Archive: The Kwick "Four" Training Journal - July, 2012
                                                                       MPR UH HRCH Kwick Taffey of Joemac's MH -"Taffey"
                                                                                    Kwick Kooly Dew It Allstar SH - "Kooly"
                                                                               HR Kwick Daisy's Spirit Keeper SH - "Daisy"
                                                                                     HR Kwick Draw McGraw SH - "Gunny"

                                                     Kwick Training Archives + Hunting Results (Link)
                                   July 1st trained in newly cut area at Riverside Park (Roscoe) - set up stickmen ABC drill,
                                         remote line marking drill - Daisy & Gunny ran eight singles and Kooly & Taffey
                                         ran only the two longest (125 yards), up at dawn to beat the heat and back home
                                         by 7:15 am (still 72 F with a forecast high of 91 F.....hit 94 F.....It's June
                                                 note: walked the dogs out to the longest station and sent them back to the
                                                          line with "place" to start, Kooly & Taffey ran their singles in tandem
                                                          (when one is running out for their mark, the other is returning to the
                                                           line and passes the other remaining focused)
                                                 note: off the line, the dogs run down a long, gentle hill on to a flat which
                                                          gives them extra momentum on these singles, this is very effective
                                                          with Gunny
"ABC Marking Drill Bookmark (link)  (click and scroll down to the drill)
note: this is what I call my "loaded" ABC marking drill in that flower pot
                                                          singles are thrown from each of the four stickmen stations
                                                 note: the large, 3" Avery Flasher are double flagged with black * white which
                                                          makes them easy to see in the air, the short cover allows them to "spot"
                                                          the bumper on the ground when they are about ten yards away, with an
                                                          "easy find" at the end of a good line, this makes for a low pressure, fun
                                                          marking exercise (perfect of this kind of weather & maintenance)
(left click on thumbnail)
                                                                                                             "ABC marking drill"
                            July 2nd day off for all - Interceptor for all four dogs - 99 F at 4 o'clock
                                                 note: weather forecast highs next five days = 95 (went to 99),  97,  94,
                                                          94,  92 F and morning low's in the 70's with high humidity
                                                 note: train the two older dogs every other day - very low water to no water
                                                          in local ponds, at dawn the Riverside park training area is mostly in
                                                          the shade and big enough to vary the session setups
                           July 3rd  out at dawn, I placed four stickmen stations for a "run longer to each mark" set
                                         of "inline" singles, remote line, use the foam/canvass,"super-sized", black & white
                                         flagged bumper (Taffey runs only the first three)
                                                 note: use a diagonal line off the mound for maximum distance to the far
                                                          edge of the mowed cover, range finder = 75,105,140,175 yards
                                                 note: Daisy was like a laser & looked sharp
                                                 note: Gunny was either reacting to the echo off the hill behind him or not
                                                          comfortable with the action of the large foam bumper, had to re-throw
                                                          the first two singles...after that he was fine, the marks are thrown with
                                                          a high tree line in the back ground, the other possibility is that Gunny
                                                          was not "looking for it" (not focused as much as the other dogs), once
                                                          he knew what to look for there were no issues (inexperience or lack of
                                                          intensity ?......not sure)
                                                 note: Taffey & Kooly worked their session in tandem, both were  sharp,
                                                          Taffey did the first three (skipped the last) 
                                                 note: the dawn session allowed for all the work to be in the shade because of
                                                          the woods to the east & we were home in the air conditioning by 7 pm,
                                                          the Endless Breeze fans with open van windows made the short ride
                                                          home very pleasant, we finished with the temperature at 75 F and
                                                          it is headed to a forecast high of 97 F
   note: the perfect slope off what I call a "momentum" hill always seems to
                                                           be a fun thing for the dogs, they "shoot" down the long, gradual slope
                                                           out on to the flat which makes for a seamless speed enhancement

side note: just as I was about to throw the first mark, up walked a man with two
                                                          "shaved" Goldens curious to see what we were doing, Daisy sat
                                                          quietly beside me and his two dogs were pleasant, evidently they hunt
                                                          pheasants, but he doesn't train much....they were just out exercise,
                                                          half way through Daisy's session, a truck pulling a 4-hole & ATV
                                                          trailer stopped to watch, afterwards the retriever owner came over to
                                                          ask how long it took me to train the dog to do "That" & we talked,
                                                          his dogs have run hunt tests and he works with another local trainer
                                                          often, it was an interesting early morning session and we beat the heat

