I attended AKC obedience and rally judges seminar this weekend in West Salem, Ohio, hosted by Linda & Mike MacDonald, long time obedience competitors. I had another enjoyable camping experience at the Town & Country Camp Ground that's all of about 1/4 mile down the road from their property. Lo and behold, there was a great big flat and closely mowed field right across from the camp site I selected that worked great for the Walking Baseball field drill I did Saturday morning. There were also several ponds on the grounds. I asked at the check-in office if it was okay to swim the dogs, and was told it was okay. So, when the seminar finished Saturday afternoon, I headed back to the campgrounds and did some training. When I got home, I looked the campgrounds up on Google maps and grabbed the pond photo to make my diagrams. I love the internet!
On Saturday, I did these blinds with Gryff:
Blinds 1 & 2 had a similar theme of cross open water and then parallel the shore. As expected, he kept wanting to cut in to the shore on Blind 1. Pretty ugly, in fact. Blind 2 was better, but it was also further off shore. On Blind 3, he tried for the point instead of going past it. There was a tree about a yard to the left of the blind, and once past the point, he swam straight for a long time, seemingly marking off the tree.
And these with Ty:
I put a pile of bumpers at spot X for her, and did it multiple times from different spots along the shoreline from which the shorter line originates. We finished up with the long blind. The blue zig-zag is an approximation of her path to the blind. LOTS of trying to go to the right shore. It was quite a struggle. Once she got beyond the point on the right, it smoothed out.
Today, I did these two technical blinds with Gryff:
I taught him the blinds via back-chaining, starting at position 1, then moving back to position 2, then ended by running the whole thing 2-3 times from position 3. His cheating tendency, especially when there is a shoreline to his right, showed up on blind 1 when starting from position 2. He wanted to veer right to take a bit more land instead of the desired entry near 1. Then when we'd backed up to position 3, he kept trying to land early and enter water late. The photo doesn't show the Gazebo that was between pos 1 & 2, to his right as he ran the blind.
He had a lot of trouble on blind 2 exiting the water near position 2 and taking a straight line across the land to reenter the water. We've done a fair bit of decheating lately, and I think he was being overly honest. But once out, he'd take a line like he was going to run around the left end of the 2nd portion of water.
Today, I did this series of blinds with Ty:
I was really pleased with her effort today. She does continue to want to enter the water in the same place, which means if we move down the shore, she veers. I stopped her and called her back to try again. I did some moving up. Once, I had her stay and walked forward and showed her the entry point. On her last blind, which was essentially a repeat from Saturday, she leapt in with enthusiasm, and did a very nice job. The photo doesn't show the fountain that was spouting, nor the 3 geese swimming off to the shore at the top of the photo :-). Whereas she kept heading for the right shore on Saturday, today she seemed to be heading for the fountain, then the geese, but then corrected and did most of the 85 yd blind without intervention. Bravo, Ty!
The biggest downside? They smell like a swamp. But what valuable training it was!