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  • Results 1 to 5 of 5
    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      A Featureless Field... oh, NO

      -june-27th-jpg

      I know from my reading, that fields mowed in strips are bread and butter for training retrievers. But we have few of them available to us. Nevada is not known for it's agriculture. Some ranching, but not a lot of farms. Consequently we train a lot on open range that is full of sage brush. I would wager that our sage choked, hilly, (super) windy terrain would give dogs from the East fits. But our dogs seem to mark off bushes and clusters and develop pictures in their heads that they refer to whenever studying their birds going down.

      So today was very different for them. We were in a flat field with a little oblong pond. It was medium high grass that was mowed in strips. No wind. (Just hot!) The longest distance was maybe 150 yards. And our experience demonstrates why we need to do this more often.

      The little oblong pond didn't add that much except to proof our water forcing (and keep the dogs from over-heating). All of our dogs cut the angles pretty well. But they just got themselves all confused in the rows of grass on the marks. In contrast, the blinds were not much of a problem.

      So based upon yesterday's experience, I was mainly interested in how Bridget would work with me on the line. It was much better. No bugging. I won't tell you her marking was great. But... her marking was fine yesterday. I wanted her to follow her falls to the ground and move with me. We took them right-left-middle. As far as teamwork on the line went, she did fine.

      Rocket Dog in the hands of the pro is learning a great deal. Again today she was handed a double. (Left hand bird and flier.) She was steady* and in all honesty, she marked pretty darned well. Still, since this is new to her, she is still getting locked on to the gunner she sees when she exits the holding blind. Her blind work showed that she needs to have swim-by. That's what would have happened if we hadn't lost access to our technical pond.

      *"Steady" for us means steady like a rock. No creeping. No vocalizing. This was not a tremendous "breaking" test. But even so, 2 weeks ago, she would have been dancing all over the place.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      IRISHWISTLER's Avatar
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      TuMicks,
      Sounds like ye Rocket Dog is making important strides. Certainly a dog that is rock steady will mark more accurately and is a much nicer / more safe dog to share a blind with.

      I enjoyed ye perspective of the "featureless" terrain ye work in and agree that it might play some tricks on the heads of dogs not of the region.

      Cheers,
      THE DOG WHISTLER
      TEAM TRAD PRO STAFF
      DUBLIN DUCK DYNASTY

      Joanie Madden, Mary Bergin, Adrea Coor, and Nuala Kennedy, each an Irish whistle goddess in her own right.

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Now I know why the folks that run the Master National go to the area it's being held and train on their terrain beforehand. I love the photos of the area around you. Beautiful.

    4. #4
      Best Friend Retriever
      Anna Scott's Avatar
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      We often run in cut hay, corn and grain fields. Corn stubble gives the young dogs the most challenge. The line is always situated so that they have to make the decision not to run down the cut rows. At one trial the stake was to be run in a large featureless field. A friend thought his dogs would do really well until he came to the line. The judge had had the marshal cut some saplings and brush and placed it strategically around the field. Poor Carl, his dogs ping ponged off everyone of them.
      Our back fields are used only for dog training so when the grass gets long I have my husband cut it in a random pattern so the dogs have some ins and outs. The first time I ask him to cut it like this he was really reluctant. He said it looked like some drunk had done it.

    5. #5
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Anna... that's funny. Just another example of a spouse putting up with our madness.

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