Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blinds, Adventure Drill


SERIES A. 160-yard land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

20090927 Series A 160-yard land blind
Series A 160-yard blind

SERIES B. 130-yard land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

20090927 Series B 130-yard blind
Series B 130-yard blind

Black Hill Regional Park

SERIES C. Adventure Drill

Based on correspondence with Alice Woodyard, I'm increasingly convinced that the Adventure Drill (AD) has played an important role in improving Laddie's returns during events, especially on LWL retrieves. In fact, while practicing blinds seems vital in order to assure that the dogs will be responsive to handling when we run competition blinds, Alice pointed out that handling may well be somewhat aversive to one or both of my dogs. That could condition the dogs to some extent to resist returning, as a way of avoiding the subsequent retrieve, which might be a handling retrieve. It makes sense that the AD would provide the opposite conditioning, a non-handling and exciting retrieve to look forward to. And the evidence seems to support the hypothesis: Laddie's returns in events improved dramatically after I first introduced the AD last spring; his returns in events declined in the quality after I stopped using the AD during the summer (thinking it was no longer necessary); and his returns improved again when I brought the AD back during the week between his first and second events of the fall. He then qualified in both events that second weekend.

SERIES D. 130-yard land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

Sorry, no photos for Series C and D.

Seneca Creek off Frederick Avenue

SERIES E. Adventure Drill

Today we discovered a new place to run our Adventure Drill, a creek with swim-depth water, at least at this time. The volume of water was so high, in fact, that as the dogs crossed the creek out and back for each retrieve, the current tugged at them, trying to carry them downstream, and they had to fight it to complete their crossings. Neither dog showed any reluctance to re-enter the water, so I believe the current just added to the adventure.

Since we'd already worked quite a bit today before we discovered this new location, I limited our work at this location to two retrieves.

Photos of Series E

20090927 Series E #1
Series E retrieve #1

20090927 Series E #2
Series E retrieve #2

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