We packed up the 2 brown dawgs and met up with a training group and a trainer to do some training. The snow was not deep so they set up in a large field to run some marks. The 2 brown dawgs have not run marks in several months because we were concentrating on their blind work, then they had a busy hunting season, and then the snow was just too deep.
This training group has been training all Fall/Winter and many of them are far more advanced than Thunder and Storm. Their first set of marks was a quad and many of the dogs did very well. Since the 2 brown dawgs haven’t been training on marks, we started with a triple. Thunder had a bit of a hunt on one, but otherwise did well. Storm decided she would hunt in the woods a bit…un…no this isn’t upland. After a little reminder, she finally got down to business.
The next set of marks was a single with a diversion bumper thrown as the dog was returning. Then as the dog is sitting at heel with the bumper in its mouth, a third very long mark is thrown. The dog is to return with the first bumper, ignoring the diversion bumper, then pick up the diversion and then pick up the long mark. The first mark was a bit tricky because it was thrown down, rather than up, the field. Several dogs nailed it, but several had a bit of a problem because they wanted to go up the field.
Thunder and Storm wanted to hunt up field too. But the good news is, neither of them fell for the diversion bumper. They were not clean on that third (long) bumper because Thunder in particular wanted to pick up the long mark before the short, but this was training and short was to be picked up first so that is what he was sent to do. I can see we are going to need to work on mixing up a lot of long and short marks when the ground is finally clear of snow and ice.
The last series was just a very long single and then they had to honor the next dog. Both Thunder and Storm did fine with the single, straight out and straight back, (at least we still have that after the long lay-off). They also were steady at the line and did fine on the honor (we have been working on these two things all winter). Of course this was just training and there was no QUACK-QUACK-BANG or the wiz of a winger going off (which is like doggie crack to our dogs).
Even though it was freezing and my toes were cold, it was a fun training day. Fun people and great dogs! We look forward to going again.