In November 2007, Lindsay Ridgeway developed a series of performance tests as a method of training Lumi and Laddie, his two Golden Retrievers, for field sports. This is the journal of their progress through that series and beyond. Contact: LDRidgeway at gmail dot com.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Skimming Drill, Cool-off Drill
Laddie ran four skimming drills with high cover, in four different directions, two with the cover on his left, two with the cover on his right. Each was a double, with the go-bird requiring a sharp angle entry into cover.
In terms of short-term learning, he did very well, running the second, third, and fourth drills perfectly.
In terms of long-term learning, he didn't do as well, because he tried to "cheat" around the cover on his first mark.
On the other hand, we haven't practiced skimming drills in some time, since I decided to stay away in the days before his Senior test last weekend. Now that that's out of the way, we're going to be running them again and hopefully get Laddie fluent with running them correctly.
Although Laddie had had plenty of water during and after the work at Fairhill, it was a hot day and he was hot. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to try a Cool-off Drill, so we drove over to Rolling Ridge. I planted an LP with an orange tape waving from the top a couple of feet from the edge of the pond, and placed a white puppy bumper in front of it. Then I ran Laddie to it as a sight blind from the top of the embankment 40 yards from the LP, with Laddie to run almost parallel to the edge of the pond never more than a few yards from the edge.
The goal was for Laddie to pick up the bumper and bring it directly back to me rather than taking it into the pond first. If he did it correctly, I would throw it for him far out into the pond and send him even before the bumper landed, much more exciting than a mere dip.
This time, Laddie showed excellent long-term learning. Even though we haven't practiced the Cool-off Drill in several days, Laddie executed it perfectly. Great way to end the day's work.