Working on directional skills and casting is so much fun! Being able to send the dog to run straight out from my side, to the left or right, or to turn and run in the opposite direction (push backs) feels awesome and fun. If you want to be able to trial with your spaniel or your retriever, casting skills are necessary. But it is also fun brainwork where the dog learns to really listen to you and where you get to solve tasks together.
You can vary the training indefinitely too. And you can make it super challenging or really easy.
We teach the directions using food bowls and targets (such as regular foot targets and platforms) and then we bring dummies into the game too. The great thing is that even if you don’t have solid deliveries yet, you can still work on casting.
Here are a few videos of our dogs, ranging in difficulty from easy to more challenging:
A simple casting exercise to work the brain a bit while on a walk (Tassla):
Quling’s first blind retrieve:
Push back with Quling:
Casting over obstacles (Seeker and Tod):