Saturday, September 18, 2010

De-flaring Drill, Steps 1 and 2

Mt. Ararat Farm

After Gaby and I trained with Patty in the morning, we returned to her farm, where she helped Laddie and me on Steps 1 and 2 of the De-flaring Drill.

Today we made made a few changes from the last time we worked with Laddie (and also Buster) on the drill. Last time we were learning how to approach the problem. That led to a few set-ups and then, based on that experience, to a training plan, which I added to my reference blog, "The 2Q Retriever". Click here to see that post.

Today, we followed that training plan first for Step 1. Gaby didn't want to run Buster on the drill, so we just ran Laddie, with Gaby throwing the long gun. We used a BB with a chair behind it for the short gun, the chair in neutral position and a white coat draped on it. We ran Step 1 (two singles) twice, once to the left, once to the right, moving both the SL and the chair to create a new picture, as well as reversing the throws. Both times, I started Laddie at the SL for the first trial, since that's the litmus test for deciding whether the dog is ready for Step 2.

Laddie didn't push off the chair in the least as he ran his lines to the long fall, so I felt he was done with Step 1 and ready for Step 2. I had planned to go home at that point, but because it had gone so quickly, Gaby offered to help me try Laddie on Step 2 as well. Again, we moved the SL and chair for each set-up, and again we ran it on both sides. Step 2 uses the same kind of set-up as Step 1, but for Step 2, the set-up is run as a reverse hip-pocket double.

Again Laddie ran all the retrieves on a laser, not veering in the least as he ran past the chair on either side.

So I guess now Laddie's ready for Step 3, the next time Gaby and I get together to work on the drill. For Step 3, we'll be retiring the short gun, that is, hiding it behind a large camouflage umbrella. If we are again using a BB for the short throw, we'll place an umbrella in front of the BB and chair. I'm not sure the chair, draped with white coat, will add anything, since it will be behind an umbrella, but at least the dog will see it on the way back as he's running the long mark.

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