Monday, July 27, 2015

Two retired-gun drills

For the pros' third setup today, they used a flat field and placed a long gun at 120y and a short gun at 60y, both throwing RTL and with the line to the short left gunner just outside the line to the long right mark, which I believe is called a hip pocket double. The gunners (including me at the left station) did not use guns or birds; we threw bumpers with a call of Hey.

It appeared to me that the pros used this setup to work on a variety of skills, depending on the dog. As far as I could tell, for some dogs they worked on steadiness, for some they worked on going to the go-bird  even if not aligned for that mark, for some they worked on head swinging. Other skills may also have been in development.

After they had run all their dogs, it was Laddie's turn, and he was the only dog they included retiring a gun with. They threw both doubles (that is, right/left and then left/right) and retired the memory bird in both cases. Laddie nailed all four marks. I'm not sure how much he learned exactly, but it was good to see him showing his marking skill and good for both our confidence if nothing else.

By the way, in my previous post I also used the term "nailed", but that wasn't entirely accurate. I think nailing means running straight to the mark. By that definition, Laddie did nail all four of the marks in this afternoon's drill, and he did nail the shorter, left water mark earlier today. But for the longer, right water mark, he actually swam across the pond on a line that had been aimed slightly left by the water entry, and he then angled back once he reached the top of the far embankment and could figure out where the mark was because he could see the right gunner again. I wouldn't call that nailing the mark, but he swam straight and he ran straight, and there was no hunt. I don't know what that's called.

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