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)

                              STARTED OUTDOOR TRAINING FOR HRC TESTS
note: previous few weeks worked on OB reviews indoors

Mar 22 trained at the square pond land area - covered with snow
               note: set up three cold blinds 100 yds each - Daisy & Gunny ran all
                        three Kooly & Taffey ran the first two
               note: Taffey can no longer jump into the back of the van, moved her "spot"
                        to the side door entrance
               note: indoor OB session with Daisy & Gunny
Mar 23 afternoon in the thirties - checked Riverside Park - closed because of flooding
            drove to RockCut State Park DTA - setup three cold blinds then was reminded
            of why I should avoid this place on the weekends. Gunny was running his first
            blind when in from the distance comes a large black dog headed straight for 
            Gunny, I blew my whistle and shouted "here", Gunny turned & headed back
            toward me but the black dog is closing the gap..little does the black dog know
            what will happen, but Gunny gets to me first and I grab his collar and get
            physically between them, I told the lady (when she finally arrived) that her dog
            was very close to "not being very happy" (not exactly in those words), she's now
            150 yards from the path she left and Gunny is in the van....then I kind of lost it.
            She said. "Well, this is a doggie park" I replied, "No, this is a designated dog
            training area and you have to have a permit to be in here. Not only that, but all
            dog's are supposed to under control........and yours is obviously not."  I suppose
            I was a bit short, but sometime back (two years ago) a Lab started fight in this
            area with Gunny by running up to him and aggressively sticking his nose right
            Gunny's face. He and I try to avoid this, but sometimes the "uninformed" seem to
            suddenly appear, need to use "less traffic times" to come here (middle of the day)
                  note: Taffey ran one cold blind and had no energy. This is not at all like her. 
                           Had trouble getting back into the van. Her "horizon" is getting closer.
                  note: Kooly ran one cold blind and did some short walking/fun singles when
                           I went out to pick-up the blind stakes which had to be leaned up against
                           shrubs because frost in the ground is still solid
                  note: Daisy & Gunny ran three cold blinds (both faded with the wind some)
Mar 24 Sunday afternoon - train at the Rock Cut DTA high of 36F
                  note: Daisy & Gunny each ran 8 easy walking singles with Dokken (50-70 yds.)
                  note: Kooly & Taffey had the day off
Mar 25 just too cold and windy - day off
Mar 26 mid-day - trained at RockCut DTA - sunny, middle 30's
                 note: Taffey ran five walking singles with send backs, much stronger today
                 note: Daisy, Gunny, Kooly ran a KRD (Dokken mark, returned to the line)
                          Gunny's lining was mediocre   KRD    (link to drill photos)
                 note: Daisy, Gunny ran three Dokken singles with "send backs"
                 note: Daisy, Gunny ran an eight bumper. push/pull lining drill......Gunny needs
                          a lot more work in this area (good attitude, but not focused)

                                                          (left click on thumbnail)
      "three singles"
 "push/pull" lining

Mar 27 late morning  -  Rockton DTA - Gunny & Daisy ran 2 KRDs (straight-up & poison)
                   note: they alternated, giving a break between each KRD & the second run
                            was easier in than that the "cold blinds" were no longer "cold", the
                            focus was on the poison bird line routine
                   note: both did well and Gunny's effort was surprising given yesterday's,
                            (read = "more rust", less experience & fewer field factors)     
           Kooly ran four walking singles with "send backs" and while he was returning to
           the line, Taffey ran several hand thrown, short marks (for exercise)

                                                                            (left click on thumbnails)

Mar 28 afternoon - Rockton DTA - Gunny & Daisy 
            setup new casting drill
 Kwick "Pivot" Drill (casting variations)   (link to drill photos)
            with the first "go" a variation of Cassity's Renegade   (link to drill photos)
            after the drill they both ran four remote line, inline singles with "send backs"
            from 70 to 125 yards (alternating sides) = "Ya-Ha" singles   (link to drill photos)
            Kooly & Taffey had the day off

                                                          Kwick "Pivot" Drill
                                                           (simple variation)  
                                                                  day one

