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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
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      You can sure tell what we have been working on (and what we have NOT been working on)

      First picnic test of the season was yesterday. I haven't been in a test situation since our last JH run in August or September. I've been mostly doing yard work and obedience training.

      He was pretty great in the blinds, a little squirrely in the last one, but certainly nothing crazy. Walk to the line was typical and had to return to the blind a couple times due to pulling. If I had him off leash I would bet money he just would have walked to the line, sat and waited for me to show up or the bird to be shot, whichever came first.

      First mark was fine. Came back and all I could see was the feet of the bird -- like an old Warner Bros. cartoon when the cat gets the bird. It was the smallest pigeon I have ever seen. But then again, my dog has a big mouth and carries everything far back (hence the no tennis ball rule, only XL sized Chuck-it balls). Second mark was easily 125 yards with trees as a backdrop. I needed my glasses to see where the thing landed. He goes short, like in the old days when he first started out, and needed some help. Third mark was...complicated...and far. Bird comes down and makes a little splash on the opposite side of the finger and dog makes the mistake of thinking the splash is on our side of the finger, just three feet on the other side, so goes for a swim. Needs help. We go back and do the second mark again and this time he gets it. Cheaty water on both the last two marks and even the most experienced dogs went around.

      His obedience was perfect and his out and backs were energetic and enthusiastic but his marking was incredibly rusty. Never once popped or tried to come back to me, which for this mama's boy, is a very good thing. He persevered, but was too far off to let him hunt it up on his own. Funny thing, too, as I was focusing on obedience as I felt his marking was great but casting and whistle sits were behind schedule. Was good to get him out. He had fun and we made sure he was successful. Sometimes good to be reminded of what you need to be working on.

      Went straight from there to an obedience match. Boy still had plenty of energy, mentally and physically.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Those marks sound pretty tough. I'm not so sure they are a good measure of his marking ability. Kinda designed to trick the dogs which might have some usefulness in a Master series... but even then. So did the gunners "hey-hey" him to get him to drive out?

      Have you gone to the seminar yet???

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Those marks sound pretty tough. I'm not so sure they are a good measure of his marking ability. Kinda designed to trick the dogs which might have some usefulness in a Master series... but even then. So did the gunners "hey-hey" him to get him to drive out?

      Have you gone to the seminar yet???
      I think they were hard, but would have been a good measure of his ability when he is tuned up. I think it was a mix of being out of practice and thinking about it, he was a bit over-faced as he hadn't been in a hunt test environment in several months. Even going to the line he was a little checked out. Imagine a kid walking into Disneyland for the first time. It was like he couldn't hear or see anything, especially me! That mixed with difficult marks plus rustiness did him in. The gunners came out to help him when I asked, yes. Seminar is mid-July. I'm excited!

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