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March is already here! The winter is flying by.

Riot is doing well. Slowly working through "hold". Don't want to go too fast. His overall obedience is really nice. I'll have to get a video of his recall. His marking continues to improve. He is not happy when I train Lucy, so he's having to learn to be quiet while I train her. It's good for him to learn he's not the center of the earth. He is steady when other dogs are not around. I can sit him and walk 100' and throw a bumper and release him. Amazing at 18 weeks he can be steady already. DH is involved with training this pup. So that's been nice to discuss ideas and solutions with him.

Lucy is competing in an obedience trial this weekend. We are in Novice B, Grad Novice, and Rally Advanced. I've finally figured out she's not treat driven, but play driven. So getting a bumper out and throwing it, gets her excited and heeling so much better. Lately we've been working yard drills and hot blinds. Her retrieves have always been excellent and her marking has always been stellar. Now I'm hoping that maybe we can start running in senior this summer. I'll definitely finish her senior upland this summer with ease. Maybe start her on master upland. It's those darn blinds that we are weak on. Plus she's developed this habit of breaking on blinds and retrieves. Ugh! I'm hoping the water thaws soon and we can get in some water work next month. She's spayed now so no more canceling for heat cycles. But I will miss showing her...

My concentration will be Riot. Lucy will be Lucy and she's probably never going to go a lot farther than where she is. Riot though, who knows? We have 7 golden puppies that will be ready to run derbies this summer or next. That's a LOT of nice field goldens in Alaska at one time to be running derbies. Our normal derby field is 10-12. Having 6 or 7 show up for a derby would be an amazing sight. If it happens, I'll be sure to get them all lined up for some nice photos! Won't that be cool!
 

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Good day today. Ran Thor on a double. We are building confidence on doubles. Then ran two long singles that were up over a hill, across a path, and then downhill a bit. He carried over the hilltop and nailed each mark. We are building on concepts.

Buffy did a triple. We haven't done one for a while and she did well.

Ordered Carol Cassity's book. Should be here soon. My library is growing.
 

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Nothing new over here. The sun is out so LOTS of water work to make up for a lack of it during the past few months. Lots of conceptual singles as well. Monday Proof cheated a sliver of water on a mark and got in trouble. Yesterday same sort of mark and he went a little fat into the water. Message received for the week, ha ha. That little punk! Working on control on blinds after 150 yards as well. Today no training due to appointments. Proof is following me everywhere, wondering when we are leaving to train...that dog loves to work more than anything else. Well, except food, maybe...but it would be a draw I think. I forgot to say on Friday at that test, Proof heeled to the line and then caught the scent of the judge's sandwich. I had to get him back into heel. The judges were laughing. Goldens and food!
 

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Cold and windy today and I didn't want to train. BUT I put on my longjohns and went out. I did walking singles with both dogs to warm them up. I then did some doubles with Thor and started to school him in what happens when you creep.

Buffy ran some blinds where there was some suction. And I took the opportunity to do a casting drill. My mentor's words were ringing in my ears: "Don't give up. Stop her and cast her again. Do it until she takes the cast you give."

Overall, a very productive day.
 

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Well, with our first trial is coming up in a week, I've got to focus on our greatest needs (or those "OMG, I haven't trained on ______ since last fall" concepts).
While we are improving on our poison bird blinds, that's still something that needs refinement...I want my pup to know that when I say "dead bird," that means that there's at least one blind to pick up before the mark ... it's cool when after the mark goes down and you say "dead bird," the dog instantly changes modes and indicates that it realizes a blind is going to be run.
My biggest OMG concept is a short retired mark with a long suction mark directly behind it. That's a concept that needs frequent training/reminding.
And it never hurts to run a few slot blinds (hint: I've begun telling my pup "slot" or "find the slot" when running slot blinds ... it seems to be sinking in).
Ahhh, one more OMG ... a blind where it's placed at the bird boy's feet (I hate these blinds, but they are fairly common these days, so you have to train for them).
WOW, it sounds like a busy weekend!
FTGoldens
 

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the party's crashing us
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I've seen two of those run as the Open land blinds both at my local club the past few years.
 
