Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Training In-line Triples

Oaks Area 2

I've tried a number of approaching to getting Laddie comfortable with inline triples (ILTs). He's had difficulty with the second or third retrieve so often that I've considered suspending ILT training for a few months to avoid de-motivating him.

But I'm not quite ready to give up yet. Today I ran Laddie on the following (Lumi got to do a couple of the short series):
  • Stickmen in a line 20 yards apart. Some throws toward one end, some toward the other. In any one series, all throws in the same direction, and all throws in the direction of the longest.
  • All throws by hand (poorman marks). All throws were WB. With dog at SL, I walked to longest stickman, fired pistol and threw, then middle stickman, fired pistol and throw, then closest stickman, fired pistol and throw. I tried to keep throws closer to throwing stickman than next one. After the three throws, I turned 90 degrees and walked to SL, then ran the dog. I used enough lining to take the dog off the wrong mark. But I did not want to use strong lining, because I wanted to give the dog opportunity to develop a strategy such as running at the gun, or "wowing" the longest mark (running too wide and too far, then curving back toward the gun to close in on the fall).
  • Series A: SL 20 yards from closest stickman.
  • Series B: SL 30 yards from closest stickman (on opposite side of the row of stickmen).
  • Series C: SL 40 yards from closest stickman (at opposite end, so that throws were in opposite direction).
  • Series D: SL 50 yards from closest stickman (again switched ends, new angles).
  • Series E, F, G, H, and I: SL 60 yards from closest stickman (again, a different picture even though the stickmen hadn't moved).
Laddie pretty much nailed every mark on Series A, B, C, and D, as did Lumi on the series she ran. I think each of them may have had a short hunt on one of the early marks.

However, I brought Laddie back on Series E, F, G, and H without letting him finish one of the marks. For one of them it was the go-bird, for the others it was the middle mark. In each case, he got into a long hunt. I brought him back to the SL, cued "Sit", and went out to throw again. By the end, I was saying "Bang" instead of firing a pistol.

For Series I, Laddie nailed the first and third marks. For the middle mark, he raced at the gun, passed it on the wrong side, banked into a well proportioned U-turn without slowing, and picked up the bumper on the way back to me without breaking stride. I would have preferred that he passed the stickman on the side of the mark, but it looked to me like sound problem-solving and I let it go.

It was interesting to see his performance fall off the cliff like that, suddenly having a problem at 60 yards after none at shorter distances. I wonder why.

I think our next ILT session will be a repeat of today's. I don't plan to raise criteria (more distance, more spread, sharper angles, etc.) until Laddie is really solid on this poorman version.

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