Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Training with pros

I thought it would be cooler training up north, but it's not working out that way. Today, for example, it was 81° when we started at 8am and rose all day, reaching 93° by the time we wrapped up in the afternoon.

The pros set up two land series, and I followed their recommendation of running Laddie on each setup twice, with a long rest in between, the first time with all the guns out, the second time with one of the guns retired.

For the first setup, Laddie nailed all six of the marks, except that he ran in a wide arc on the one retired mark, the second retrieve of the second time we ran it, rather than on a straight line.

For the second series, Laddie again nailed all six of the marks, except that again he ran one of them, in this case NOT the retired mark but again the second retrieve if the second time we ran it, on a wide arc rather than on a straight line.

After he ran the second setup the second time, as the last dog at the hottest time of the day, the pro told me that Laddie could run the long but otherwise seemingly fairly easy land blind. He was hardly the worst of the dogs who ran it, but it wasn't good enough. First of all, he wrapped behind a large clump of foliage at about the halfway point, and then at the end he overran the blind, apparently to get into the shade of a stand of trees, and it took several whistles to get him to come out and finish the work.

Since Laddie ran the retired setups so well, I believe the pros feel that their training recommendations are producing good results. I would have run the setups with retired marks in the first place, so I have no way of knowing how Laddie would have done if we'd run them that way.

What I do know is that once again, Laddie and I had an opportunity to train on a high quality property using professionally designed training setups, and I had the guidance of two professional trainers to help me with Laddie's development. I can only imagine how Laddie's career might have gone if I'd been able to provide Laddie and myself with this kind opportunity in years gone by. My gratitude to these guys for letting Laddie and me train with them is impossible to express, though I've tried to express it to them many times anyway.  :0)

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