Sunday, January 16, 2011


Oaks Area 3

With my friend Gaby on a trip, Laddie and I have no one to train with, and lately we've been sticking with blinds.

For a change today, I ran Laddie on four series of five marks each, run from each of four positions at Oaks Area 3. That field is relatively small --about 100x100 yards, but dotted and crisscrossed with trees, hedgerows with gaps, depressions, and ridges.

Each of the four series was run as follows:

* Place Laddie in a sit/stay next to an LP being used for that SL

* Walk out to the longest planned mark, fire a pistol or call "bang", throw a black bumper to left or right, sometimes so that the arc was behind a tree, always so that the bumper landed in a depression or in cover making it invisible from the SL

* Walk to another position for the next throw and throw again

* Continue zigzagging across the field until every throw was completed. Some of the marks were intended as "wipers", where a shorter, later mark is intended to make an earlier, longer mark on the same line more difficult to remember

* Return to the SL and run Laddie on each of the five marks, handling only if he swerved off line to a different mark than the one I had lined him up on. I generally ran him from shortest to longest, not necessarily in the exact reverse order of the throws, except that the last, shortest mark was always run first and the first, longest mark was always run last.

I was pleased to see that Laddie seemed to have a good memory of every mark. He only needed handling for swerving on three of the 20 retrieves.

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