A couple of weekends back we were out training triples on cut alfalfa. We train on a farm which is currently planted in alfalfa. We are allowed to train on the alfalfa which makes for some nice cover to work. Of course periodically they need to cut it and they had just cut it a few days before we arrived to train so it was short. We would have liked a bit more cover but we wanted to use this field because it has a hill on one side and we wanted to use this feature in our triple.
This was our set-up:
We had some frozen ducks, so we were using them. Mark #1 was a walk-up mark. Walk-up marks are where the dog walks up to the line at heel and the bird is thrown in a surprise situation. There is no duck call to signal the bird is about to be thrown. There is a shot as the bird is thrown. Walk-ups test a dog’s steadiness. The handler is allowed to say “sit” once, or the handler can blow a sit-whistle once (and only once), as the bird is in the air. The dog must then stop and watch all the marks (birds) thrown before the dog can retrieve any of the birds.
Freighter has been burned on this a time or two so we practice it often.
After the walk up mark (mark #1) was thrown on the cut alfalfa, the other two marks were thrown up on the hill. The hill had longish grass cover. The marks were thrown as numbered and Freighter retrieved them in reverse order.
Here are a few photos of Freighter running the marks.
Freighter did fine on the first two marks; however, he had trouble with the short mark (mark #1). We call that kind of short mark a “dink bird”. Freighter was dinked by the dink bird. This is not the first time. Freighter has struggled with short marks this season which is why we set this triple the way we did. Training is all about working through weak areas and trying to improve. Freighter needed to be handled to this mark.
In addition to the triple, we also set out a bind which required Freighter to go in between the marks and over a road. It was pretty tight, but we wanted to really challenge Freighter.
Hubby wanted to get in a some handles on this blind and he did. Not too many though, because Freighter did a nice job on this blind.
It was slightly overcast and not too hot out, but with all that running, Freighter was getting heated up so we packed up and moved over to water. I will have those pictures in another post.