Monday, July 20, 2009

Land Blinds

Sundown Road Park

SERIES A. Triple land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

The first blind (OD) was to the left at 80 yards. The second blind (OD) was at 190 yards, nearly 180° to the right of the first blind. The third blind (duck) was in the center at 100 yards, on a line midway between the first and second blinds. A light wind blew the duck scent toward the SL, so that on the first two blinds, the dog was aware that a bird was planted at a 90° angle to the direction the dog was being sent.

I was surprised to see that this scenario was slightly more difficult for Laddie than our recent PB scenarios, possibly because we've practice with PBs more often than with running downwind of a hidden bird. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, because Laddie's curiosity often seems to create more suction than an actual article. If Laddie is aware that a bird is present but hasn't figured out exactly where, it seems significantly harder for him to respond correctly than if he knows where it is. Today, the effect was to pull him offline to the right when running the left blind, instead of taking the line he was sent on. For some reason, he took an excellent line on the second blind. Perhaps the wind direction was a factor, or perhaps he became comfortable taking a good line in the presence of bird scent coming from a different direction.

Lumi didn't show the same problem. She took a good line on both the left and right blinds and remained responsive on all her WSs. However, her poor carrying on casts showed up again today on both the first two blinds. I don't know whether it will eventually fix itself or whether I'm going to have to take some remedial action. I keep expecting it to fix itself, since it seems to be an unproductive behavior compared to carrying the cast, but perhaps I'm not understanding the forces at work.

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