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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody else have a "drifter"?

What I mean is a dog that gets pushed by the wind. Although it happens on land, it's much more pronounced on the water.
And it's the wind; the mutt fights other factors quite well.
And it shows up on marks and blinds; both going out and coming back.
And this dog has very high drive/desire and is a strong swimmer ... but just won't/can't/doesn't know how to fight the wind.
And it's not that the mutt is avoiding big open water because she'll let herself be pushed into big, open water just as readily as she'll be pushed toward the shoreline.
I've tried running sight blinds to try to get her to understand that she may need to angle into the wind to get to the destination, but even those require lots of whistles to keep her anywhere near on-line.
I run cross-wind Tune-Up Drills and Chinese Drills with her, but the distances for those drills don't really allow the issue to fully manifest ... plus, with these drills there's the influence of the lines that she previously ran, so that may affect her lines to the subsequent blinds.
So if you've dealt with it, what have you done to fix, alleviate, or just mitigate drifting?
So if you haven't dealt with it, what are your ideas?

FTGoldens
 

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aka Shelby
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Shelly turned 3 years old a month ago so I think she is a year older than yours? Anyway, she was very very bad at fading with the wind and even now she can do it but over time she has gotten better. A lot of set ups where the wind puts them in a place of correction like a slope they square up behind the gunner. Water, would be drifting behind gunner and correcting for getting out too early. So I suppose over time she realized that if the wind pushes her she better be prepared for the consequences. Over time she outgrew it a lot more but still sometimes she lets herself go....Proof on the hand over compensates and will push too hard against the wind on water.

What does she does when you kick her off a point into the wind? Will she go?
 

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Wind is often the factor with that affects dogs the most. Water can be tricky, often dogs can't tell where they are in water due to the surrounding terrain.
We do a cross wind drill with three single stand out marks. Run them so the dog is taking a little more cross wind with each one and sometimes progressively longer too.
Long standout marks on a side hill with the wind and terrain both pushing the dog the same direction can help. Throw the mark uphill/upwind. The idea is that the dog will be consciously fighting the factors in route to the mark. Handle if the pup fades downhill.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
1. Water can be tricky, often dogs can't tell where they are in water due to the surrounding terrain.
2. We do a cross wind drill with three single stand out marks. Run them so the dog is taking a little more cross wind with each one and sometimes progressively longer too.
1. Yep, that's why I've tried sight blinds, so she'll have a clear, definite destination (sight blinds have worked with my other drifters ... this dog's grandma was a drifter, but not quite as bad).
2. I do that drill, but it's usefulness is somewhat limited because the push off the line to the mark that she just ran helps her avoid drifting ... I believe that the push from that line hides her lack of effort to fight the wind.

How's Jake? Are there any trials to run in your circuit or does COVID still have them all shut down?
 

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1. Yep, that's why I've tried sight blinds, so she'll have a clear, definite destination (sight blinds have worked with my other drifters ... this dog's grandma was a drifter, but not quite as bad).
2. I do that drill, but it's usefulness is somewhat limited because the push off the line to the mark that she just ran helps her avoid drifting ... I believe that the push from that line hides her lack of effort to fight the wind.

How's Jake? Are there any trials to run in your circuit or does COVID still have them all shut down?
Maybe spread them out more or run the drill so that the push from old marks adds to the push of the wind?

Jake is doing great, thanks.
Not yet open on EE but Blackhawk trial is a go for June 4th. Open, Am and Derby, no Q this spring. Must be more derby dogs than Q dogs among club members.

Hoping to run both Open and Am if I can get away from work.

Anything scheduled in your area?
 

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There's a trial with a Derby and an Open ...
... mine are aged out of Derby and not ready for an Open! :(
Moving in the right direction at least.
There will be a Q at the Tri-State Retriever club trial in Iowa, end of August.
Not sure about the judges, enter at your own risk.
 

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Still waiting here in MD. There is a double DQ scheduled for the June weekend of the 12th and 13th in VA. They are trying their best to get permits and wont cancel til the 1st of June. ( Day of closing on EE) After that I am waiting for a double DQ in the first part of August
 

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Enter the Open
I might avoid the heat but not the pros. You can learn a lot watching successful handlers and it's pretty cool if your dog shows that he belongs there, even if you don't place.

Yeah I hear ya. My dog was the first dog to run the open two weeks ago at Tall Pines. I love the shot the club got of them together!
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I like to start with simple "walk-around" water blinds on any windy day.
The idea is to condition pup to the expectation of a long swim directly into the wind... fighting the wind.
With pup, I plant an obvious bumper or 2 along a lake shoreline, then we circle back to the
opposite shore. Pup knows the bumpers are on the opposite shoreline, so pup is eager to go. Then a long swim directly into the wind, so pup eventually has a default behavior to fight the wind in water.

Some dogs seem to learn to enjoy a long swim fighting the wind to get that reward.
So the end of the blind should be obvious to pup.
I think a long swim is important because on blinds, I don't want pup to immediately smell a bumper and swim to it....only after a long swim will pup be smell the bumper.

After pup has been conditioned to a default behavior to a long swim directly fighting the wind,I think it is easier to teach pup to fight a crosswind. In this case, a tune-up type drill has worked for my dogs where each blind will be a cross-wind blind. I think repetition is important and pup seems to improve understanding after running 5-7 cross-wind water blinds in a tune-up drill. On blind 1 they may appear clueless and require lots of stop/cast, but by blind#7 it seems like they start to understand the crosswind concept.

It is easier for a dog to understand if the shoreline is close as they can understand the concept to fight the cross-wind and not to beach on the shoreline. Big open water cross-winds are more difficult for the dog to understand because there is no positional reference out in big open water.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Dave,

I like your idea of running some blinds directly into the wind ... it's something that I've not tried.

'preciate the suggestion!
 

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Dave,

I like your idea of running some blinds directly into the wind ... it's something that I've not tried.

'preciate the suggestion!
The first time my most experienced training mentor set up a blind into the wind I thought he had lost his marbles. It was one of the many training days when I learned more than the dogs.
It can be a huge confidence builder for a young dog to fight the wind for a good distance then wind the blind near the end.
 

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  • Sometimes I don’t have a choice but to run into the wind because of the way our training grounds are set up with the sun, time of day, wind direction etc. I used to hate running into the wind but gradually turned it into a positive. Yesterday was one of those days, 25 mph winds, had to train earlier in the day and wind blowing straight in. It was great for the pup doing long marks and the 3 yr old doing extra long blinds into the wind.
 

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I think it is important with youngsters not to tire them out running too many water blinds directly into the wind.
I often start with one long water blind into the wind and call it success and quit. Gradually they get stronger
and stronger with more endurance for big swims, but too much too soon may be counterproductive in terms of fatigue and water attitude. I also use an aquarium thermometer and want the water temperature above 60F...water is typically the warmest in late afternoon.
 
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