(seven "line" variation) 
                                                        First Day Description

             The focus is on "teaching" the look and feel of two different angle backs with
            very specific "reps" (the rationale is to enhance literal casting). In theory the
            dog learns  how to take different "pivots" (brain muscle/eye coordination).
            Begin the drill up close...then increase distance. Once the straight-on set-up
            is completed, the handler moves to the right & then the left side presentations.
            The two piles remain in the same spot. A dog gradually becomes conditioned
            (mentally and physically) to small changes in arm position while casting.

              note: When running a cold blind the reward of taking a cast is more subtle.
                       There is no whistle to stop. In this drill, the reward is automatic. Pivots
                       to the pile are immediately enhanced. The physical and mental aspects
                       of a cast focus on two related actions - arm position and required pivot. 
            This is not only a drill for the dog. The handler must move correctly (right or
            left) and focus on precise arm motion/positions. The dog is much more likely
            to consistently experience the mental and physical aspect of the correct cast
            because the drill's requirements are simple. There are just two targets (piles)
            which are far apart from each other. This eliminates any distracting influences.

            note: A parallel to the muscle/brain memory imprints discussed above is how a
                     basketball player learns how approach the rim from different directions
                     by practicing and engraining the correct speed, motion and touch required
                     for maximum performance. This only happens with many "correct reps".

                     In the "heat of the moment", imprints become automatic (like a reflex).

                                                                            (left click on thumbnails)
           "line the piles"
              two marks 
          (identified piles)
         4 "front sit" casts
            6 casts 
             6 casts
                6 casts 

note: trained six out of first seven days

Mar 29 - mid-morning & 38F headed for middle 50's. trained at Rockton Road DTA
              ran a continuation of the new Kwick "Pivot" casting drill (see yesterday) and a
              KRD poison bird and under the arc setup, Taffey ran with me during setup and
              take-down - Kooly ran the KRD first (test dog)...Daisy & Gunny did the casting
             drill first and then came out to run the KRD after Kooly
                      note: all three did well, the mark for Daisy was too far, only five yards
                               off the line to the poison bird and the large white/black Avery
                               Flasher bumper made it "interesting"....but she made it
                               Gunny has not had nearly as much experience with these, but
                               he did really well

                                                           (left click on thumbnails)
          1st day session

2nd day (no identification)   
     "equal angle backs"     
                       handler moves to right twice                           handler moves to left twice        
                                       creates the perception of different angle backs  
                                                     dog works from place-board  
                                                                  note: this is a five line variation

          note: For this drill to be effective an absolutely square sit is required. 

(link to drill photos)      

Mar 30 - afternoon trained at RockCut DTA 2 sets of winger singles with blinds...HRC style
              bucket, popper gun and duck calling (primer only shots for marks and blinds)
                  note: Daisy & Gunny ran the setup & their OB off the van and to line were
                           very good & steady for each set
                  note: Kooly & Taffey had the day off

                                                                                (left click on thumbnails)

Mar 31 - morning session - Rockton Road DTA - Daisy & Gunny (separately ran an X-
           Box, check-down marking drill & came out later to run 2 cold blinds,
Kooly &
           Taffey walked with me to set up the blinds (after the other 2 ran the marking
           drill) on the way back each were cast back to the line (from which the early drill
           was run) and ran two singles,
Kooly's were longer than Taffey's (remote line
           with "send backs" plus duck calling, black & white, flagged Avery Flasher)
                  note: X Box Drill (link to drill photos)

          afternoon - ABC Marking drill at Rockton Road DTA Gunny & Daisy ran six
          singles alternating sides off the back three stickmen marks 100-125 yards using
          a duck call and a black & white, flagged Avery Flasher (all throws were flat)
                  note: ABC Marking Drill -
(link to drill photos)
April 1 - moved fish/duck trailer from storage to the shoreline (left 7am home 12 noon )
                  note: dogs road along on the trip, Taffey & Kooly didn't train in the evening  
          early evening - trained at Rockton Road DTA Daisy & Gunny ran four cold blinds.
          (gradient along far eastern cover line) 125 - 225 yards down wind
          with a strong northwest wind at
36F and a wind chill of 24F
          Iverhart Plus
given to all four dogs
April 2 day off - repair two wingers
April 3
mid-day trained at RockCut DTA ran two HRC doubles with a blind after the 2nd
                  note: popper gun, remote wingers, four mallard FB decoys, duck calling
                           real mallards for all retrieves
                  note: Daisy & Gunny ran the two setups, Kooly & Taffey ran the blind only

