Monday, June 23, 2008

Shore-handling Drills, Water Series, Land Obstacles, Land Doubles

Summary. At Cheltenham:
  • Series A. Shore-handling drills (Laddie)
  • Series B. Water series (Lumi)
  • Series C. Water series (Laddie)
  • Series D. Water series (Lumi)
  • Series E. Water series (Laddie)
  • Series F. Water series (both dogs)
  • Series G.Water series (Lumi)
  • Series H. Water series (Laddie)
  • Series I. Water series (Lumi)
  • Series J. Shore-handling drills (Laddie)
  • Series K. Water series (Laddie)
  • Series L. Mound work, including disciplined casting (both dogs)
  • Series M. Mound work (both dogs)
  • Series N. Poorman water marks (both dogs)
  • Series O. Poorman water marks (both dogs)
At Oaks five hours later:
  • Series P. Land double (both dogs)
  • Series Q. Land double (both dogs)
Series A. Today, Laddie had a little practice with T89, then ran four swim-by drills, alternating between right-to-left and left-to-right.

Series B. Today, Lumi ran a number of blind/cheater combinations, in which I threw the mark, then ran Lumi on the blind, and finally sent her to the mark. For this post, I'll call that combination a "delayed cheater".

For Series B, the set-up was as follows:
  • #1: Cheater: Single (dummy) into open water, requiring angle entry
  • #2: Blind: Orange dummy on mound near trees, LWL
Series C. Today, Laddie ran a number of water doubles, in which #1 (the memory "bird") was a canvas dummy thrown into open water, and #2 (the go "bird") was a white dummy thrown across water for a land-water-land retrieve. For this post, I'll call that combination an LWL/D.

Series C was Laddie's first LWL/D today, and he did a good job on it.

Series D. Delayed cheater for Lumi. The blind was at the S-curve, and Lumi showed more confidence than ever running a water blind in that location.

Series E. LWL/D for Laddie, and another good job.

Series F. The sequence for this series:
  1. Both dogs waited at the SL, marked by a lining pole.
  2. I walked over a foot bridge and out to a peninsula, threw one dummy into big water to the left, one into moderately big water to the right.
  3. I walked back to the SL, sent Laddie to second throw while Lumi honored unsupervised. He had to cross land and not bank-run the peninsula (to say nothing of not taking the footbridge). Return included water re-entry thru high grass. Laddie did fine, didn't even shake off on return land crossing.
  4. I sent Lumi to the first throw while Laddie honored unsupervised. The mark included a long swim and a point crossing. Lumi did fine, and she also didn't shake off on the return land crossing.
Series G. Delayed cheater for Lumi. The blind was thru a scary section of the stickpond to an orange dummy on the far bank.

Series H. LWL/D for Laddie. The LWL retrieve included pick-up and re-entry thru high cover, and this was a wider channel than most we practice on. Laddie shook off just before picking up the dummy, but never hesitated after that.

#1, the open-water retrieve memory "bird", was in a part of the stickpond that Lumi finds scary. Laddie intentionally climbed up on an underwater branch that moved under him as he pushed off. He seemed to think it was fun. Lumi avoids such branches like the plague.

Series I. Delayed cheater for Lumi. The blind was an LWLWL with a 40-yard land crossing as the last segment, and tempting cheating opportunities around both water segments. Lumi requires little to no handling for such segments these days. The cheater included an angle entry and a channel swim, requiring no handling in this case.

Series J. Laddie's water handling drills: A little more T89 practice, then more full swim-bys in both directions.

Series K. LWL/D for Laddie. The LWL was onto an island covered in tall grass. Laddie marooned there for 30 seconds, then responded to Here.

Series L. Mound work for both dogs, longest distances SL-to-mound and mound-to-fall so far. I ran Laddie first, then Lumi.

Laddie tried to cheat on the send out, took an angle Back cast over the mound. He then did cheat on the return, getting past the mound, but took impressive disciplined Back and Over casts to reposition him behind the mound, then a come-in over the mound. (Note: A disciplined cast is one in which the dog is carrying the retrieval article.)

Lumi also tried to cheat on the send out, and also took an angle Back over the mound. She also started to cheat on the return, and took a disciplined Over cast to reposition her behind the mound, then a come-in over the mound.

Series M. This series was similar to Series L, but the distances were shorter while the angle of the mound made for a narrower crossing. Both dogs traversed the middle of the mound in both directions.

Series N. Poorman singles into open water past a point. Lumi first, then Laddie, each dog honoring the other.

Series O. Poorman singles across channel (LWL), Lumi first, then Laddie, each dog honoring the other. Laddie looped five yards to a different re-entry point on the return but otherwise had a solid return.

Series P. This was a simple land double, with son Eric and neighbor Bryan throwing white dummies into concealing cover. Left to right within a 30° angle:
  • #2: 90-yard mark
  • #1: 170-yard mark
With both dogs at the SL, I ran Lumi first, then Laddie, the other dog honoring unsupervised.

Lumi ran #2 (the go "bird") well, but seemed to have no idea where the fall for #1 was. I haven't taught Bryan how to help the dog as a thrower, so I felt the best choice was for me to attempt to handle Lumi to the fall. Unfortunately, Lumi has become unresponsive to handling cues at those distances — that's why we've been running shorter land triples recently — and eventually I had to get within 100 yards of her before I could handle her to the fall effectively.

Laddie did well. Here's a video of Laddie on Series P, shot by Eric from his #2 throwing position:

Series Q. Since Lumi had trouble with the 170-yard mark in Series P, I thought we'd run a shorter double for Series Q, in the same field but at a different location. Again, Eric and Bryan threw white dummies into concealing cover. Left to right, within a 30° angle:
  • #1: 110-yard mark
  • #2: 70-yard mark
With both dogs again at the SL, this time I ran Laddie first, then Lumi, the other dog honoring unsupervised.

Laddie marked well on both throws, but on the memory mark (#1), he wandered off line during his return. It looked as though he was looking for a location to eliminate so I didn't attempt to handle him, but eventually he just stopped and stood there, looking around. A thunderstorm had started a few miles away and the sky was filled with lightning flashes, which may have caught his attention. I don't have any other explanation, I've never seen him do this before. As soon as I called Here, he came running.

I then ran Lumi, whose returns were slower than I would have liked but otherwise ran well. Here's a video of Lumi on Series Q, shot by Eric from his #1 throwing position:

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