Sunday, May 10, 2015

Land singles and land blinds

It's been only two weeks since Laddie last trained, but it has felt like an eternity for me, and I would guess for him as well. Following our holistic vet's guidance, I've kept Laddie from running or jumping since I first realized he was injured (iliopsoas strain) until today, and today, I began to give him a little retrieve work on land. He won't get any water work for several more days, because of the way swimming requires him to push back and extend his rear legs.

Today, I went out with Laddie and picked up Sasha, the other dog I've been training, and an assistant to throw for us, and we drove to a new field I spotted recently in our area. It was dusty and the ground was uneven, but it was hundreds of yards from traffic, had no hazards such as construction debris, and the field had variable terrain and a number of mounds, which are useful for Laddie's training. I'm always looking for new places in our area to train, and this looked like a good place to work, but in retrospect, I think it was a mistake training on such uneven ground and I won't train there again.

Temps were in the 60s when we started, and rose well into the 70s by the time we finished. It would have been too hot to continue even if I'd felt the dogs would have benefited from a longer session, which I didn't.

Laddie and Sasha are at different levels, so after they had some time to air in the field, I alternated their training: first Laddie, then Sasha, then Laddie again, and finally Sasha again. As each dog trained, the other rested in the crate in the back of the van.

In this post, I'll just describe Laddie's work. Please see this post if you're interested in reading about Sasha's work during the session.

Series A. Land blind with poison bird

The poison mark was a single thrown on the right, LTR at 70y. The blind was on the left (behind the thrower) at 100y, with the line over a mound.

Series B. Three walking singles, the last as poison bird for a blind

The first single was thrown RTL at 100y. The second was thrown LTR at 120y. The third was thrown RTL at 140y, but before Laddie was sent to the third mark, I ran him on a blind at 110y at a wide angle to the right of the third mark. The line to the blind crossed over the edge of a mound.

I kept Laddie in a tight corridor on the blinds in both series, and used them to tune up Laddie's whistle sit, walking out to pick him up for his first sit in the first blind, which was too slow.

Laddie's work was enthusiastic as usual, and he marked all the singles well except the last poison bird, the placement of which he forgot while running the blind and which therefore required a moderate hunt on both sides of the gunner, but without leaving the area where the gunner was standing, and without pausing or popping.

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