For our second session today, I threw for the pro's dogs, and then one of the pros changed places with me and I got to run Laddie.
The setup, pretty much as usual since I've been training with these guys, was a tight double. Both retrieves started with a steep downhill land segment and then a long swim. The shorter mark on the left was thrown behind the reeds at the far shoreline. The longer mark on the right tacked on a land segment after the dog climbed out of the water and up the embankment thru thick, high cover.
The long mark on the right was deceptively difficult, because the dog had to detour around a large clump of thick cover to enter the water, and they'd get in trouble if they detoured on the right. But detouring on the left put the dog on a line toward the left mark, and once the dog was in the water, the dog could no longer see the right gun station. The dogs handled that situation in various ways, some of which resulted in corrections, handling, or calls for the gunner to help. But Laddie held his line to the far shore, then spotted the right gunner when he got to the top of the embankment and ran straight to the mark, no correction, help, or handling needed.
The pros ran the setup in various ways for dogs at varying levels, and when it was Laddie's turn, the pro asked me how I wanted you run it. Easy question: "What would you suggest?" I asked.
"I'd run it as two singles," he said, so that's what we did. The only wrinkle was that the pro who threw the shorter mark retired after he threw it, as Laddie was running down the slope to the water, not because I requested it but I guess because he thought it would be good for Laddie to run it that way.
Laddie nailed both marks; the pro said "perfect." I'm glad the pro had us run it that way. Well never know, but it might have been too hard if I'd run it the way I thought Laddie could do it.
After that, the pros had to run an errand, and said they'd meet me back at the kennel a little later, for another setup I guess. I'm waiting there for them now.