Thursday, June 11, 2015
Two land doubles with poison-bird blinds and retired guns
With two assistants and no time to go to a property with water, I ran Laddie today on two similar setups. In each case, the gunners each threw three marks. Then Laddie ran a blind with the guns out and the bumpers still on the ground. Then the guns retired while Laddie was returning with the blind. And finally Laddie picked up the marks.
The first blind was over 300y and included traversing a corner of high cover. Though I wanted to run Laddie on a long blind, it turned out to be a poor design, because I lost sight of him behind a crest near the end and couldn't handle him accurately, just having to wait to see where he popped up after disappearing. He nailed both marks.
The second blind included a diagonal keyhole. I whistled as he approached it a bit off line the first time, and when his sit was a bit too slow, I called him back in. When I sent him again, he lined the keyhole, then needed only one whistle to complete the blind. He sat instantly on that whistle. He then nailed the first mark, and needed a hunt for the last mark but remained in the area of the fall.
I've never seen a poison-bird blind or two retired marks in a qual, so we may not be preparing correctly. But it's sometimes difficult to make the setups challenging enough to be useful on some fields, and hopefully Laddie's training benefited from these. Running a blind with thrown bumpers still on the ground is distracting, making it much more difficult for a dog to perform well on a blind. And running retired guns after a blind is a memory challenge.