Already Friday again! This week flew by. We did some more training in the park that has the nice pond that I called a technical pond. The grass in the natural area is finally greening up and because we have had so much rain, it is very wet! I took some pictures of Thunder fetching double marks. He was really running hard and was focused on the bumpers. It was a good training session.
How fast can I run?
There it is.
Look! Another bumper!
Found the camera...
Of course we couldn’t resist that beautiful pond. We did some water marks and worked on a few water blinds. Thunder did really well on them. His confidence is increasing with every blind retrieve. Sometimes he is a little too enthusiastic and switches to hunting mode when he figures out he is close. We don’t want to dull that enthusiasm, but he can’t just hunt on a blind. Ah well, he’ll get it.
Nice job Thunder!
Hope everyone has a nice weekend!
Yesterday, I shared some of our water training from last weekend. After we finished those marks, we ran a couple of long singles. The first was about 110 yards and the second was around 160 yards. As you can see on these videos, there were obstacles in the way of getting clear video. There were small hazards on the ground, such as standing water. There were also trees intermittently in the field. We like to mix things up a bit, and not always train only on a wide open field because you never know what will act as an imaginary stop to a dog, or what will draw their attention from focusing on a mark.
Storm was first up. If you look way out in the field, you can see a splotch of white. That is the gunner who was throwing the bird. I wasn’t able to get great video of her going to the mark, (if you make it full screen you can see a tiny dot which is Storm…lol). I was able to get a better view as she came in though.
Storm had no trouble with that first mark. She did have a bit of trouble with the second one though because she took her eyes off it (darn robins landed right in front of her). She was sent, but popped. That is no good. The mark was re-thrown and she was out and back. She is still not solid on those long marks and needs more of those.
Thunder was great on both. Both of the videos I took of him are about the same, except he had to hunt a bit on the second longer mark. We are very happy with his progress on these long marks. He used to routinely hunt too short on long marks, but now is fairly solid on those. It would be nice if he ran out in a straight line, but it doesn’t seem to interfere with his knowing where the mark is, and maybe that will improve with training and longer marks. We also still need to improve his memory on doubles and triples, but that is definitely improving with training. This is video of the shorter mark and much better than the video I took of Storm.
Slowly, slowly we are making progress. Each training bits and pieces come together. Once we get all of them, we will be ready for tests!
On a side note: the laptop I use for work had to go off to the repair shop (2-4 weeks…ugg! Darn those computer gremlins!). For a bit, I won’t be able to sneak a peek at your blogs during a work break. If I am tardy reading or posting a comment, please forgive me, it is only temporary.
We did some water training with the 2 brown dawgs this past weekend. The water is still very cold, so the swims were kept short. We trained land-water-land marks. These marks required the dogs to run a bit on land, swim, get out of the pond, pick up the bumper and return in a straight line back through the pond. Since we were to the side of the pond, it was possible for the dog to try to attempt to cheat and run around the side of the pond. We were training them not to do that.
Thunder was up first. He splashed into the pond, but then attempted to cheat his way back, (of course that is because I had just said that normally he doesn’t run the bank ). We haven’t run a lot of marks on water and few with a longer land entry, so this was a good training opportunity. I tried to video Thunder and I did get his swim over, but turned the camera off when he was running the bank. I really didn’t want to use my memory card up on that. I should have left it on, because after a few “sit” whistles and “here” commands, he swam back over. After all the dogs ran, we repeated the mark and he was great the second time…straight out and back. Unfortunately, I had a tough time getting good video because there were objects in the way. I edited the first mark together with the second (what I had on video of both). You will notice the second splash was not quite as big as the first–that water was cold! (The squealing in my all of my videos is a Chessie puppy impatiently waiting for his turn. )
Next was Storm’s turn. One of the things that we asked the trainer to work on with her is her bank running. She likes to cheat rather than swim straight back. We all expected her to try something so the trainer advised her handler what to do while handling her. Low and behold….no bank running! Straight out and straight back. Good girl!
Next we ran that same mark, but with a second bumper hand thrown across from where the dog was sitting. This is a more advanced mark because it is in combination with the land-water-land and because the marks cross in front of the dog. Both Thunder and Storm had a bit of a problem with this one. In this video you can see that Thunder pops and is confused when he tries to get that second mark. (He may have been confused by the placement of the marks, but I imagine him thinking do I have to swim in that cold pond again for a stinking bumper?) He is re-heeled, receives a correction and is re-sent. We will run this kind of mark again at some point because something similar might show up on a test. Of course when a bird is involved, I am guessing there won’t be any confusion!
Storm also had trouble with this, but the marks were re-thrown for her and she got them. I took a couple of pictures of her waiting for the marks. Notice how the little stinker looks like she is sitting, but there is that little foot at the ready to spring…
Don't make me sit here.
I can't stand it!
Time to go!
After we finished on water, we also ran some long land singles. I will try to post on those in the next day or so.
We had some nice weather for Easter. It was sunny and warm with little wind. Thunder was itching for a walk in the forest. This is the best time of year for walking there because there are no bugs!
First Thunder thought he would look for the Easter Bunny…
Is the Easter Bunny in there?
Don't see him...
After failing to find that Easter Bunny, we decided to go and check out the area where there had been a forest fire last Fall.
Many of the trees were singed brown.
Could have been a lot worse.
Thunder checking out the damage.
Thunder is not happy.
It was very lucky that the firefighters were able to contain this fire. The forest will grow back and be healthier, but right now it looks very brown. It will be another month or so before things start greening up.
Of course we did some training over the weekend. I will have to write about that another day…