Friday, March 27, 2015

Water work

Although we have a trial this morning, and I usually rest Laddie the day before a trial, we finally had a nice day yesterday, sunny with temps reaching the lot 70s. By contrary, today has reverted to this spring's norm, with temps in the 40s and dropping thru the day, as well as continuous rainfall.

To take advantage of the good weather, Laddie and I drove with an assistant to the closest training property with technical water for some brush-up on water skills: taking water entries rather than running the back (cheating) on marks, and control near points of land on blinds. 

Accordingly, we ran four retrieves:

A - Up-the-shore with the bank on the left, also featuring a cheat-y channel crossing near the start line, and on-and-off a point with a tempting cheat to the left at the midpoint.

B - Up-the-shore with the bank on the right, and other features mirroring series A.

C - 160y water blind, with a point of land on the right at midpoint that the dog was to challenge (get near) but not get onto, and another point of land that the dog was to go over (on-and-off) with a difficult (cheat-y) angle entry, across a 20y inlet to a lining pole and the orange bumper.

D - 180y mark across two points of land, the second featuring a difficult angle entry into a longish swim in deep water, then up a hillside to the mark.

Laddie's performance:

A - He tried twice to go around the channel crossing. I called him back each time. He then ran it nicely and crossed the point well, but began veering veering toward the shore on the left. I handled him to the right onto a better line, which he then carried to the mark.

B - Flawless. No hint of cheating, stayed clear of land as he approached the bumper on the shoreline.

C - Took an initial line toward the land on the right rather than the big water on the left, then vocalized when I cast him left. I immediately called him in for vocalizing. Sent him again. He took a better line but still too far right, took the cast with only a soft whimper.  Got tangled briefly in the decoy line just off the first point but stayed close to the land without getting on. Intended to swim around the second point but took my cast onto it. Was a bit too slow stopping when I whistled sit on the second point so I called him back in a couple of yards. I then cast an Over of the point, but he went pretty much straight back instead and straight to the pole. Since he showed no inclination to cheat along the shoreline, iĆ” fine with that.

D - Another excellent mark with no need to handle. Stayed in front of (on a line to the left of) the hunger the whole way, no hint of cheating or breaking down.

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