Saturday was an absolutely beautiful winter day.  It was sunny and warm for February in Michigan.  It was a perfect day to get out and do some training.

We picked a field near our cabin which we thought would be accessible and not too icy.  The snow has been melting fast up there, but the ground is still mostly frozen so there is a lot of standing water which refreezes each night as  the temperature drops below freezing.  Just as we hoped, the field was snow covered, but not icy.

This field is kind of narrow which makes it difficult to throw too many multiple marks.  However, it is a good field to run marks alternated with blinds which is what we set up.  Running marks and blinds in succession is good training for the dog running higher level hunt tests.

This is a rough drawing of one of our set ups.

Set-up For Our Training On A Beautiful Winter Day
Set-up For Our Training On A Beautiful Winter Day

We ran single  marks from either side of the field and across the road, then a blind over a road off to the side, and a blind right through the old marks.  Running blinds through or past marks is challenging because the dog will want to go back to where he picked up a mark and sometimes will ignore the handler directing him to the blind retrieve.  (Remember a dog watches a mark as it is thrown.  However, for a blind retrieve the dog does not see where the bumper is placed in the field and must be directed to it by the handler using arm signals to direct the dog.)

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Freighter Heading To A Mark
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Freighter Zooming Past Me
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Nice Job Freighter

Freighter did a nice job on the marks but they were not all that difficult.  He needs multiple marks, but we need a slightly wider field to work on that.  He also did a nice job on the blinds.  He looked off the marks when running the blind off to the side.  We set the blind so that he had to cross the road at an angle.  This can be difficult for a dog but Freighter held the line nicely.

Freighter also did a nice job with the blind up the middle of the field.

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Freighter Heading Out To The Blind
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Hubby Stopped Freighter With A Whistle When He Drifted Off Line
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Freighter Given An Angle Back
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Freighter Has The Blind

After Freighter ran this set-up, we moved down the field and ran some more in another spot.  It was good training and Freighter needs to burn energy.

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This Mark Was Thrown Over The Road
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Has The Bumper–Nice Job!

It was so warm that eventually I took off my coat and was throwing bumpers wearing just a fleece shirt.  No hat or gloves needed.  It was surely a beautiful winter day.

8 thoughts on “Training On A Beautiful Winter Day

    1. If it is any consolation, we should not be able to get anywhere near this field at this time of year. It has been an unusual winter. We get a bunch of snow, then it warms up and melts. Oh well we have been saving on propane at our cabin. 🙂

  1. We are having strange weather in our part of Canada as well. Love seeing how you train your boys. They do look like they are having fun!

  2. I’m so glad you were able to get out there! Conditions have been tough for a good part of this winter. All of our nice snow is melting, and then it’s going to get cold again so we’ll end up with ice.
    It was a beautiful weekend though, wasn’t it? We had to shed all of our winter wear when we went out snowshoeing too!

  3. Freighter has such beautiful extension!

    I’m glad you guys are able to get out and train again. I bet hubby was chomping at the bit as much as the Brown Dawgs!

    Weird winter here, too. It’s February, but everything is blooming. We only got one snow. Now I have spring fever, and I DO NOT WANT anymore snow!

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