(left click on thumbnail)
                                                                   "Inline Singles"
   The "Momentum" Hill
                                           July 4th at 5 am it was 77 with high humidity and quickly headed to a forecast 101 F
                                              with a Heat Advisory until 10 pm Friday, we aren't going anywhere......staying
                                              in the AC, only going out to rotate a single sprinkler when the sun is low to
                                              save the oak trees and lawn, watered tomato plants are growing huge, but
                                              not setting much fruit......yet, corn, hay fields and soy beans are in their last
                                              gasp, the next ten days with no significant rain will be the "coup de grce"           
                                July 5th
This morning it was hot. Our air-conditioning went out yesterday afternoon.
                                             The "cool" haven was gone. It was in the upper 70's when we hit the field and
                                             will be 101F this afternoon. However, we needed to be in the field early this
                                             morning. Therefore, to speed things up the dogs were "paired off" and run in
                                             tandem. The setup is called The Tandem "Semi-Chaos" Y-Drill and we were
                                             back in front of the house fans by 7:30 am. update: hit 103F, The AC man is
                                             supposed to be here at 10 am. It's after noon and it is now 92F outside, blown
                                             time-delayed fuse in the outside AC circuit equals $125 service call, update: it
                                             is 5 o'clock and the thermostat reads 76F with 100F outside = RELIEF!

                                                           Tandem "Semi-Chaos" Y-Drill with Taffey & Kooly (YouTube)  
Taffey "missed" the third mark. From where I was standing, it was a bit
                                             perplexing. It appeared to be a simple mark. After watching the video, three
                                             things came to mind. The first two marks landed, cart wheeled and were visible
                                             from the line. It is a large black and white, flagged foam bumper. Her angle-in
                                             mark plopped into a pile of chopped grass, didn't bounce and disappeared.
                                                  update: Now after looking at the video again, I see that it did bounce once.
                                             The line she took was a perfect trace of the initial, longer, angle back mark.
                                             When Taffey realized her mistake, she switched into hunt mode and searched
                                             shorter. The penalty for not paying attention is having to hunt.

                                             Taffey is 12, seen everything and I often cut her some slack. Therefore, I'd say
                                             Taffey was just "too casual" with that mark. Kooly didn't have that issue crop up.
                                             I did notice something "cool" about Kooly's run. He watched me move and
                                             adjusted his spine to line up with the side I was going to throw to on all three
                                             marks. When I ran the two younger dogs, there were no issues     

                                             A video often offers up new and interesting perspectives.
                                                     note: today's entries are mostly taken from Internet retriever training
                                                              forum posts
(with updates)

                                July 6th day off for all - heat advisory until late this evening   
                                July 7th another hot day off (brutal heat wave)
                                July 8th trained early (it is finally cooler) all four dogs ran four cold blinds & used
                                             orange bumpers with no flags, all four dogs were sharp and we all had a
                                             relaxing, fun time of it...temperatures in the upper 60s...home before 6:30 am
                                July 9th day off, prepare for two day trip to the Mississippi River Duck/Fishing camp 
                                July 10-11 left early for camp on Tuesday, weather "says" these two days will be the
                                             coolest over the next ten day, this will b the first time I've tested the old air-
                                             conditioner, it did well and the three dogs that stay behind when one of the
                                             "crew" goes fishing were comfortable, Taffey went 1st & Daisy 2nd on day
                                             one, Gunny went 1st on Wednesday, but Kooly didn't get his ride, had a
                                             to have someone drive my van and trailer to the launch while I motored
                                             over which save a lot of time on exit day. When I arrived the word was
                                             no one is catching any fish, went through for dozen night crawlers on
                                             three trips = caught too many sheepheads to count, one nice sized bluegill
                                             a whole bunch of fiddler channel catfish and three good sized catfish for
                                             eating = good trip & home early afternoon on Wednesday

(left click on thumbnail)
                                                   "down stream"
         "cruise ship"
  "main channel"

                                                                 "Gunny knows we
                                                                    are close to........... camp."  

                                 July 12th the heat wave continues - trained early = Daisy & Gunny ran four inline
                                             singles out to 140 yards and then moved the line for a new set of AOFs over
                                             50 yards and did three check-downs on the "way back in" to the remote line,
                                             Taffey and Kooly ran the four marks "out" & we were finished at 7:30 am 
                                 July 13th took the day off
                                 July 14th rain early & humid heat later = "slacker" day (for the dogs), went to the
                                              Square Pond - cleaned up the shoreline (again) and removed a stickup, it was
                                              1"X3" stake driven into the original digging so that they could gauge the water
                                              level, when the levee was raised, it was slightly below the surface "LURKING",
                                              wearing hip boats, using a ski pole for extra balance, a buck saw cut it off
                                              below the surface and the remaining section was broken off below the bottom
                                              by stepping into it at an angle (not a problem anymore), several limestone rocks
                                              were moved out of harms all we need is about seven days of rain
(left click on thumbnail)
                                               "The Problem"
     "stickup removal tools"

