Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Today's series were similar to our previous session, except I again increased distances. Today's 10 marks (two series of five marks each) were 120-220 yards.
Another difference was that our previous session was run on the relatively flat field at Oaks Area 2, whereas today's session was run at Rolling Ridge, with its steep hills and underbrush-filled ditch. Today, the ditch carried a shallow stream from the melting snow.
After the two quintuples, today's work also featured about a dozen poorman bulldogs as we walked from the second SL back to the van. What I mean by a "poorman bulldog" is that I throw a happy bumper for Laddie, and as he's on his way back with it, I throw another. His job is to complete the return while noting where the new one fell, then race out to get the new one after delivering the first one. On his way back with the new one, I throw yet another one.
A true "bulldog", as I understand it, sometimes occurs in a Master Hunt Test. As the dog is returning with one retrieve, a thrower out in the field throws a mark that the dog is to be sent on after completing the earlier delivery.
Hopefully, the poorman bulldogs provide some learning that Laddie could benefit from if he ever runs a test that includes a true bulldog. But even if we never see a bulldog in an event, the game seems to be great fun for him and great exercise. I also think it benefits his general marking to practice this more difficult version, where he's on the move and carrying out an earlier task rather than sitting still and able to put his full attention on the throw. And I also think it may strengthen his returns, since it adds a pleasant association of excitement to the delivery process.