Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pick-up Speed Drills with Multiple Handlers

AM: Oaks Area 3

For this morning's pick-up speed drills with Austin helping, I had Austin do all the handling except for me demonstrating a few times. When I was handling, Austin was throwing, and vice versa.

We ran alternation drills: retrieve one or more dummies, then immediately retrieve a bird. We used old birds because that's what the dogs need practice with. For Lumi, the issue of concern was slow pick-ups. For Laddie, it was dropping the bird at the line instead of sitting and holding until the handler takes the bird. For both problems when they occurred, I'd call out no-no-no-sit while running to the dog. For Lumi, she had to go back to the SL without the bird and try the retrieve again. For Laddie, I'd put the bird back where it was and he'd have to retrieve it again.

We worked at distances 10-70 yards.

Neither dog had any problems with dummies, and both dogs made excellent progress with their particular issues during the session. How much long term benefit they got remains to be seen.

PM: Oaks Area 2

This afternoon, the dogs and I had both Nate and Austin to help us train. Using a tie-out for the dog not running, we ran seven doubles, alternating dogs: Lumi, then Laddie, on each series. We rotated handlers and worked thru increasing distances. The two of us who were handling threw ducks. Here's the sequence we followed:
  • Series A. Lindsay handling, throws at 20-10 yards
  • Series B. Nate handling, throws at 20-10 yards
  • Series C. Austin handling, throws a 20-10 yards
  • Series D. Lindsay handling, throws at 30-20 yards
  • Series E. Nate handling, throws at 30-20 yards
  • Series F. Austin handling, throws at 30-20 yards
  • Series G. Lindsay handling, throws at 70-50 yards
Laddie had one dropped bird, the go-bird on Series B. From the field, I called no-no-no-sit, went to the line to pick up the bird, put it back where it had been thrown, and returned to my place. Then Nate had Laddie re-run that mark. Laddie did not drop another bird, or have any issues, the rest of the afternoon. I was pleased with his progress.

I responded similarly when Lumi was slow on one of her early pick-ups, and she improved some, but she never did get as crisp on her pick-ups as she has been at times in the past.

I continue to notice a rising-tide-lifts-all-ships effect. So far, the dogs don't perform as well for the kids as they do for me, but as their skills with the kids handling improves, their skill with me seems to improve even more than if I were doing all the handling.

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