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Well, blinds got worse before they got better.

I had trouble with no goes in Oct. and we stopped all water blind work and took land blinds back to easy well marked pattern blinds. The no goes stopped but Winter now no longer looked out as we set up to run a blind. She seemed to be convinced that heads up competition style heeling was the answer to all corrections.

To make a long story short we were busted all the way back to FTP set at 10 feet. We worked at getting Winter to look out at the pile on "Dead Bird". Once "Dead Bird" got a solid look out at the pile, I started increasing the distance to the pile. Then transferred to short well marked pattern blinds. It feels better running blinds now.

When Winter runs marks, she is very sure of herself. It never really felt that way with blinds. She would do the work, but at the line it took longer to settle her in, she seemed worried? Once kicked off, she took every cast. I thought she/we would get better at the line with practice. Instead it fell apart. The Pro trainer said the best thing to do is to take it all the way back and reset the foundation. Winter now looks out on "Dead Bird" is gathered and waiting to be sent. I have noticed that her lines are straighter now.
So we are allowed to run lining drills, our memory blinds, and cold blinds at 60-80 yards.
So it goes, two steps forward, one step back, but still hanging in there.

On a side note, through this we have been running marks. The other day, one of the guys complemented Winter on running marks like a Lab. She always runs hard to marks and that day she apparently did a very fast and efficient roll and scoop of her bird on a long mark. "Just like a Lab." That's my girlie!
 

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Oh Holly, how many times have I said 1 step back for every 2 forward, and sometimes 2 steps back for every 1 forward? It's just the way it goes.
I think blinds are a difficult concept for some dogs, for different reasons. For some it's a lack of confidence. For others it's too much hunting instinct. For others it's too much independence. Sometimes it's moving on too quickly.
But you guys will get there. We all will. We just need to stick with it!
 
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