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Summer is flying by! Already the summer solstice has passed. Our hunt test/field trial season is mid-way through. Last weekend I put on a mock hunt test for a group of friends. We ran junior and senior level. We'll be running hunt tests and field trials at the same location later in July. So we wanted to get up there and get used to the terrain again. And yes you can see the bottom of every pond, they are crystal clear. Turnagain Pass, Alaska.
 

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Wow is there anyone out there?


Ran Riot and Lucy last weekend in NAHRA tests. Riot in started and Lucy in hunter. Started is 5 singles, 2 on water, 2 on land, 1 on either. Started dogs walk to the line on leash, and they allow a cord around their neck at the line, but no collar. Hunter is double on land, double on water, and a trailing test (find a dead duck that's been drug through the brush). Hunter they allow a dog to walk to the line on leash, but they have to be steady with no leash or cord at the line.


Riot was perfect both days. He's super good at the line. He's good in the holding blind, although at every shot he hears, he jumps. He's ok walking to the line, as he leaps in the air. But other than that, since he's so good at the line, he was very easy to run. He's calm and focused and all business. So he passed easily both days. He's steady and easy to turn to the different marks, he follows my knee so nicely. He's just such a good boy. I think I deserve him after training Lucy (or trying to train her).


Lucy was perfect on Saturday. Had to handle her on the second water mark. She was confused on the peninsulas and islands where to go. She was excellent on every whistle sit and took every cast nicely. She got her ribbon. Sunday though was a different story. Good all the way to the second water mark again. She was running the bank and acting a little confused. So I sat her and handled her a couple of times. But being Lucy, she flipped me the paw after the second handle, and went back to running the bank to the bird. She went right to the bird. And in perfect Lucy fashion, she swam back to me with the bird. Ah Lucy, just when you think you've made headway, she reminds you that really you have a long way to go. So no ribbon on Sunday.


So we got 3 out of 4 ribbons. Dogs keep you humble don't they?


As a plug for NAHRA, they are a really nice group if you are looking for something a little different from AKC. You are allowed to talk to the dog at the line after you flag for the bird. And the judges will give you advise at the line after you run your dog. The judges stay after a test and discuss your runs with you if you want. It's nice to discuss what worked and didn't work.


I took the plunge and entered Riot in the last 2 derbies of our season. July 31 and Aug. 7. No more derbies up here until next June. So he'll be 9 months old this week, it's a little soon, but June 2017 is a long way off in the future. So what do we have to loose? Some money and time, and maybe some ego, but that's it.
 

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I think I figured the problem with Lucy picking up her second bird on water doubles. It's me not her, it's me. I had another friend that runs goldens explain it. He also has a fluffy golden. Here's the thought. Goldens in Alaska have it a bit rough. The water is super cold. You send your dog for the first bird. They come back very wet, especially Lucy with her very thick long coat. With a wet dog and a nasty bird, I've tended to take the bird from her as quickly as possible and keep her away from me while she shakes that cold water off her. So I don't take the time to bring her into a proper heel and line her up, take her bird, then send her. Instead, Once she gives me the bird I have a tendency to send her for her second bird without properly taking the time to line her up. So then she gets a bit confused because she hasn't had the time to line herself up. Then I ended up having to handle.

So I need to suck it up and put on some rain gear, go the line and run my dog properly. She'll be happier and I won't have to handle.

This was one of those DUH! Moments.
 

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Dang it's hot!
Getting in quality training is really difficult, especially when, as a working amateur, the biggest chunk of "free" time that I have is in the evening after work...but it's still hot then. Nonetheless, I do the best that I can, at least keep the pups in decent physical condition.
Before work, I'm doing my best to run the dogs on 2 - 3 land blinds, trying to set up "land blinds with a purpose."
After work (oftentimes during the 20 or so minutes after sunset that I can still see well enough), I'm running them on short, drill stuff, often in water (then putting them in their crates with the fans on full blast).
When's fall going to arrive?!
FTGoldens
 

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Stacey, do you line yourself up for the memory before receiving her from the first bird?

Maisey (and her lovely brother Flyer!) turned 1 yesterday. I had her home for a long weekend and drove her back down yesterday. I got to run her on three blinds and she did very well. She is so focused when working and I just love her attitude. I can't believe she is one.
 

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Hi Vivian,
I line myself up to the memory. But that's not good enough. I need to make sure the dog is sitting, lined up and focused on the location before sending. Looking back I was not doing that. Lucy doesn't like to sit for the memory bird, which is fine, I still need to be making sure she is lined up and is ready to go to that bird.


Vivian & Holly, it sounds like Maisey and Flyer are doing so well! Can't wait to see them in a test/trial. Wow only a year and running blinds so well. You both have moved along your puppies so nicely!
 

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We are in Virginia and have been training. Thanks to Claudia I have permission to train on a farm and I also got invited to train with another training group.

OK, Buffy is on the injured list and not training so my work is with Thor. We worked on his water work---angle entry and exit, some shore breaking, and I sneaked in a couple of blinds. And with Claudia's help, we improved his water exit.

Overall, having a great time and getting a lot done.
 

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Yesterday we did more work on Thor's water returns. He has been honest so far. Today I will do a Dobbs drill that should give me an opportunity to correct cheating. We also did some doubles that included land-water-land retrieves. Simple but for concept. Overall a good day.
 

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Back to New York. Buffy gets her stitches out today. Waiting for the vet's ok to give her some work.

Yesterday did some yard training with Thor. Hope to get out into the field this afternoon.
 

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MUCH TOO HOT!

We went out at 7:30 PM, did some simple yard work, and some retrieves---not far. It was still too much and Thor got hot pretty quick. Time to do less.
 

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UGH
Hot again today. I hope to do some yard training after obedience class tonight, at about 8 PM. Hopefully no thunderstorms.
 

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We had a terrific training session Friday afternoon. I haven't run Buffy in 3 weeks. We did a very tight double (actually just about an over/under) first thing out of the truck and she nailed it. We than ran some blinds.

Thor did a double and I was very happy with it. We followed with some yard work on casting. I am already planning for him for the rest of the week.
 
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