                                 July 15th early morning - ran set of five cold blinds with all four dogs at Riverside park
                                                in the mowed area (cover is now ankle high) What a great morning! With the
                                                sun low on the eastern horizon all four ran in the shade. We were home by
                                                7:15 am and the temperature was
72F. The forecast high will be 96F.
(left click on thumbnail)
                                                                                         "dog's view"
     "five cold blinds"

                                 July 16th day off for all - forecast 97F
                                 July 17th aired dogs at 5:30 am, muggy high humidity, no breeze, too warm already,
                                                no reason to be out in this "stuff" -  today's high was 102
                                 July 18th trained at Riverside park in the un-mowed section = heavy cover with an
                                                elevated line (excellent visibility with challenging lines) all four dogs ran
                                                each cold blind - finished last blind at 6:15 am while it was still comfortable,
                                                rain was in the forecast Ha! Ha! What's that? didn't happen high today - 95

                                   note: Recently viewed & motivated by one of Pat Nolan's YouTube videos
                                                             Pat Nolan's - "place, mark, blind drill" (YouTube link)

                                 July 19th more heat !!!!!
                                 July 20th nice cool morning, clear in the upper 60's, up a 5am & finished before 7am
                                                set up a variation of Nolan's drill with the blind into cover off the edge of a
                                                mowed "grassy" area, a stickman was put beside the place board and there
                                                were four bumpers on the ground every time the dog was sent on their
                                                "name", "place" or "back" - all four did well and as the drill progressed, it
                                                was obvious (as they figured out the routine and expectations) it was fun,
                                                after the drill was finished each dog came back out and ran a marking setup,
                                                it was a short 60-70 yard triple with two marks (left & right) thrown in the
                                                "stand alone" presentation where a stickman remained (after I returned to the
                                                line, the third and last mark was thrown short and inline with the
                                                memory mark after I walked in part way (it was a distraction), after the third,
                                                short, "wipeout" mark was thrown, I went to the line to run the dog, the dogs
                                                did well for their first ever "stand-alone return to the line triple"
                                                             1) Daisy was worked slowly with low keyed presentation
                                                                           (fast, smart, anxiety driven dog - slowly)
                                                             2) Gunny was worked rapidly with "pom poms" in motion
                                                                           (easy going dog - faster than normal with animation)
                                                             3) Taffey was kept to the standards while granting some slack
                                                                           older dog keeping shape and emphasizing the moment
                                                             4) Kooly was watched like a hawk with zero slack
                                                                           can't give him an inch (or wild dog appears)
                                                this training session marks the beginning of noting the rationale(s)) 
                                                       1) dogs needed marks for balance, 2) wanted to establish a routine
                                                       for "stand alone multiples" where I return to the line, 3) wanted to
                                                       work on the new setup (patterned after Nolan's drill) for another
                                                       fun way to maximize "responsiveness" with the idea that "focus"
                                                       and control will be "positively" impacted - the expectation is
                                                       "work with me"
                                 July 21st trained early, repeated two session" (drill/triple) in a different area
                                                rationale = repetition creates more solid expectations, yesterday was
                                                teaching, the next steps move toward "ingraining" - home before 7 am
                                                with temperatures still in the upper 60's......headed into the 90's
                                                        note: changed up the triple by not walking in to throw the short
                                                                 and last mark & worked on the "easy" command, Kooly,
                                                                 Gunny & Taffey remembered that expectation, but Daisy
                                                                 "fogged" right past it, used the teaching routine to correct her
                                                        note: both sessions went smoother and tighter for each dog
                                                                 (note to self) a retired gunner concept could be taught by just
                                                                 bringing the stickman in from "that" station before running 
                                 July 22nd Sunday morning, possible rain and in "slacker" mode = day off
                                 July 23rd trained at Riverside Park - Daisy and Gunny ran two check down doubles
                                                with the focus on repeating & emphasizing the "easy" cue
                                                moved to a different area and ran three, long cold blinds with all four dogs
                                                        note: doubles went well Daisy has been taught this before = refresher
                                                                 Gunny has not been introduced to the "easy" cue, but he is
                                                                 catching on more quickly than Daisy did, this "newly" designed
                                                                 drill is an improvement for teaching the concept because the
                                                                 "reps" are simpler to do
                                                        note: the three cold blinds were long. the middle one required crossing
                                                                 a gravel road.......each did well & feeling really good about  
                                                                 all fours' abilities to run cold blinds - crisp, square sits, often only
                                                                 one or two casts,  long, straight lines and zero auto-casting
                                                        note: started early with the temperature at 78
F, when finished we  
                                                                 into the 80's, but the tree line continued to give us shade
(left click on thumbnail)
                                                                "solo", check down,
                                                                 "easy" cue doubles
   "three cold blinds"

