Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blind, Out-of-order Double, and Pre-retired Single

Cattail River Drive

Today we practiced on a large field in the midst of an incomplete housing development in Howard County I happened to notice on a recent drive. The cover was low but rough, the footing was good, the terrain was hilly, and the field was dotted with hay bales. The field was surrounded on three sides by high, impenetrable cover, with a dry ditch and a residential street called Cattail River Drive along the north edge.

The day was sunny with temps in low 70s and light wind. The wind came from the west, acting as a headwind for Series A and C.

All three series were run from the same SL, at the top of one of the rises in the terrain.

SERIES A. Land blind

Series A was a 270-yard blind (hen pheasant), with a 10-yard wide keyhole at 250 yards formed by high, impenetrable cover on the left and a hay bale on the right.


I walked out and placed a chair and white coat as the "gun station" we'd use for Series C.

SERIES B. Out-of-order land double

The first mark of Series B was in the opposite direction as the blind in Series A. It was thrown by a BB left to right at 120 yards. It had no white coat, but the BB was placed in front of a hay bale.

The second mark was 60° to the right, thrown by a BB and stickman left to right at 150 yards.

Laddie was sent to the longer go-bird first, then the shorter memory-bird. He nailed both retrieves.

SERIES C. Pre-retired land single

A "pre-retired" mark is the name I've come up with for the approach I used for Series B yesterday and again for Series C today. In both cases, the pre-retired mark was run as follows:
  1. An SL is selected, and a white coat, with a chair or stickman, is positioned at the intended gun station.
  2. The dog is then run on some other series from the same SL in a different part of the field.
  3. With the dog in a "down", the handler goes out to place a BB and retire the white coat.
  4. The handler returns to the SL, launches the bumper from the BB, and sends the dog.
Today's pre-retired mark was thrown left to right at 170 yards.

Notes on the two pre-retired marks Laddie has run

For both Series B yesterday and Series C today, Laddie ran on a laser-straight line to the fall, with no under-run nor over-run. This seems to indicate that pre-retired singles, at least at these distances with minimal factors, are reasonably easy for Laddie.

In our next session, I'll run another pre-retired mark as a single. Hopefully Laddie will have no difficulty with that mark, either.

If that's the case, the next time after that, I'll add one more element: After I launch the pre-retired mark, I'll hand-throw a bumper to the side. I'll have him pick up that bumper, then run him on the long mark. It will be interesting to see whether he can still run a pre-retired mark well when it's a memory-bird rather than a single.

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