||This is the journal entry for
two days of training followed by a Seasoned HRC hunt test. After running the
test, I can determine 1) what the dogs need work on and 2) devise a plan to
create a more positive performance on tests. Daisy
and Kooly need less in the actual retrieving and more in the focus and
responsiveness areas. In the future, two days before a test (and maybe more)
will be quite different than these. We need to improve marking off the
gun, reduce excitement levels (or at least develop the skills to deal with
them) and raise the heel/sit standards in the face
of great distractions while off lead or with no e-collar. Basically this
means creating more situations in training where control standards can be
more meaningfully enforced and routine mechanics of the test will be better defined.
The issue becomes "Where do I want the dog's mind at when coming to the line
at a test?" The level of excitement in training is not the same as at a
test. If the dog is "on the edge" in training, he/she may go over
when testing. A high drive dog must especially understand and accept the
concepts of control and responsiveness. The routines were close,
but the control factors were lacking.
June 14 (morning) trained alone at BT's hay field- ran an HRC double with a
diversion followed by
cold blind using ducks, remote wingers, bolding blind, bucket, popper gun and a
memory right, go bird left, diversion on return from memory & finished with
"shot" cold blind
(late morning) drove to the Square Pond and ran four short cold blinds with
note: both Kooly and Daisy did fine with the HRC double and their blinds, Kooly
same maintenance on scalloping, he ran an extra cold blind parallel to the shore
(left click on thumbnails)
left - "go bird" & blind
right - memory & diversion
four cold blinds
HRC Seasoned set-up - double, diversion and blind
+ Kooly's extra
une 15 (morning)
trained at Steve G's - new pond up by Monroe, WI = ran a Seasoned HRC set-up
walk-up, double with a diversion followed by a cold blind using popper gun,
HRC bucket, remote wingers and ducks (trained alone)
note: The blind was much longer than 60 yards (which is the HRC Seasoned test
note: Daisy did very well with the whole set-up (just a little excited on the
note: Kooly's only problem was the loud "yip" he gave leaving for the go
"mo" on his blind, need to remember to make him wait longer on the cast when
it appears Kooly has "selected" the wrong target.........If I don't wait, he
get off this tunnel vision (a little wait and he is more likely to change).
(left click on thumbnails)
June 16 up early and
left at 5:00 am for Horicon Marsh HRC's hunt test - Daisy and Kooly ran the
KwickLabs hunt tests since last July (when Kooly ran an AKC senior test).
note: Daisy passed and looked mostly good. In the land series, after the walk-up
she did well on), I decided to proceed off lead to the line because I needed to
just where she was at. We need more work there.
On the double, she didn't
swing with the gun, but heard the winger go off. She pivoted her head to see the
fall. I released her and she veered back to what was supposed to be the memory
bird. She picked it up. Daisy was looking straight at the go bird and change her
mind right after getting released. She lied to me.
picking up the second
bird on a little
hunt, she ran the blind. Daisy looked really sharp on the blind. So
better than OK.
The water series went really well (took her to the line on lead). This part of
test was a double with two very wide, "cheaty" marks (except the cheat
eliminated by a 6 foot wall of high cover), a diversion duck was
tossed fairly clear
of the return line and finished with a blind "up the
With the shape of the
pond there was no other alternative. Daisy locked on the
memory bird and did not
(would not) swing over to the "go bird". She did flinch
a bit with the splash. I put
in the rack after saying out loud "open & on" . Daisy was asked to heel
was suppose to be the "go bird" (which she probably didn't see.....just
After letting her settle, I cued her with "get your mark". When she
a bit, I cued her with a "good", dropped my hand and waited. I said
"Daisy" and she flew into the water....taking a perfect line to the duck. Did she see
not too sure she did, but then again....no proof. Going on the
trying to put your dog in a position to succeed, this turned out to be the
Afterwards one of the judges said,
"She didn't mark that bird." I replied (with a
wry smile), "She must have gotten a glimpse of
it out of
the corner of her eye."
We all had a good chuckle at that. The other judge
, "I thought you were
going to say "back"
(after I lined her up). I replied,
"It was a mark. She did
splash." The other judge finally added (while smiling), "Well, we
it in our notes, but we all know you'll be addressing that
training." It was a rather hilarious exchange on a common issue
She again ran
great blind. At first from the left side, she kept looking back at the
"go bird", So I "no/here/heeled" her to the left side heel (which she
allowed me to block the view of the "go bird" fall area, and she
then proceeded to get
a good cold blind "lock". She ran a great blind with a very
nice angle back cast.
her first hunt test and got a Seasoned ribbon. I
was very happy
And yes, starting Monday
morning, I know what we'll be working on.
note: Kooly has not run a test since last July, when he "blew up" on an AKC
series. We've been working on his line manners and especially the vocalization
issues. I thought he was ready and that since you can talk quietly to your dog
the line in HRC, he'd be OK. Well, he wasn't.
In the land walk-up, he vocalized
when asked to re-heel. He was pretty much to the bucket before I was and a
handful for the double. He ran a great blind. Decided to let him run the water
see just how bad he was and how much more work we needed to do. Kooly crept
on the memory bird and just barely re-heeled soon enough to see the "go bird".
was a bit whinny on the re-heel. Kooly then proceeded to pick everything up
We had no
problems with the diversion.
Marking is absolutely no issue,
and he has
an excellent memory. His "mo" was way
better than in training. He took
perfect angle back cast to the blind. The judges
were impressed with his blind,
not overly thrilled with his manners.
passed, got a ribbon and he
will not run again for at least a month. Can you say
the drawing board?
This type of performance will not come close to
cutting it in Finished.
It was a very hot day for the test (near 90ºF). However, the high tech Solar
really worked well. The dogs and I were comfortable in the van. The high volume
fans added a breeze, and finally, some cloud cover late in the test provided
I could not help but notice how similar the land and water training set-ups from the
previous two days of training mirrored the HRC test's land and water series. This
a very good read on the mental differences.
(left click on thumbnails)
Chris D. & "Maddie"
high tech solar
Kool Kwick Van