The Creeper

In the graphic novels of Steve Ditko and Don Segall for DC Comics, Jack Ryder is born in France, goes to college to study journalism, leaves school to begin work on a provocative journalism program, and by the age of 24, becomes the host of his own show, “Gotham Insider.” A year later, Jack stakes out a drug deal as a topic for his show, and witnesses​ men selling smuggling Joker venom (yes, that Joker). This is bad for Jack. Really bad. He’s caught by the bad guys who infuse him with the venom, then toss him into the harbor. But instead of ending up dead, Jack takes on an alter ego superhuman identity known as the Creeper. Cue the creepy music.

As guys go, Jack is probably a nice chap, but as the Creeper, his maniacal laugh alone causes pain or immobility in his enemies. You don’t tug on Superman’s Cape, you don’t spit in the wind, and you don’t mess around with Jim. Uh, Jack.  The good news is that Jack dedicates his life to getting rid of his alter ego, and to that end, is a frequent ally to Batman.  Yes, that Batman.

In the dog world, the bad news – which has absolutely nothing to do with comic books – happens if you hunt over a Pointer that’s a “creeper.”  Note the clever segue.

In the hunting world, a “creeper” is a pointing dog who slowly but surely inches towards game without his person’s permission….or, in a variation on a theme, the dog inches her way towards the hunter during the hunt in anticipation of a retrieve. In the former scenario, a dog who creeps (often a pup) comes to learn that if he goes off point and inches (or “creeps”) slowly toward the bird, he can catch it, not the hunter.

Smart dogs remember the instant gratification that comes with creeping, and they’ll begin to creep every time they go hunting. Needless to say, from the hunter’s point of view it defeats the whole point of hunting. As a side note, creeping shouldn’t be confused with “busting birds” which happens when a dog fails to point at all and charges in to flush the bird when he first gets scent (think bull in a china shop). Busting birds is a topic for another post, and fully deserving of it because such dogs either lack pointing instinct, or have just caught so many birds their way that they simply no longer point.

Back to creeping.  We’ve gleaned from online forums that creeping on point is a common problem in the development and training of pointing breeds, and that more often than not, it’s because of something the hunter did in their training.  There are plenty of Internet sites that help with solutions (here is one of them), but our goal in mentioning the term is to increase the knowledge of our readers who are far removed (okay, us) from the hunting and sporting world. In the end, we are all purebred dog enthusiasts, and the more we know about each other’s world, the more we can unite in pushing back lousy dog legislation.

Image by Nathalie SPEHNER shared on the Unsplash License

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