Up And Over A Wall

Our training group consists of dogs at various levels in their training, from puppies to Master dogs.  Our trainer adjusts each set-up based on the training level of the dog.  So for example, last Saturday Freighter did not run the first set-up as a poison bird mark with a blind.  Instead he ran it as a simple double.  One mark on the frozen pond and the second hand thrown from the line.

The second set-up was another poison bird mark with a blind.  The younger dogs, like Freighter, ran the mark first as a single and then the blind.  The mark was thrown off to the right hand side of the frozen pond and the blind was set on the back side of an island in the pond.

Second Set-up--Poison Bird Mark And A Blind

Second Set-up–Poison Bird Mark And A Blind

Our trainer warned us about several pitfalls to this set up.

First, to get to the mark the dogs had to run past the blind on the back side of the island and they might they get a whiff of the bumpers as they ran by it.  For the very young dogs, the thrower was instructed to be ready to get the dog’s attention and toss another bumper to get them out to the mark.  For Freighter, his handler was ready to handle him to the mark if he showed that he was going to turn to the orange bumpers on the back side of the island.

Freighter took off and his nose went up in the air as he passed the island, but he did not turn and kept going for a nice retrieve.

Freighter Heading To The Mark

Freighter Heading To The Mark

Just To The Edge Of The Island But Freighter Kept Going

Freighter Smelled The Blind But He Kept Going

Good Dog

Good Dog

Now to the blind.

Our trainer explained that running a mark next to a blind may act to pull a dog back over to the mark and away from the blind since a dog cannot see the blind and has no idea where it is placed in the field.  The dog will want to go back to the spot he knows he found a bumper rather than an unknown spot.

With this particular blind, there was an added challenge.  The blind was placed on the back side of the island which is a steep hill and the dogs see it as a wall.  Younger dogs may not want to takes casts up that “wall”.

Just like Storm on the first set-up, Freighter did a lot of zigzagging in front of the island before he finally took the casts over the hill.  It kind of looked like this with the dark orange line representing Freighter’s path.

Freighter Did A Lot Of Zigzagging

Freighter Did A Lot Of Zigzagging

Some pictures of his work:

Lining To The Blind

Freighter Lining To The Blind

Headed Off

Headed Off

He Hears A Whistle

He Hears A Whistle

Puts On The Brakes

Puts On The Brakes

He Is Swinging His Head Which Is A Sign He Is Confused

He Is Swinging His Head Which Is A Sign He Is Confused

Whistle Sit

Looking At His Handler

Another Cast But He Is Has Changed Direction Again To Avoid "The Wall"

Another Cast But He Is Has Changed Direction Again To Avoid “The Wall”

Really Confused

Really Confused

Still Confused--He Wants To Go Back To Where He Picked Up The Mark

Still Confused–He Wants To Go Back To Where He Picked Up The Mark And Avoid “The Wall”

Up One The Hill And Another Whistle Sit

Up On The Hill And Another Whistle Sit

Success

Success

He Has The Bumper

He Has The Bumper

And Is Headed Back

And Is Headed Back

It took a bit to get him over that hill, but we were pleased that he got there in the end.  He needs these kinds of challenges.

For comparison, Storm also ran this set-up.  She watched the mark, but did not retrieve it until after she ran the blind.  She had three handles to that blind which was excellent.  She has a lot more experience under her belt than Freighter.  It showed on this blind.  Of course when she was sent to retrieve the mark, she forgot where it was and needed a cast to put her on it.  Oh well.  She is still rusty from being off for the winter and she did well on the more difficult concept.

16 thoughts on “Up And Over A Wall

  1. Poor Freighter’s confused face in “Really Confused” makes me want to hug him! I love that he has the confidence in himself and his trainers to keep trying!

  2. I love reading these posts! I have dabbled in a lot of dog sports but I know nothing about hunt training or really, retrievers at all. It’s super fascinating to read about your training process :)

  3. Freighter did great. Heck, even I was confused there some. :) It may have taken a little work, but that really did seem like a tough one. I’m sure Storm will shake off that rust soon enough too….it’s been a long winter for everyone!

  4. Good job sweet Freighter, we knew you would make that hill. Sorry to hear you all have more snow coming. We have cold coming tonight but nothing falling from the sky. Stay warm and hopefully the snow will all go away soon and you all can enjoy some nice spring weather. Hugs and nose kisses

  5. Oh nice work Freighter, what a good boy! Not an easy challenge at all! And your photo’s are gorgeous.
    Hugs, Carrie (Myfie, Ellie and Millie) x

  6. Hey Freighter,

    I think you did pawsome buddy! I would have had NO chance with that! You must have a lot of insulation in your coats? It looked pretty cold out there?

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)