Monday, May 18, 2009

Water and Land Series

Stadler's Pond

Today, we had more sessions with the Wetfoot Drill, Splash Version. After yesterday's success with 15-yard swims, today I chose a location with 25-yard swims. For every retrieve, the duck was in the water next to shore.

The two behaviors I wish to extinguish are shaking, and climbing out of the water when unnecessary, which was the case for all of today's retrieves. Because it is so important to the dogs to complete the retrieves, it was necessary only to call "nope" when one of those behaviors occurred, then interrupt the retrieve with a WO, in order for the behaviors to extinguish in both dogs.

I alternated the dogs in most cases. Here's a compilation of how each dog did:

Lumi had a WO for shaking, then two great pick-ups and re-entries into water.

Laddie had one WO for shaking and two WOs for climbing onto shore, then two great pick-ups and re-entries into water.

Sundown Road Park

I've been running the dogs mostly on the Wetfoot Drill in water, but today I decided to give them some marking and handling practice as well.

SERIES A. Two singles, three blinds (Laddie, then Lumi)

I began by planting ODs as blinds, placing RLs loaded with weighted streamers for "throwing" marks, and pre-positioning ducks 25 yards from the RLs for the dogs to pick up while leaving the streamers on the ground. I ran Laddie, reloaded the RLs, put the ducks back in position, and ran Lumi. The sequence was as follows.

I launched the RL on the right, left to right at 90 yards. The dog ran a 100-yard blind to the left of the left RL. I launched the RL on the left, left to right at 70 yards. The dog picked up the left mark, and then finally the right mark which had been launched first. The dog ran a 130-yard blind to the right, and wrapped up with a 230-yard blind in the center between the two RLs.

All five retrieves were within a 135° angle, resulting in fairly tight angles between the lines to all retrieves. Both dogs pinned both marks, which were on open lawn with no nearby features. With the tight angles, the lack of features near the marks, and the delay in picking up the first mark, this might have been a difficult course for the dogs some months ago, but today they made it look easy. Both ran with enthusiasm and purpose the entire series.

Except for one slipped whistle and WO for Laddie, both dogs were also responsive on all WSCs.

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