note: this is the sixth day (of seven) in the 2nd week of the schedule
                  note: 24 training days left until first test - April 27th

                                                                         (left click on thumbnails)

April 4 late morning - ran a remote winger HRC double with Daisy & Gunny, afterwards
           they each ran a short, cold water blind
                  note: double was short with the focus on the HRC line routine
           finished with 8 singles in the "Two Dog Leap Frog" format (walking singles)
           using a mallard with duck call and stretched them out
                  note: Taffey & Kooly had the day off

                                                                          (left click on thumbnails)
                "double with decoys"
        "holding blinds"
      "HRC line"
                                     "cold water blind"
          "view of entry"

April 5 - trained mid-day at RockCut State Park DTA - sunny with stiff east breeze
             Daisy & Gunny ran four remote winger singles with an HRC line (popper gun,
             duck calling) and then a wide inline, triple setup with a diversion (different area)
             again using an HRC line routine (bumper marks were 3" black & white flagged
             Avery flashers) the 3rd and longest mark (far left - push) was the go mark (picked
             up first) and the shortest mark (wide right) second with the middle mark last
             followed with a diversion

 note: Taffey & Kooly were given walking singles during setup and pickup
             evening - trained at Rockton Road DTA Daisy & Gunny ran five cold blinds
                     note: down wind from 125-160 yards Daisy was good and Gunny ran the
                              best set of blinds ever (took great initial lines and carried them)
April 6 forecast = strong winds from the south with rain, but a "window in the weather"
           opened up....Daisy & Gunny ran a set of six "Ya-Ha" singles.....75-175 yards with
           a remote line using "send backs", running marks downwind was "easy", good
           timing, they needed a low pressure, easy session with conditioning in mind 
"Ya-Ha" singles   (link to drill photos)
                     note: 64F & wind out of the south at 28 mph (needed a megaphone
                     note: Kooly & Taffey had the day off
April 7 forecast = 1 pm......54F with NWN winds at 9 mph decreasing & sunny
                     note: Daisy & Gunny ran an HRC triple at BT's - wingers were "acting up"
                              not a good session, Kooly & Taffey got some running in after
                              during pickup time
                     note: rain tomorrow = a day re-wiring all the wingers (lasted nine years)
                     note: three weeks of "prep" left
       analysis to date: blinds & handling +, handling ducks +, line manners are good
                   needs to be better (high standards), marking is improving & need to start
                   introducing more factors including water (Bong, Stoughton & Winnebago)
                   ice JUST went out & water too cold April 15- 25 cuts it close with test on
                   April 27th (the cold water finish of last duck hunting season should carry
                   over some).......need to work on memory
                      note: Gunny is out of balance - not focused on memory   

April 8 mid-day trained at RockCut DTA setup four remote winger singles, ran each one
           with an HRC line (popper gun, bucket, duck call) and ran each one as a poison
           bird - focus was on improving memory by establishing a specific retrieving
           routine at the line...knowing what to do when coming back to the line with a
           retrieve and responding to "get your mark" = need better focus on memories
        This approach is explained by the "Five Factors Concept"  The Five Factors (link)
    (balance is a function of factors - focus, responsiveness, control, "birdiness" & retrieving)
 note: thanks to pro-trainer/author Julie Knutson

