Sunday, June 7, 2009

Finding training places

Yesterday morning, before leaving the Super 8 motel for home, I did some drill work with the dogs behind the motel. There was a nice hillside on which I did some T work, to give them some work driving up a hill, as well as doing overs across the face of the hill. Then I did a longish but otherwise uninteresting sight blind (one with a white trash can marking the end of it) with Ty, which went well.

I finished up with a connect-the-dots blind with Gryff. The pictures show the blind. There is a corner of a gravel parking lot (complete with a school bus), followed by a dried up pond bed that was about a foot lower than the surrounding grass, with some weeds in it (the higher cover you can see beyond the gravel), followed by having to go by the large bush on the right. I had the white trash can out for Ty.

With a connect-the-dot blind, you leave the dog at the line and go to a point along the blind where the dog is likely to veer, and call them to that point and then resit them. Then you go to the next likely point of confusion and call the dog to that spot, and continue to do this until you are close enough to the end of the blind to send the dog to retrieve. Then you sit the dog at the end and teach them the return path in a similar way. I left Gryff and called him to the first edge of the pond bed, then left him there and went to the other side and called him there. Then I sent him to the blind from there. When I resent him from the baseline, he went nicely into the pond bed, but started veering right (away from the weeds), so I stopped him and cast him. It was a fun little blind to run with some interesting factors.

I tried something similar with Ty, but it was too much for her - she kept wanting to veer to the right of the weeds in the pond bed and she was having confidence issues when I was trying to cast her, so I moved the white can and bumpers closer, to the far edge of the pond bed. That worked much better for her.

This workout was great to get in with them before starting the long drive home.

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