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Saw it at a master test last summer that I shot for. The series led off with a blind. As the dog picked up the bird, we had to shoot a live flier as a distraction bird. Then we threw a triple. Finally a blind in from of the bird boy. Lastly the dogs were allowed to pick up the live flyer we had shot at the beginning. That was all in the first series. Very low pass rate.
 

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In Master tests, I've seen blinds planted in front of a holding blind and another planted 3 feet to the right and 6 feet behind a holding blind. In both cases marks were thrown out of the holding blinds. We train for it.
 

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didnt train yesterday was cleaning up from living like a Hobo for a month in south GA but sat was a blast!

Belle and I went with MOP husband and daughter and Kat to a continental pheasant shoot. Belle picked up 12-13 birds think kat picked up 8-9 birds. Belle got a lot of work flushing birds that landed inside the circle of shooters chased cripples even jumping and grabbing one out of the air that was trying to take off. found some dead ones and flushed a bird after the shoot was over that had gotten away.

bodey is with a pro for now he is looking really good and i just dont have to time or the bird boys to get the job done. went and saw him Thursday and the first setup was a double order was thrown short bird then long bird. he hammered an ~200yard go bird then came and did the most absolute perfect check down memory bird. when i say perfect he got about 10yards from the bird and started looking and smelling right up to the bird, never over ran it just perfect.
 

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Last weekend Riot had his first ducks. We were very careful to have a plan before we ran him. He is possessive of his bumpers, especially when he is more excited. So we put him on a super long long line. Really long. It was an interesting discussion of how to keep his head up so he couldn't put the bird down and start pulling feathers. And to keep him coming back to the line without running off with his prize. We didn't discuss whether he would pick up the bird of course, we had no doubts in that! So first a chukar, then 2 ducks. Perfect on all 3. Reeling him in was a bit of work since he wanted to head off past us with his bird. Kept his head up and he did drop every bird at the line instead of eating them. Good puppy! It's really funny being back at this point again with a pup. 3 years ago I was here with Lucy. Now the new guy. Both puppies loved their birds immediately. I'm sad when I see people working to get their dogs to pick up a bird or bring it to the line, or even keep it in their mouths. So far with Lucy, Reilly and now Riot, I've never had that problem.

Ran Lucy on a double that day. She was just fine. The wind was howling the dust was blowing. Someone took photos and every one of them her eyes are closed from the dust getting into her eyes. She has a great nose and didn't need her eyes anyway. She did break, but I was prepared. So hopefully we're getting that under control. She's been breaking a lot lately. I get her back every time, but dang I want her to stop that noise.

Then I wasted the rest of the weekend with Lucy at an obedience trial. She titled in rally, which isn't a big deal for her. But obedience is painful for her. She just flips me the paw and isn't interested anymore. I had her retrieving birds earlier in the day and thought that would make her more happy, but not at all. I thought we'd get to Open, but now I don't think so. Maybe when she's older. Her sire didn't get an Open title until he was 8... So now she is Wiseman Wildfire Grayling Fish On JH WC CD RA. We'll see what we can get accomplished this summer.
 

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since we took some time off hunting and i was out of town for a month working belles blinds have slipped a little. her casts have not been as good as they were so yesterday did a long distance casting drill to carry a cast for a longer distance than she has been. got some corrections for taking the wrong cast early on but by the end she was getting better may do something simular but at longer distances then run some more blinds and with this nice weather i got to get out and hit some water marks!
 

