This week marked the beginning of “phase #2” of a training alone marking setup
called "The Teaching Double". The
rationale behind the approach is related to
the Key Relationship Drill (better known as the KRD). In essence, a dog learns the “pattern” of three concept blinds 1) past the old fall, 2) tight behind the gunner
and 3) wide of the gunner. Initially no factors (short grass) are used. Once taught,
a KRD can be
relocated and run cold with factors (wind, terrain and/or distance).
The setup is useful for intros to the poison bird blind and under the arc concepts.

                                                         (left click on thumbnail)
            KRD diagram
    KRD" with 60 yd mark
 (blinds 75, 173 & 158 yds")
   "hunt test distance"  
    KRD"(cover factor)

With the same justification, the “picture” of a teaching double can be picked up and placed “anywhere” to work on factors such as water, wind, terrain and distance. Phase I was a short, simple "Mama/Papa" double. Phase II moved on
to more distance, two gunning stations (stickmen) and a walking gunner/handler.
The movement of the gunner requires more focus on the part of the dog. It is very similar to a "chaos" marking drill.

In theory, the rationale of the "teaching double setup" provides for a consistent shift in focus toward not so much about "finding the mark" as much as learning the correct way "to get to the mark". There is no hard and fast rule that handling
and/or corrections must come from the line. Once the dog is released, the mark,
retriever and handler's position become simply a function of responsiveness and geometry.

The following is a bookmark link to the rationale and analysis of handling on training alone marks. The initial determination was the result of running "cheaty, down the shore" singles with a young retriever soon after swim-by.

Handling in the Field (bookmark link)

The following two diagrams were prepared prior to setting up in the field.
          note: either can easily be simplified by initially running singles

                                                                 (left click on thumbnail)
                                           phase I
         phase II

Two experienced retrievers are being used to work out the kinks. They both have hunt test titles, are experienced with seeing experimental approaches and have hunted for many years. Daisy and Kooly are 9 and 12 years old. They both did so well with phase I that we move quickly to phase II.

Phase II will be repeated for effect. By the middle of the summer, this approach will be "picked up and dropped" into training grounds similar to the following dog training area. Distance will be increased gradually.

                                   The Square Pond DTA (YouTube link)                        

                                                                  (left click on thumbnail)
                                                    phase II (shape)
              May 17, 2014     Daisy's Double Routine (Phase #1) YouTube (link) 

Kooly's Double Routine (Phase #1) YouTube (link)
             June 1, 2014       
Daisy's Double Routine (Phase #2) YouTube (link)
                                       Kooly's Double Routine (Phase #2)  YouTube (link)

                         updated 06/11/14