Sunday, August 21, 2011

More nerves

Cheltenham, low 80s.

Today, a Weimeraner group was training near the part of the property I had planned to use, but rather than sending Laddie and me away, they said it would be ok for us to train on the other side of the property.

Laddie ran a total of eight water blinds as our On/off drill, all 2" bumpers, some white some orange (irrelevant, since in cover), and all with an LP and white plastic bag as the target. In each pair, we ran from the bypass SL first, then the crossing SL.

We used two setups, four retrieves each.  I wasn't that happy with the first one, since it had significant amounts of high, thick cover at both the water entry and exit, which I felt distracted from the lesson. The second setup was longer but visually clearer.

Laddie showed behavior that I interpret as nerves in each setup: not only quiet vocalizing, but also a few pops and also eating grass when he was on the point. In each setup, the nervous behaviors were most prevalent on the first pair of retrieves, and were minimal or disappeared entirely on the second pair.

I liked the second setup a lot. Besides providing clear optics and nice deep water for the On/off drill, it also had a relatively narrow cove behind the point, helping Laddie practice a good re-entry rather than running the bank when presented with that picture. If possible, we'll use the same setup for several more On/off sessions, until he can run both retrieves, in either order, eventually with no LP, and with no display of nerves.


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