Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shore-handling, Land Doubles

  • Series A. At Cheltenham, poorman land/water double (both dogs)
  • Series B. At Cheltenham, poorman land/water double (both dogs)
  • Series C. At Cheltenham, poorman land/water double (both dogs)
  • Series D. At Fair Hill, land double (both dogs)
  • Series E. At Fair Hill, land double (both dogs)
Series A, B, C. Our work at Cheltenham today consisted of setting up at three locations and then running one poorman land/water double for Lumi, and one for Laddie. At each location, I brought out stickmen to mark my throwing locations, and fired a gunshot before each throw.


Lumi's doubles all included at least one land-water-land-water (LWLW) or land-water-land-water-land (LWLWL) poorman mark. Most of the marks required minor handling, and Lumi showed excellent responsiveness.

Here are some examples of Lumi's work:
  • Series B, #1: LWLWL, with a difficult 30° entry (90° would be straight across) into the first pond and swims of 80 and 30 yards to reach the dummy on a steep embankment.
  • Series B, #2: LWLW, with the dummy not visible until Lumi had completed the middle land crossing.
  • Series C, #1: 150-yard swim along the length of a stickpond channel. Lumi swam 140 yards, was then spooked by underwater debris and came out of the water. I ran to her exit point and sent her back in for the dummy. She got it, then swam around the scary part of the water but stayed in the channel and swam the entire way back.

To build Laddie's motivation, I had him run second in each location, waiting in the van while Lumi ran. For Laddie, each poorman double was set up as follows:
  • #1: An open water retrieve but with something interesting: tall grass, a long swim, or a stick pond
  • #2: An LWL retrieve
For Series A and B, my throw was to the shoreline rather than inland on the far shore, and Laddie began to play with the dummy in the water when he reached it. Each time, I called "no here" and he immediately stopped playing, picked up the dummy, and brought it to me.

Series C was at the pines channel, where a week ago Laddie could not come back from an LWL throw. Today's throw on #2 was a long throw, well inland across the channel. Laddie made a great retrieve, with no dawdling, and as he delivered, seemed highly excited to go out for the #1 dummy that was waiting in open water for him.

Series E, F.
I was fortunate enough to have three helpers for an afternoon session at the new home construction site at Fair Hill: son Eric, who videotaped the session, and son Dave with Heather, his girlfriend, who threw birds for us. The grass had been cut in parts of Area 1 and it looked like a good place to train, but as we proceeded, Dave found several ticks on him and became distressed.

Although I felt the dogs performed well, they seemed to be somewhat affected by the heat, which was in the high 80s.

Series E was a land double, left to right within a 45° angle:
  • #2: 50-yard mark (duck)
  • #1: 80-yard mark (duck)
Series F was also a land double, left to right within a 45° angle:
  • #1: 100-yard mark (duck)
  • #2: 110-yard mark (duck)
The throwers wore white T-shirts and fired pistols before each throw, with no duck calls.

In addition to practicing the dogs' retrieves and memory marks, we also used this opportunity to work on line mechanics.

Because Lumi has not done well with memory marks lately, while Laddie hasn't worked on multiples at all for several months, and also because of the heat, I kept today's series relatively short. My intent is to continue practicing land multiples with both dogs, gradually working our way up to marks of 200+ yards. Once the dogs seem competent with memory marks, I plan to have them resume running mostly singles, with multiples only about every ten series.


I felt Laddie did well on both of his doubles. Here is a video of Laddie's Series E and F (called Series A and B on the video):


I felt Lumi did well on Series E and the go bird of Series F, but she had a big hunt on the memory bird of Series F and eventually I asked Dave to call "hey-hey" twice. That was sufficient for her to find the bird. I don't think that was actually a bad thing, because I think it's helpful to remind the dog from time to time that a thrown bird is going to fall somewhere near the thrower. Here is a video of Lumi's Series E and F (again called Series A and B on the video):

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