Diesels and my last training session gave us some good information about what to we need to work more on. The theme of the training was “working in an assigned area”. First we fired a few shots and put out two dummies per dog where the dogs could see them. We then walked away in a straight line, over a large field. When we had come some way, maybe 100 meters away because I wanted to practice long retrieves, a mark was thrown forward, whereupon I turned around completely and sent her on the retrieve behind us. When she had delivered that I sent her to retrieve the mark. The first and second time the retrieve went really well, but after that Diesel didn’t feel there was any point in running straight back to the first area anymore. Apparently I usually don’t send her to retrieve from the same area more than twice 😉 I went a little closer and got her out like I wanted, whistled a stop and finished off by rewarding the stop whistle.
After that we went up to the woods and practiced hunting an area and retrieving with a nearby mark as distraction as well as running straight over an obstacle, in this case two fallen trees. She managed very well five times out of six, even though the distraction was moved closer and closer.
To finish off, Diesel had seen another person walking in the woods some way off and I intended to send her retrieving in that direction, but not that far off. She stopped nicely on my stop whistle, but on the hunt whistle she went far off into the woods. I called her back and sent her again, and she did much better. On the next retrieve I wanted the same setup and asked for a mark behind the hunting area. I sent her, blew my stop whistle and then my hunt whistle and she listened perfectly and retrieved the pigeon. The problem instead became getting her past the game scent area to retrieve the dummy behind it… After getting a little bit closer and directing her she managed that as well, and I finished off with a retrieve through the scented area that went splendidly.
Today’s lessons on what to train more are thus:
- more long retrieves to the same area
- retrieves through old scented areas
- retrieves and hunting an area with distractions behind the hunting area