For those playing along at home, who may not know what this drill is, BB Blinds aka Bird Boy Blinds is one of the earliest Transitional drills we commonly use to transition from pattern blinds to cold blinds. It's a progressive drill, in which each blind is planted individually by a helper whom we call a "bird boy" in this application. I'll outline more detail soon, but first to our questions.Hey! Okay so I have to report on my assignment
Weather is cooperating so today my training partner and I went out and had a go at BB blinds.
I think we ran it correctly. I used little red Home Depot flags to mark the places of the bumpers, mainly for us so we knew where to walk to, and orange bumpers. The dogs clearly could see neither because several times they blew by them within feet and we had to stop and handle in to them.
Both dogs would focus on the BB but once sent in the right direction the BB was no longer a factor.
I hope this will help your next fieldwork. BB Blinds work best on closely mown, flat (if possible) fields like parks so each bumper is clearly visible to you and to the dog. There should be only one bumper planted at a time.
Start your drill each time with white bumpers, not orange. Also, start with very short blinds that the dog can see from the line. You're building the kind of confidence that will grow into a steady expectation of success. Each time your dog leaves the line he should expect to meet with success. Only change to orange when the dog is driving his lines hard and straight and for more distance.
Your bird boy walks a course at your direction that makes each blind just a bit longer than the previous one. Watch this clip and let me know if this makes more sense.
Keep corporal corrections to a minimum, and be slow to use your e-collar. I'm not chewing you out. The dog does need to go, stop, and come as commanded. If he's doing that he's working with you. It is vitally important that you praise your dog for doing the right thing.The only thing I had to correct Fisher on was at one point, he tried returning to the previous bumper's spot, I blew the whistle, he ignored it, I blew it again and nicked, no reaction, BLEW IT AGAIN and burned on a high 3 -- at this point he was within a few feet of the old spot (where there was no bumper) and finally stopped when he saw it was not there.
Very good. Attrition is a great tool.I called him in and resent him for the correct one (at this point they were 80-100 yd blinds) and he handled very nicely, two casts and he was there. I feel bad for burning him but he was clearly blowing me off.
It's one of my favorite drills, both for transition and for maintenance.I really like this as it allows us to do many blinds in one setting, and removes all the factors -- it is rank lining and handling and we need that.
In the early going, I run them every day for about 10 days to two weeks. then just mark for a few days to give them a break, and so that this does not become a parlor trick. You want to give your dogs a generalized set of skills they can use anywhere.My question now is, how often do you run these, I know it's not a drill like the T or something that you can say, I've done it and perfected it and now we're done, I see this as something that can be used throughout the dog's career.
Thanks again for your encouragement and I am curious to hear your response!
How are we doing so far?