Winter training in the snow - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
Stacey

 
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Winter training in the snow

Every year it's a challenge to go so long without access to open swimming water. So I've been using Potter Marsh at the south end of Anchorage to mimic water. So here's what I came up with. There are 2 photos below. One of the view looking out across the marsh and the other is a google shot showing how I'm trying to run my dog. I'm trying for snow - brush - snow - brush, you get the idea. So I've been trying to set up marks that force the dog to go through snow then brush/reeds in a straight line. No cheating. Because the view is flat, there are no hills to run the dog from, the dog is really having to mark super well. The weather is very cold so the bumpers don't have much smell, so they are really forced to rely on their eyes. We use black/white bumpers and make sure to not have the dog face the sun and we try to throw very high. Then the next day we threw similar marks with orange bumpers. We started at 75 yards and extended farther from there. This is super hard for the dogs. The length of the yellow line on the photo is 465 yards.
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~ Stacey with Hunter, Lucy and Riot, missing Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
Stacey

 
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I was very happy that Riot didn't cheat. On the blinds he had a terrible time. His brain just couldn't understand how to run a blind out there in all the confusion. So I shortened them up to get him successful.
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~ Stacey with Hunter, Lucy and Riot, missing Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 07:16 AM
aka Shelby
 
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I see what you are trying to do, that is smart. At least use the cover in that way, good thinking!

Proofers got his steak for a job well done!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
Stacey

 
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MOP,
I wish there were hills to run the dogs from. I'm standing at the parking lot which is a little higher than the marsh. But there is a 55 mph highway right behind me, and I just don't want anything to go wrong, so we didn't run from the parking lot. By not being up a little bit in elevation, it was really hard for the dogs to get a read of the location of the bumpers. Plus the cold makes it just about impossible to smell them either. When the pups are young I usually scent them with oil of anise, but that was last winter.

Saturday in class it was 13 degrees and the winds were 25 mph and gusting to 40 mph. It was super cold. Not a lot of snow on the ground the wind in that area blows it mostly away. We trained in a potato field. Lots of dogs had problems finding the marks. There is no scent and what little there is, is blown away. Riot was awesome and had no issues. We did have a Christmas present from the pro, and each dog got a live flyer duck. I missed my shot on one and it got away into the brush on the far side of the field. So after class, I was able to turn Riot loose and have him hunt it up and chase it down. He was so happy! The duck went back into the bird box and Riot went home with a smile on his face. Lots of nice field goldens today. It was so nice to see the next group of up and coming goldens for hunt tests and field trials. Next summer's HT/FT season is going to be good for goldens!

~ Stacey with Hunter, Lucy and Riot, missing Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
Stacey

 
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I took a photo on Saturday of DH. He was kind enough to come and throw and shoot. My shooting was horrible, so DH took over. I'm so glad he was there. The winds were so fierce we couldn't hand throw the ducks because we couldn't get them more than 8' off the ground. So we used a winger. Ugh. I hate loading ducks in wingers, but it worked.

Riot and I have been working only on "hold" for the last couple of weeks. No other drills. Just "hold". We started back at the beginning. Since he knows hold, I'm not ear pinching, I'm using a heeling stick. He has been a pain in the neck with head ducking at the line and not wanting to give up the bumpers or he starts chomping on the bumper. So I've been trying a variety of pressure methods to get him to hold nicely and drop nicely. So far touching his rump with a heeling stick is working. I've been working him on both sides and in front every morning in the garage and outdoors. On Saturday I did it at class in the field when he could hear the shotgun blasts and the ducks quacking. He had to work through all that and pay attention to me. I never thought I'd be back at Hold, but here I am. I need to clean everything up before the season starts back up in May. I don't want any loose threads giving us problems.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and holiday season.
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~ Stacey with Hunter, Lucy and Riot, missing Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Went to the marsh yesterday and trained marks and blinds. For the blind we had a pile of frozen ducks and bumpers. Marks were all bumpers. Riot lined every blind, those ducks must have gotten his attention. But when I turned and ran him for his marks after the blinds, he had no problem picking up bumpers. In the past I had a problem turning him from a mark to a blind and vice versa. He liked to pick for himself what he wanted to pick up. So Yesterday it didn't matter what I sent him for, he did not switch or decide he wanted something different. He of course brought all the ducks back first on the blinds, but after the ducks were all gone, he still picked up the bumpers without a problem at the blind pile. He's growing up! Still not a cheater either. He's getting good at running from either side. But he's such a super fast dog that I can't get him to sit long enough on a blind to get much more than, "Dead" out and then he's gone! So I hung onto his collar yesterday to make sure he heard Dead Bird Back, before he left. With Riot, do not send him without your whistle in your mouth. He is so fast you will have no chance of stopping him in time if you have to reach for your whistle. He's such a joyful playful dog! And he gets along great with all other dogs and people. Lucy is bugging me to go training. Sometimes I do little handling with her in the yard picking up items around the house. She loves the interaction for a minute, and then she doesn't. And then we remember why she doesn't go to field training anymore. Next summer we'll finish her spaniel title. She doesn't need me to be there for that spaniel title, anyone could handle her, it's all dog and the human really isn't that important. I may have a friend run her instead.

~ Stacey with Hunter, Lucy and Riot, missing Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
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