Thursday, August 6, 2015

Retired land doubles and a shoreline single over two points

Yesterday the pro set up a long land double for the six dogs he'll be taking to a competition tomorrow. For those dogs, he ran just the long gun as a single, sometimes repeating it, while I stood at the position of a shorter mark as a diversion.

As an aside, this pro, and his mentor when he was here, do a number of things differently than I've seen before, such as often re-running marks. Another of those differences is that they always had/have me remain standing after throwing until my bird was picked up. For yesterday's drill, I wasn't sure when to sit down so I waited till the dog picked up the long mark.

In any case, he then had me run Laddie on the double twice, first with the long gun retired, then reversing the order of the throws and with the shorter gun retired. Laddie nailed the go-birds but needed a moderate hunt for the long mark when retired and a ridiculously long hunt for the shorter mark when retired, even though he'd been there earlier and even though it was out in the open. The pro is convinced that Laddie has no concept of retired guns, and that series did nothing to change his mind.

I did notice however that Laddie's tongue was hanging out after the first double. I wish I'd bright out some water for him to drink between the two doubles. It was a hot day.

Next we went to the pro's pond and I proposed that I continue to take the pro's advice except that Laddie be permitted to choose his own return route, as he has for many years. The pro rejected that proposal and said that I could run Laddie on the setups any way I liked, but if I wanted his advice, he wouldn't let me do it wrong.

Accordingly then he had me run Laddie on the shoreline single over two points we worked on several weeks ago. Laddie had forgotten that training and again needed to be handled over the points, but at least he didn't vocalize. To bring him back without a constant series of cues, I called him from each point.

Over night, based on advice from a dear friend and highly experienced dog person, I decided that, with the choice the pro had given me, I'd switch to the other option and run the setups as I felt best, without asking for the pro's advice going forward. It turns out he was happy to hear I'd made that decision when I told him the next morning.

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