training was done on wild birds with a lead rope and a flushing whip. As years went by, methods of training improved from the rope and flushing whip on wild birds to using released birds, e-collars, trackers, electronic backing dummies and many of the different tactics for training. Bob knew you had to adapt to those methods or be left behind.
Besides training dogs, Bob has donated a lot of his time to improve the bird dog sport by doing training seminars, judging bird dog events, organizing and running field trials, finding and developing field trial grounds. He was also very active in the Maine Bird Dog Club which at one time had over 125 members. He not only trained in Maine but spent many years in the winter training and running dogs in Texas, Arkansas and South Carolina.
Bob Paucek is my friend and has been for over forty years. We spent a lot of time running dogs together over the years and have kept in touch continually during that time. I happened to be talking to him just the other day and after that phone call decided that I had better put all these notes about him, that I started taking over ten years ago, to finally get this article written. What pushed me over the edge was during our conversation Bob told me that his ten dog runs were filled with dogs he had to train this summer. Not bad for a ninety-five year (young) dog trainer. Don’t we all wish we could do that?
July 18, 2022