Sunny, temps in low 80s, wind calm. Near drought conditions resulting in hard, dusty ground and much of the cover dried up.
For the last several weeks, I've been limited to training Laddie on land, since he's not allowed to swim until the broken bone in his tail has healed. Although Laddie is marking well as he always has, I am concerned that he pops (looks at the handler) on marks too frequently. Some training days we get no pops, but sometimes we get one or even more pops during the session.
Despite a good number of data points, I am not at all certain what factors lead to Laddie popping. I believe that it generally happens when some combination of the following are involved:
- Relatively long marks
- Retired gunners
- Reaching the top of a rise
- Later in the day (that is, possibly thirsty or a bit tired)
- Broken tail