Saturday, April 25, 2009

Land-water-land Retrieves

AM: Cheltenham

Today, the dogs and I went with Austin and Nate to train at two of the sites at Cheltenham where I've seen series run for dogs at my dogs' approximate level.

For each of the series, I had Nate throw one duck, Austin another duck, as singles. All throws were on land in the range of 3-30 feet from the water, and the swims were in the range 20-40 yards.

Since I also have been working on Lumi's head-swinging, in addition to having all singles, I aimed a lining pole as a "handler's gun" for all throws.

I've tried applying the Walk-Over for slow pick-ups on LWL retrieves a few times the last few days, and have not yet figured out a way to use it effectively. The dog might pick up the bird quickly, but then do something else undesirable, such as turn away from the water, or run the bank, or get in the water out of the thrower's reach but not swim across.

Therefore, I didn't have the boys try Walk-Overs in this morning's training.

Unfortunately, not once in a total of eight retrieves did either dog simply pick up the bird and get back in the water. Both required repeated calls of "Here". On the positive side, it's also true that not once did either dog fail entirely to respond and remain stalled on the far side of the water. Eventually, both dogs came back with every bird.

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