I'm very happy to report that Ty earned her 4th Senior Hunter pass at yesterday's Michigan Flyways test @ Omega Farms, and is now:
Ch Grousemoor Timeless CDX *SH* RE WCX
Her land series work was simply superb, probably the best overall she's had in a test. We had to do a walk up to the flier as a single, then run the blind behind the flier station, then do a double to the right of the flier station. While I didn't watch close to all the dogs in Senior, of those I watched, her marking was the best. I actually saw a lot of handlers having to handle on their marks. Her initial line to her blind was fabulous, carrying her 3/4 of the way to the blind before the slope of the hillside, the mound of dirt, and the flier station all sucked her down the hill. That was so exciting! And then she went and 'stepped on' both birds in the double.
After the week we've had training water (mostly really, really frustratingly poor), I figured the only way we could possibly do a passing water blind was if the destination was one she had been to in the past. We got very lucky :-). We were on the heart-shaped pond. The line was on the north hill. The memory bird was just on the shoreline on the east side of the pond, and the go-bird into the north east corner of the pond. She got the go bird very nicely. After taking delivery, she didn't quite wait for me to send her, but headed off enthusiastically. She got into the water, but then turned back to check. I kept my mouth closed, and she figured it out. She started hunting to the left of the gun station (fairly common), and suddenly headed back along the shore towards the go bird location. Shades of last week when I stood and watched her run all the way back to the go bird location! I blew a whistle tardily just as she got behind the very high grass on the shoreline and she disappeared. I was sure she would pop out near the go bird, when suddenly she appeared out of the corn up the hill from the duck. I'm not sure how well she was really responding to my come-in whistles, but she did get there pretty quickly once she appeared out of the corn.
The water blind was to a point on the opposite shore. When we did this blind 2 weeks ago, there was also a gun station on shore to the right which had sucked her in badly. The start was shaky at best, which didn't surprise me in the least, but a light bulb went on and she got going in the generally right direction. The end wasn't beautiful, but it was successful. We had to honor to complete the test, and she watched the next dog's birds go off with great interest, but remained steady.
I was thrilled to complete her title under two Flat-Coat owners, Clint Catledge and Ed Zawodny.
Next step for her? Attempt to build her water confidence on blinds! Oh, and that pesky UD title yet to be earned...