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the party's crashing us
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Long time no type.
We've had an exciting week around here.
I've slowly but surely worked my way through the flowchart with Brix during his transition. We deserve a medal for making it through pilework and finishing double T. In the summer. In Florida. With a show golden. Boom.
This winter I taught him his pattern blinds, which he learned pretty easily.
I did two sessions of blind drills, but could never find anyone to come through marks (diversions) on my pattern blind field. BUT a few times I've seen in Brix what I knew meant he was ready to move on and start running cold blinds. And no matter how prepared you think you are, it is a giant leap of faith for the dog, and a big fat gut check for the trainer, to one day go out and run cold blinds. For real cold blinds. But we made that leap this week and after four sessions I am THRILLED with how Brix has handled it (pun intended). Each day I've set out three blinds 90º apart in a giant open field with little cover, basically no factors, and wind at our backs. The blinds are 100-150 yards long.
Every time Brix has lined up, looked right out, and with little fuss I've sent him on BACK and he takes off like a shot. Which really, is the biggest hurdle!!!!
The first day he was ALL OVER THE PLACE and I handled up a storm. Half the whistles he blew through, half the casts he didn't take, one of them he winded from a mile away, but whatever, we got through them!
Since then he's lined TWO OF THE THREE blinds each day and every day his handling on the blind he doesn't line has gotten better and better. Now when I say "line," it's not a perfect straight arrow, but he was never off enough for me to stop him, and he saw it at the end and ran and got it. I am using orange stakes to mark the blinds. Today he lined the first two blinds, on the third one I stopped him about 40 yards out, gave him an over cast, he carried it about 20 yards then veered back online by himself and carried it all the way to the blind. WOOHOOOOOOO It's like a lightbulb went off and he knows there's something OUT THERE. Very pleased with our progress, Brix' understanding so far, and enthusiasm.

Now, I met a friend today who wanted to work on blinds with her golden bitch. Her dog is the same age as Brix (they are just a month apart in age) but she is already QAA with a Qual win and Master Hunter!! Blinds are her weak spot though, she likes to go rogue :)

I don't know if there's a name for this setup, but today we set a gunner out in a chair at about 125 yards, and planted a bumper 10 paces directly in front of him. After picking that up, the dog was sent for a much longer blind, about 300 yards, just slightly to the left and deep of the gunner. As in, they need to just skim past where they picked up the first bumper, and a sitting gunner. It was very interesting. I ran Bally first. Bally and Mya did basically the same thing, but in different ways. Her behavior was more exaggerated, but she's a younger, more energetic dog, and less experienced running blinds. Both dogs picked up the gunner blind with little fanfare. When I sent Bally for the long one, which was essentially the same initial line, he ran more slowly and with his ears back for about the first 50 yards. Then he picked up speed and started to veer away from the gunner. Which is not unexpected...he's trying to be good and stay away from where he just picked one up. I had 3-4 handles on the blind, all to the right to get him in tighter toward the line. When sent for the long blind, Mya actually ran about 20 yards and SPUN, then took off in a nonsense direction, completely avoiding the situation! She had to handle up a storm to get past the gunner, then she was okay, although still wanting to run wide of the gunner. I think seeing this same picture over and over again would probably teach the dog the concept and they'd be more comfortable with it. I do not frequently run blinds with gunners in the field with Bally, and I know it's been probably two years since he's seen this setup of the first blind at the gunner's feet.

Anyways...trying to field train more...what's up guys!
 

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Jamie
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467 Posts
Super fun to read! Excited to see what you and Brix accomplish this year!

Rio and I are just entering cold blinds as well. We did a couple sessions of walk around blinds but he's got a great memory and always lined about 90% of them. So with Tim's approval (my trainer) we got the go ahead to start doing cold blinds! I have also introduced doubles recently and he picked that up really great. Definitely excited for the water to open up around here so I can do swimby and decheating. Since it still gets dark around here relatively early I save all gunner thrown marks for the weekend and just do stand alones during the week. We definitely fell behind with marks over the winter so I'm trying to play catch up and make sure he gets at least a couple marks during the week. Things I'm going back to the drill field for are loopy whistle sits and the occasional "I'm looking at you why do I need to sit as well" issues. Overall, I'm super happy with how he is progressing. We will definitely be skipping started level tests and going straight to seasoned.

Snow and ice are still an issue here so my distances aren't as long as I'd like. My hunt test club is actually holding an upland test (HRC) in a week and at a club training day I got out Rio for fun just to expose him to some flyers. My original intent was to run Fisher in the test, but after he flopped and Rio did amazing I decided to try training Rio up for it. Rio LOVES upland training, he has an auto sit on the flush and shot that make my life a lot easier (because my handling is not great with a gun). Boy does he give you a look though if you miss the bird, he is not happy when they fly away lol! You can see the wheels turning in his head as to whether or not he should give chase to try and get it himself! At the insistence of my training group, I actually have him entered in the test next weekend (4 different runs). Never would I have guessed I'd be entering a ten month old in a finished level upland test, but here we are!
 

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I don't know if there's a name for this setup, but today we set a gunner out in a chair at about 125 yards, and planted a bumper 10 paces directly in front of him. After picking that up, the dog was sent for a much longer blind, about 300 yards, just slightly to the left and deep of the gunner. As in, they need to just skim past where they picked up the first bumper, and a sitting gunner.
Nicely done K9-D!
I don't know what the setup is called (and it needs a name!), but around here the test is attributed to Dennis Bath.
And thanks for the reminder, I need to work on it to my youngsters.
FTGoldens
 

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Don
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189 Posts
This was a nice read.Just started Boyce on her blind retrieve, so far so good. I think her previous owner must have done some hunt work with her because she toke to it fast.
Lining her up for mark is a wizz.Hoping to do some trials with her this fall but we'll see
 
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