Zigzagging To The Blind

Spring must be coming because on Saturday there was a nice turn out for training.  The first set-up threw a lot of dogs for a loop.  It was a challenging set-up especially since so many of us are just now getting back into training after the never-ending winter.

The first set-up was a poison bird mark with a blind.  The mark (poison bird bumper) was thrown first, but the dogs were not allowed to retrieve it.  Instead they were re-lined to the blind.  The dogs had to pass under the arc and right by the poison bird bumper on the way to the blind.  The trick was to keep the dog from picking up the poison bird bumper.

Poison Bird With A Blind

Poison Bird With A Blind

Many dogs had trouble with this and some even got to the poison bird bumper and retrieved it.  That was wrong and they had to run it again.

Storm and Thunder ran this but not Freighter.  It was too complex for where Freighter is in his training.  Storm and Thunder did not get to the poison bird bumper, but they zigzagged all around the left side of it.  In the diagram, the light orange line is the desired path to the blind and for illustration purposes, the dark orange line is the path Storm and Thunder took.  It is not exact, but it shows how they zigzagged next to it.  Each time they headed to the bumper, their handler had to stop and recast them away from it.

It was difficult, but eventually both Storm and Thunder got to the blind successfully.  After the dog’s picked up the blind, they were sent to pick up the poison bird bumper.

This type of set-up really challenges the handler to maintain control over the dog.  The handler needs to be ready with their whistle to stop the dog any time it gives any indication that it is going to head to the poison bird bumper.

Here are some pictures of Storm working this set up.

Storm Watching The Mark (Poison Bird Bumper)

Storm Watching The Mark (Poison Bird Bumper)

Realigned To The Blind And Sent

Realigned To The Blind And Sent

Whistle Sit--Notice Her Body Is Turned Toward The Poison Bird Bumper Indicating Where She Wants To Go

Whistle Sit–Notice Her Body Is Turned Toward The Poison Bird Bumper Indicating Where She Wants To Go

The Bumper Is Behind Her And She Is Thinking About Moving That Way

The Bumper Is Behind Her And She Is Trying To Move Toward It

Stopped

Stopped

She Was Stopped Again And Handled To The Left But Is Digging Back To The Bumper

She Was Handled To The Left But Is Trying To Dig Back To The Bumper

Stopped Again

Stopped Again–The Poison Bird Bumper Is Behind Her

Finally Gave Up And Is Taking The Cast Away From The Bumper

Finally Gave Up And Is Taking The Cast Away From The Bumper

Once the dogs got past that poison bird bumper, the blind was still quite a distance back.  Storm needed one more handle to get to the blind.

Back Cast

On The Way To The Blind

Stopped And Recast Because The blind Is To The Left

Stopped And Recast Because The Blind Is To The Left

Storm Is At The Blind

Storm Is At The Blind

Heading Back

Heading Back

Phew That Was Tough

Phew That Was Tough

Finally Storm Got To Pick Up That Darn Poison Bird Bumper

Finally Storm Got To Pick Up That Darn Poison Bird Bumper

It wasn’t pretty but, it was good for Storm who has been known to work her own program on blinds and for her handler who was quick on the whistle and did a good job handling her to the blind.

Thanks so much to Darrin of Farpoint Retrievers for the fabulous training day.

15 thoughts on “Zigzagging To The Blind

  1. Wow that sounds complicated and it may have not been pretty but sounds like they got there. Brr still looks cold over there. We hope it is warming up nicely. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. I know I’m repeating what everyone else said, but WOW! Great photos and description. I’d be a bad dog… I’d want to go to the poison bumper, too.

  3. Congratulations to Storm and Thunder doing a great job on that difficult task. Freighter’s time will come, we think he is doing fantastic in his training. Beautiful pictures! Hugs and nose kisses

  4. Great job pups! Poor Freighter…he will catch on in time. Reminds me of my sister Bailie and obedience school, she always seems so close but just misses it.