Last Saturday we decided to attend group hunt test training. Little did we know it would turn out to be a foggy training day.
We made a spur of the moment decision to go because it was sunny and warm for January (around 40 degrees). Unfortunately when we got there it was foggy. Very foggy. There is so much moisture in the ground which is still cold. Add warmer air and you get fog. We thought it would lift, but it never did.
Hubby has not been to group training since his surgery last September. If you follow the blog, you know that last summer Freighter earned 3 of the 5 passes needed for his Master Hunter title. After hubby had surgery, Freighter’s training was put on hold. Hunting season was also cancelled.
We were not really sure how Freighter would do with such a long layoff from training.
He was pretty excited to be there.
The first thing up was a couple of blind retrieves. For blind retrieves, the dogs do not know where the training bumpers are placed out in the field and must follow their handler’s direction to get to them. The bumpers were set up in a line at the edge of the field. The dog was directed to retrieve the closer bumper first and had to push past that closer bumper to retrieve the farther one. This is hard for a dog because they want to go back to the place they already got a bumper.
Freighter was very rusty and not really taking the line hubby gave to him.
Next up were double marks which are bumpers thrown so the dog can see where they fall. The dog needs to watch and then remember where they are to retrieve them. When you run blind retrieves and marks in the same field, it can mess with the dog’s memory. On this particular day, it was such a foggy training day that at times I could barely see the people throwing the bumpers. I have drawn lines to represent the direction the bumpers were thrown.
Even though it was difficult for the humans to see the throws, dogs have good vision and good noses. They know.
As the day went on, Freighter seemed to get back in the swing. He had a good day despite the fog. We had fun and it was nice to spend time with Freighter’s first trainer and to see some friends.