Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beating the rain

Cheltenham, low 80s, overcast.

Today Laddie and I ran our three most recent On/off drill courses on this property, from shortest to longest. I planted two OBs, and used no LPs, in each case. For each setup, I had Laddie run the point line first, then the no-point line.

Laddie ran the first setup exactly as I would have wanted him to: For the point retrieve, he started to skirt the point, quietly accepted a cast onto the point, and lined the retrieve the rest of the way. He then lined the no-point retrieve.

For the second setup, Laddie tried to go too far inland on the first point, and made a quiet yelp when I cast him back outward toward the end of the point. But aside from that, no handling was required on this setup.

For the third and longest setup, Laddie again tried to aim too far inland on the point retrieve, and again yelped when cast. On the no-point retrieve, which on previous days he has run without handling, he headed for the point, and when it didn't look like he'd self-correct, I cast him horizontally toward the correct line.  This produced Laddie's most pronounced yelp of the day.

As a test of whether handling on a water blind when no point was in the picture produced vocalizing, I had Laddie run a Master-like water blind: 20y land entry, sharp angle entry, 30y swim with a keyhole between two decoys amongst a group of about six decoys, angle exit onto shore thru thick cover, and a diagonal slope climb halfway up a 20y embankment. Laddie took a good line almost to the decoys and I was afraid he was going to line the whole blind, defeating the experiment, but then he veered a little and I got a chance to use three WSCs in the water, and one on shore, to keep him on a tight line. He took every whistle and every cast quietly, accurately, and with confident, enthusiastic demeanor.

I tossed a few happy bumpers for him, and ran him on a couple of little "singles" for fun. But then the sky opened up and we headed for home thru the downpour.


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