                                 July 24th dangerous storm at 5 pm, 0.8 inches of rain, no electricity for until after 10 pm,
                                                three cars were parked in the drive way and a good sized oak branch fell in
                                                between then, just brushing the back of my van, luckily, yesterday, I had pulled
                                                it farther down to angle park, a foot farther back would have totaled it
                                                                                                                 (left click on thumbnail)

                                 July 25th trained at the Square Pond - setup was a water variation of the drill ran
                                                on July 20th, with Taffey, Kooly & Daisy doing a remote drop coupled with a
                                                poison bird concept, Daisy & Taffey were sharp and handled the remote drop
                                                really well, Kooly was more tentative as he worked because of his weakness in
                                                multitasking. he has to continually check back with me and finds in more like
                                                a nuisance, there is quite of bit of refocusing to do during this drill
, however,
                                                his "tunnel vision" does makes him an outstanding marker, but detracts from
                                                being totally responsive, Gunny has not been taught remote drop yet and still
                                                needs to "warm up" before doing fast paced drills, with his bad hips I am more
                                                than willing to take the time
                                                        note: did videos, but the focus must have been bumped and only
                                                                 half of the setup was visible (next time I will be more careful
                                                        note: this was a high energy, fun morning 
                                                        note: 100F at 5 pm, this will be a summer to forget        

                                 July 26th day off for all & prepare for trip to Mississippi River duck/fish camp
                                 July 27th left at 4:15 am on the trip to scout Potter's Marsh for blind spots, water levels
                                                will be low during duck season unless this weather changes dramatically
                                                        note; brief break in temperatures with middle 80's for Friday & Saturday
                                                        note: the "throwing" grease issue on the left trailer bearing appears to
                                                                 be "too much" grease
                                                        note: took Taffey and took the boat down to Potter's Marsh, looked at
                                                                 several duck blind sites and planned on picking the "possibles"
                                                                 based on 1) ducks most likely to, 2) accessibility and 3) distance
                                                                 ended up with seven
                                                        note: stopped at the Cable Crossing of the way back to see if I could
                                                                 retrieve an anchor lost a few weeks earlier, at the time the water
                                                                 was about three feet deeper, but it was near an island, after
                                                                 searching a grid walking back and forth north and south then east
                                                                 and west in hip high water, the only thing I found were stumps
                                                                 the bottom wasn't to soft, but the eel grass made probing with my
                                                                 ski pole more difficult, I was about to give up, but there was about
                                                                 ten yards of shoreline to the north between the search area and
                                                                 the boat so I started along a line on the way back, again the ski
                                                                 pole struck a stump, just to make sure, I checked it out with my
                                                                 shoulder below the water level, yep another stump, but suddenly
                                                                 I felt the slippery rubber coating of my anchor, up came $30 and I
                                                                 felt pretty darn good about the find
   ("noodling" for anchors) 
                                                        note: drove over to Clinton, Iowa and bought three frog gigs at Paul's
                                                                 discount store, they were nice South Bends and the price was
                                                                 right $1.99 @, I had forgotten to bring my drill & bits, but the camp
                                                                 owner drill a hole in the end of my gigging stick for me, the "stick"
                                                                 is an old, golf course greens flag pole - eight feet long & fiberglass
                                                        note: evening temperatures were going to be too nice (cool) for "frogging"
                                                                 so I took Daisy fishing instead - lots of fiddles & sheepshead
                                                        note: fished he next morning with Gunny same results
(left click on thumbnail)
                                 "cormorant island"
         "view 2"
             "view 3"
          "view 4"




                                 July 28th after fishing early with Gunny, entered drawing in Savanna, IL for duck "blind"
                                                site for Potter's Marsh at 10 am, drove back and loaded most of the gear, the
                                                drawing was at 1 pm and the place was packed, all seven of the blinds I wanted
                                                went early and my number never came up, left before they finished
                                                        note: most blinds only get used on the weekends and after the first few
                                                                weeks and/or the weather becomes more difficult these blinds are
                                                                open during the weekdays    
                                                                                                         "geese from trailer door"

                                  July 29th day off for all, except I need to do some "yard work" = mow the lawn 
July 30th trained at Roscoe Riverside park - ran an ABC drill with all four dogs and three 
                                                 cold blinds with Gunny, Daisy & Kooly (not a good setup = sun came up over the
                                                 tree line and made the cold blinds difficult/impossible to handle on
(left click on thumbnail)


                                                                          "ABC Drill"
     "three blinds"

                                  July 31st    day off for all
                                                                                                               updated 01/07/14