Whenever we set up training scenarios for the brown dawgs, we try to make them challenging but not so difficult that they cannot be successful. Sometimes we set up something that seems simple but it turns out not to be. We are training three dogs, so when all of them struggle with a set-up then we know our set-up was off. This was the case a couple of weeks ago when we set up a simple double, but apparently it was a mind blowing double.
We were using a field near our cabin. It is not a large field and in order to get some distance into our marks, we had been using it the long way. It is good to mix things up, so this particular time we set-up running cross ways on the field at a sort of diagonal.
The field is tree lined with a road running up one side. Our set-up required the dogs to cross the road. For Freighter and Storm we also added two blinds. The blind on the left was a fairly long blind which is not visible on the diagram. The challenge with that blind was a small tree in the field. The dogs needed to run past the tree to get to the blind. The tree acted as suction to suck the dogs off the path to the blind.
The double we set up did not seem that difficult, but it blew all three dogs’ minds.
Freighter was up first. The bumpers were thrown as numbered and Freighter retrieved them in reverse order.
It did not help that I threw bumper #2 into the tree. However that was not a problem for Freighter. He did a nice job on this mark.
Next Freighter was sent to retrieve bumper #1.
This bumper gave him a lot of trouble. He hunted around but could not come up with it.
Next thing you know, Freighter was in the trees looking for the bumper so hubby had to handle him to it.
Freighter did a decent job on the blinds so that was good. He was not perfect, meaning he needed a few casts to get to them, but he took the casts which was the point of these blinds.
Next up was Storm. Thunder and Storm did not run these as a double, but as back to back singles. They should have been a piece of cake, but they weren’t.
Storm watched as bumper #1 was thrown and she was sent to retrieve it.
So far so good. When it came to bumper #2, Storm ran out to get it…and ran right past it into the trees.
Storm hunted and hunted and finally after an extensive hunt, she came up with it.
Last it was Thunder’s turn.
Like Storm, Thunder had no issue with bumper #1.
Just like Storm, Thunder could not come up with bumper #2. He put on an extensive hunt in the trees. I finally had to fake a throw for him so he could find the bumper.
We are not sure why the dogs’ minds were blown by this double. It could have been that they could not see the bumpers against the trees. It could have been that there was no wind and they could not pick up the scent of the bumper and blew over them. Or it could have been that there was so much animal scent in the field that messed them up and drew them into the trees.
After this first set-up, we moved up the road and set up another double. The dogs may have muddled through the first set-up but they did a great job on the second set-up. So despite the mind blowing double, it was still a productive training day.