Training Update

Just a little update on training, Titan continues to progress and is doing quite nicely, Cheyenne has improved from a few weeks ago and is gung ho for the birds as usual! This past week some of the dogs had to work on doubles and a blind. The doubles were hand thrown birds (dead flyers) and all the dogs did these but the blind was only for the *Senior Hunting (SH) dogs and it was placed behind the gunner, which can be difficult for some dogs. The blind bird is placed in an area in the field without the dog being able to see it or mark it as we call it then the handler has to literally handle the dog; giving directions by hand signals to the dog in the field so they can get to the bird, you can read about handling here 

Okay this is my first attempt at Paint, and it is no where as good as 2 BrownDawgs but it gives you an idea of our set up for the day. The two orange x’s represent the bird throwers, me and my friend Michelle, the red x is the handler and the dog and then the duck is the planted blind. We each threw our birds in the direction of the white dashed line one at a time and the dog had to mark (commit to memory) these birds so they could pick them up when sent by the handler. The few dogs that had to do the blind did this retrieve after picking up the memory birds.

training diagram


So that’s it for now!


*Senior Hunting Tests consist of double marked retrieves, and relatively simple blind retrieves on land and water, as well as honoring the retrieve of another competitor.

Three Handed Casts

This last week Dave (Titan’s trainer) showed me what they had been working on the last couple of days; three handed casts. Dave started with three piles of bumpers, one to the left, one to the right and one straight out, sorry I didn’t think to get photos of the set up before they began, I was too excited to see my boy work! I did get this one though so you have an idea…

Bumper pile

Casts are simply put “handling” What you are teaching the dog is to run or swim in the direction of your hand signals. I have to say I was so impressed with Dave and Titan I just kept shooting photos! Dave keeps it short and simple and uses repetition so the dog gets the idea and keeps the idea, you know what they say practice makes perfect!

They did a left over cast, sending Titan to the bumper pile to the left, notice Dave is simply signaling with his left hand straight out to his side…

Left Over Cast

That is a whistle Dave is using, one blast and the dog is supposed to sit and wait for his cast (direction) to be given. This is very effective when your dog is out in the field for long or blind marks so you can stop them and handle your dog to the bird.

Good Boy

Then they did right over casts, sending Titan to the bumper pile on the right I didn’t get a photo of Dave giving the cast but it’s just the opposite of the left over cast…

Pick up from right cast

Nice return

Then Titan was sent on what is called a cast back, sending your dog straight away from you, these can be a little more difficult to teach but this boy nailed it considering they had only been working on casts for a couple of days.



Back Cast

Rearing to go

He's off

He’s off

Picking up bumper

That’s it

Good Retrieve

Here I come

Good Boy (2)


All of this took place in approximately 15 minutes, you don’t want to work too long as most dogs will become bored, and you always want to end on a positive note.

I bet you thought by the title I was going to talk about broken bones Winking smile


I love you mom but…..

Went out to visit with Titan last Thursday; he is doing wonderful and is always so excited to see me and this time my brother was able to go with me. Titan is supposed to be his dog but I had to rub it in when he ran to me to get his lovins first; but you know what they say about pay backs…as soon as the ducks came out I was history! This was actually his first day on ducks and I was so impressed with my boy, yes MY BOY!! I forgot my camera so I took pictures with my phone and they turned out horribly blurry but here are a few that will have to do.

2012-07-19_17-12-37_1442012-07-19_17-13-08_7182012-07-19_17-13-14_8462012-07-19_17-13-25_455 Getting his lovins from Uncle Dave for a job well done Smile


Got a little training in with Cheyenne and I do mean little! She was acting like a big silly girl, you would have thought she had never done this before. So hopefully this week will be better.

I also visited the new momma Chemmy and her babies…oh the puppy breath Open-mouthed smile I will try to remember the camera this week so I can get pictures, they are adorable.

Walking Fetch

This past Saturday we went to see Titan and do a little swimming, the dogs not me Winking smile Dave demonstrated what Titan learned the week before which is the walking fetch; the walking fetch is done after the force fetch has been successful. To do Walking Fetch several dummies are laid on the ground about ten feet apart, approach each dummy with your dog at heel and say “Fetch” as he is looking at the first dummy. As he fetch’s each dummy you tell him “leave” and he releases it in your hand and you toss it behind you so they are ready for another round. Titan is doing pretty good, he still has a ways to go but I know he can do it with Dave as his trainer. Dave keeps an online training journal of the dogs you can see here


Good Sit


Good Fetch


Are you watching mom

DSCN1450 - Copy

Did you see that, good Fetch


Good Boy!!

Follow Up

I wanted to do a follow up on my post Titan Update; I may not have been quite clear on the where Titan is on his training. He is past the hold training which includes walking hold. He has completed these two elements and has moved on to the Trained Retrieve; he is almost to Walking Fetch. He is using small and large bumpers for retrieving now. This is what Michelle said in a comment “Titan is progressing very nicely. It was nice to let him swim and see he held the bumper even while he shook 2   and he delivered the bumper nicely. Titan does love to work and does like his uncle Dave.”

I do a newsletter for my dog club (although I have really fallen behind on that) but anyway, my friend Michelle reminded me of the article Dave wrote on teaching hold so I wanted to share that with you. You can view the article here then go to page 4, but feel free to browse through the whole newsletter Smile Oh and that is Cheyenne in the picture demonstrating hold, she didn’t like bumpers so I used a paint roller to teach her hold.

I will have more on the Trained Retrieve and Walking Fetch for you in the next week or so and hopefully more pictures.