Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hip Pocket Double and Blinds

Sundown Road Park

Since we were working alone today, I used RLs with weighted streamers to "throw" the marks. All retrieves, both marks and blinds, were chukars from the refrigerator. All marks were thrown with a gunshot. Temps were in the high 80s, with high humidity and a light, variable wind.

SERIES A. Hip pocket double and double blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

The first mark was on the left, thrown right to left at 80 yards. The second mark was 30° to the right, also thrown right to left, this mark at 40 yards. The fall for the second mark was nearly in line with the RL for the first mark, making this a hip pocket double.

After the dog picked up both marks, the dog ran an 80-yard blind on a line 30° to the right of the right RL. The dog then ran another blind. For Laddie, the second blind was 230 yards on a line 30° to the left of the fall for the left mark. For Lumi, the second blind was 60 yards on a line 90° to the left of the fall for the left mark.

The go-bird of the double, thrown second at 40 yards, was thrown from just off the edge of a paved basketball court and landed in the middle of the court. It should have been easy but the weighted streamer rolled on the court for Lumi's throw, ending up several yards to the left of the fall. Apparently wet, cold chukars from the refrigerator have little smell and both dogs, especially Lumi, had some difficulty spotting the bird after running to the streamer.

The memory-bird of the double, thrown first at 80 yards, was thrown from past a tree on the right, so that the arc of the throw was behind the tree and landed to the left of the tree. The RL for that mark was not visible from the SL. In addition, the line to the fall was across the basketball court and down an embankment, so that the fall was not in line of sight until the dog reached far the edge of the court. Thus the memory-bird presented several factors intended to make it difficult for the dog to remember: the RL "thrower" was in line with the first fall and not visible to that it would tend to be "erased" in the dog's memory by the second throw, the throw for the memory-bird was behind a tree, and neither the RL nor the fall for the memory-bird was visible from the SL.

The corridor for the 80-yard blind on the right was only a few yards wide. Three trees grew along the left at various points. The corner of a covered picnic pavilion was on the right at 40 yards, with an embankment from the pavement down across the line to the blind so that the dog had a slanting hill crossing to the blind. At 70 yards, another tree on the right formed a keyhole with the last tree on the left. The blind was placed at the edge of a section of woods. The line to the blind was so narrow that when I blew a WS for Laddie as he came level with the pavilion, and he stopped at the top of the embankment in the center of the corridor to the blind, and then I cast him straight back, he spun around perfectly but still almost ran into the pillar of the pavilion as he raced back toward the blind.

The line for Laddie's 230-yard blind was across the left edge of the basketball court, slanting across the downhill embankment on the far side of the court, thru a keyhole formed by two trees, across the third-base and short-stop edge of a baseball diamond, across the baseball field, past a white home-run marker pole, and to a tree 20 yards in front of a section of woods containing a creek Laddie likes to swim in. Besides the difficulties staying on line, Laddie also had to resist the temptation to go swimming after picking up the bird, something he's done at times in the past, including during tests.

The line for Lumi's 60-yard blind slanted across a downhill slope, ran between a slanted keyhole formed by two trees, and ended at the edge of a section of woods with a large field and a home-run pole visible just to the right beyond the woods.

NOTES ON PERFORMANCE. Laddie ran excellent marks. He needed two WOs on the 80-yard blind for slipped whistles, then showed excellent responsiveness on his third try and again on the 230-yard blind. His casts were accurate as usual, and his motivation was joyfully exuberant, also as usual.

Lumi needed to be handled on the go-bird, running past it because the streamer had pulled her well off line from the bird. She took a nice angle-in after the WS, which is usually her most difficult type of cast. After delivering the go-bird, Lumi was impatient to run the memory-bird and took a WIL when I released her without lining her up. I called her back, lined her up, and sent her, and this time she nailed the mark. Lumi's performance on both of her blinds was outstanding, with quick in-place responses to the WSs and accurate casts.


Terry said...

Lindsay, I read the article about you in Whole Dog Journal. I too am I positive trainer swimming upstream in the shock collar world of field training. I am looking forward to reading more of your progress this season. I have gotten two dogs through Senior and Seasoned. One all positive, one mostly. Working with a puppy now who may have what it takes to make it all the way - it will take a community of help to get him there, though.

Lindsay, with Lumi & Laddie said...

Hi, Terry. Thanks so much for your note. It's great to hear from another positive trainer.

The most difficult challenges for both my dogs were the field recall (especially returning over water) and honoring flyers.

I'd be interested to know whether you had any difficulties in those areas, and if so, how you addressed them.

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