Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ty's 1st Cold Blinds

We finished up field training early at Omega Farms today because of bad weather rolling in, so I stopped at the Firestation (there are some fabulous fields behind it) to check on how high the cover has gotten (high!) and to run a couple of blinds. Ty has run marks on this hillside several times, and has done several taught blinds, which is what I figured I would do. I hiked out and planted the blinds, then got her out. We got to the top of the hill, and I thought "What the heck, let's see what happens if I cue her up." Lo and behold, off she went (it didn't hurt that I broke the initial path down to the bottom of the hill between the bushes, but I was a good blind planter and wandered my way up the hill after that). She got hung up on the big wide bush halfway up the hill on the left, so after several bouncings around the bush, I hiked down the hill to get closer, but got her the rest of the way from there. She did the 2nd one with me staying at the top of the hill. Considering how high the cover is out there now, I'm even more happy.

If you look carefully (and imagine the path at the bottom of the left picture continuing up the hill), you can see an orange stake in both pictures near the center and top.

Yeah, Ty! All the homework is really paying off.


** A "cold blind" means that the dog doesn't see what they have to retrieve thrown, so you have to handle them to it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday Field Drills

I went to the fields near the local airport to do drills with my Flat-Coats this morning. Lining drills became the theme. I started out with one pile for Ty, to work on a stable response to a sit correction. Even a 1 medium creates a bit of a hot spot, but I can see improvement and much less panic in her response. She's also confident enough on her handling on land now that I can stop her quite a bit to handle her through those hot spots.

Next I did wagon wheel with both of them, building distance for Gryff and seeing a lot of improvement over last weekend when I did it; closer in for Ty, who hasn't done too much WW. Interestingly enough, both seem to have more trouble going to the closer-to-us white bumpers than to the farther away orange ones.

Then I put out two back piles, and three stick men on a diagonal, with 25 yds between them (so a lopsided M). As an extension of both the Split Casting drill we have been working on the past several weeks, and the wagon wheel drill, I worked on sending and casting to the back piles from various locations, with the stick men in between me and the back piles to create suction.

We packed up and went to a pond, and I set up something similar there for Gryff to work on, with 3 stick men along the shore and orange stakes farther up the shore (maybe 10-15 yds) with a pile of bumpers at each. I worked on lining and angle back casts as we had on land. Another benefit was the tall cover along the shores, with a few obvious and tempting gaps. It gave me a chance to work Gryff on driving straight through the cover coming out of the water. Since Ty's water work is on hold until her e-collar response is stabilized, I just did fun marks with her, but required her to go in and come out through the cover along the shore.

It was a fun and productive morning.