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The weather has gotten so much warmer down here, doing lots of water work and upping some of Proof's concepts. He had a retired gun again the other day, he did great. Introduced it as an easy bird, then came back and watched it as a double throw, ran a blind to the side, came back and picked up the easy bird again which was now retired and then the long bird. He nailed the retired bird, didn't seem to be bothered that the gun was missing the second time around. Happy for him.
He seems like he is learning more and more on water. yesterday he had a faux triple in the shape of an indented triple. All in big big water. The first mark was so exciting to me. It was a majorly cheating mark. He jumped in a little fat (yay because at his stage in the game it shows me he is learning to get into water fast) then swam past a jutting piece of bank swam way past the gun and got out where I thought the bird had landed. He pulled himself out and then all the sudden jumped back in. I thought what the heck? Then he swam maybe two strokes and got back out right where the bird was! I perceived this as major insight on the part of Proof. He is putting together that he shouldn't get out early. Where he did get out was entirely acceptable but when he saw the bird was a few steps further instead of getting it on land, he got in the water!! This makes me so excited!! He has so much more to learn but man this is a major step in the right direction! And his second mark he swam all the way out, past the first gun to the middle gun. This was a 140 yard swim! And he just kept swimming. He looked at that gun as he past but not too bad, he also looked at the bank and for a second I thought he swerved towards it but readjusted, swam close to the bank past the gun and then out right where the bird had landed, got out go his bird and got back in the same spot.


The day before he also had a super meaty set up with two guns out on the technical pond ran as singles first mark in front of a mound and cutting corners left and right. He took perfect lines, even running up and over the mound so fast that he caught air and floated for second. It made me gasp! He didn't avoid that mound which was quite an obstacle in which he could have simply ran around it. All of these things are exciting and show him moving in the right direction. I hope that he continues to do well and keep learning!! Some days he has more learning than others, but some days its so nice to see that learning come to fruition.

It really surprises me that these dogs are so smart that they can learn concepts that are kind of ambiguous. To me, teaching a dog to do obedience is different as I can kind of show them what to do. You are right next to them and you can lure them with food but when a dog is 200 yards out in water no less and you teach them them things like where they shouldn't get out and they start to put it into practice in entirely new locations and scenarios it just blows my mind! And this isn't to put down any other sports they are all challenging with unique difficulties, this is just so crazy that you can get a dog to learn things like this in the field. Especially where they can ultimately just go bananas and run off if they wanted.
 

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SUPER COOOOOOOOOOOL report Shelby!!! Proof rocks. You're so lucky to have the great training opportunities you have AND a GREAT dog to be your partner!!!

We've had great, productive training the past few weeks. Today was walking singles, two HUGE water marks (one a 100 yard entry + 100 yard swim, the other about a 200 yard mark over two points), and one short water mark thrown on an island. Bally stepped on everything.

They posted the running order for our first Master test. Instant butt clench. This weekend I really want to run some blinds and I have a big double picked out I want to run. Next week we'll do some setups and hopefully remind somebody about walking nicely at heel and not creeping.
 
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SUPER COOOOOOOOOOOL report Shelby!!! Proof rocks. You're so lucky to have the great training opportunities you have AND a GREAT dog to be your partner!!!

We've had great, productive training the past few weeks. Today was walking singles, two HUGE water marks (one a 100 yard entry + 100 yard swim, the other about a 200 yard mark over two points), and one short water mark thrown on an island. Bally stepped on everything.

They posted the running order for our first Master test. Instant butt clench. This weekend I really want to run some blinds and I have a big double picked out I want to run. Next week we'll do some setups and hopefully remind somebody about walking nicely at heel and not creeping.
just dont get excited like i did at my first master test bird wasnt even in the air and i was blowing a sit whistle on the walk up!!!!:doh:
 

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Riot was great in class on Saturday except for the honoring exercise. All the bumpers are his. I got in a lot of corrections. One with every bumper thrown! The little guy was sure determined. But I think he learned a lot. After class, Baron lined us all up and threw each dog a bumper with all the other dogs honoring. Most dogs were fine. Riot was definitely NOT. He will be 5 months old this week. He will learn, they all do, painful as it is that not all the birds are his.

Lucy is doing well. She has really matured and we're having fun these days on drills. I just have to remember to not do the same thing too many times in a row with her. She needs a lot of variety. I'm getting more confident that she will be ready for senior this summer, at least on land.
 
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OK, Buffy and I worked a combination duck shoot and continental shoot. The owner, Dave, threw 750 birds for 44 shooters. We worked the duck blinds at Dave's request. Buffy retrieved 40 ducks. She did 6 blind retrieves. She also hunted up two pheasants. We had a great day.
We worked a pheasant shoot this weekend. Here is Ripple waiting for birds. At a year old she has already retrieved several hundred birds.
 

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