After yesterday's difficulties with steadiness, I brought out Nate to throw for us, trying to reproduce the first parts of yesterday's session.
Of course today's session had several differences from yesterday's:
- A well-known person throwing, rather than a stranger
- Only Lumi and Laddie running, no other dog
- Also no other handler
- A well-known location, rather than one we'd never been to before
In addition, I handled the dogs somewhat differently:
- Yesterday, I had one dog sit on either side of me and held the tabs (short cords) attached to their collars, as loosely as possible in the hope that they would not be able to tell I was holding them unless they tried to break.
- Today, I had them sit side by side at the SL as the throw or throws were being made, while I stood beside them, either in the center or to the right of both of them. Then, when the throws were down, I walked around both of them, in circles or figure eights, then chose one of them to send.
- Series A. A single at 20 yards, with Nate calling "hey, hey" and then throwing (similar to how Dave threw his marks yesterday)
- Series B. A double at 20 and 15 yards, again with Nate calling "hey hey" before each throw
- Series C. A single at 20 yards with Nate blowing a duck call before throwing
- Series D. A double at 20 and 15 yards, again with Nate blowing a duck call before each throw
- Series E. A single at 20 yards with Nate blowing a duck call, then firing a starter pistol
- Series F. A double at 20 and 15 yards, again with Nate blowing a duck call, then firing a pistol, before each throw
- Series G. A double at 40 and 30 yards, with Nate blowing a duck call, then firing a pistol, before each throw; followed by 160-blind with the line between the two marks
I admit it is a mystery to me why the dogs were so steady today after their difficulties yesterday.
I intend to repeat today's drills with birds in our next session, and perhaps we'll see some breaks, but I'm not expecting it. Perhaps we'll have a number of additional sessions in this format.
It will be interesting to see whether practice with this picture will help if we set up the same picture as yesterday again in a week or two.
It would be nice if today's work advanced the dogs' steadiness, but to me they didn't seem to make progress, because they were steady from the beginning.