                   note: Daisy & Gunny ran four poison singles and the results proved to be
                   note: idea (using poison bird to improve memory) off a training forum, used
                            poison birds before to get better control at the line with Kooly and it
                            worked well with him, however, the use then was to make him more
                            responsive because his control was not very good (understatement),
                            his memory is "scary" exceptional
                   note; Gunny's issue is different but the solution for him remains in working
                            on responsiveness, Gunny's control is one of his strengths, his focus is
                            often lacking, creating situations where responsiveness is "highlighted"
                            (i.e. use poison bird concept) balance is restored. Memory is stabilized. 
                   note: in essence, any time a dog performs poorly, the weak factors) must
                            be identified, a dog that is not marking well may be weak in focus
                            and/or control, by demanding greater responsiveness it is possible to
                            impact other factors - control, focus and retrieving 
                            Gunny's "birdiness" is high and his control is excellent.......therefore
                            the remaining two factors to address are responsiveness and focus.
                            A poison bird presentations requires greater demands to clarify those
                            two factors...the end result would be better memory.                  
1. Gunny's problem was not marking multiples very well. It was necessary to
               find an effective way to impact memory issues.
           2. The basic premise of the "Five Factors" is a dog needs to be in balance.
           3. Corrections may be achieved by attacking the factor (or factors) that are weak.
               Restore balance and Gunny's retrieving/marking/memory skills will improve.
               It should be noted that at times Gunny will make a difficult mark look easy.
               Which means he can mark, but his overall performance is inconsistent. 
           4. The solution comes through modifying training so as to increase consistency. 
           5. There must be a rationale to the solution. Using a poison bird setup will
               create repetitive situations where Gunny will be pulled off a mark and then
               retrieving a blind changes the routine. The setups use the HRC "singles"
               bucket, popper gun & remote wingers (minimal visibility)....."no bird', "dead
               bird" & re-heel to the other side then running a blind. this routine changes
               the single to a is a "busy" line with a become a
               routine......."focus and pay attention"
           6. In essence, Gunny is able to remember the mark because the ineffective
               routine was replaced with a more focused yet "busy" routine where he is
               working with is important to note that the "parts" of the routine were
               in place, they were just not consistent enough.....engrained
           7. Throwing more singles and decreasing multiples would not deal with the
               problem. An "adjustment" in the five factors directly confronts the problem.
               Restore balance by identify factor issues and adjust training to modify

              In Conclusion:
              Referring back to #1, Gunny's memory skills were weak. By using a training
              setup where the emphasis was on being more responsiveness and focused.
              Balance was restored. How do we know this? He knows where the marks are.  

             The original premise is a dog that is not doing well is out of balance. Doing 
             more of the same is not an efficient way to correct problems. Deal with the
             identified weak factors) by "adjusting" training sessions to fine tune the five
             factor combination.

     note: Keep in mind these thoughts are only that. In no way are they meant to be
              "gospel".  Perspective is personal and subject to change. Writing your own
              thoughts in a journal aids in keeping track of where you once were. By 
              leaving a "paper trail" it is easier to understand why you are where you are
              later on. Without a written history, dog training becomes more like an
              endless trek in a vast forest. In a word.....lost.

     note: My Master's Thesis title was "Memorize and Perish". There is evidence that
              adrenalin deepens memories both good and bad. For a retriever it would be
              a plus to use birds often when marking (i.e. more exciting, more adrenalin).
              On the flip side, any negative training issues would tend to promote counter-
              productive behaviors that would "get in the way" (i.e. bad memories).

              Another thing that inhibits memories are distractions. They cause a lack of 
              focus which often impacts control. The idea of forcing a dog to become
              more focused vs. teaching/providing a way to be so requires a balance. The
              right combination depends a lot of the dog's potential (innate abilities
              including temperament). In the long run, it is better to have a dog want to
              do something vs. "only forced to".

              In terms of marking and remembering multiples, the routine at the line
              must be clean, clear and seamless. The handler cannot be "in the way" or
              on the other end of the spectrum - a "potted plant". How about being
              inconspicuously in total control?

              I can enforce "here", "sit" and "heel", but there are no commands for
              "pay attention", "listen to me" or "focus on what we are doing".

              Essentially, routines must be automatic to maintain balance with respect
              to responsiveness, focus and control. The old "this is what I do because it is
              all I know" is the best vehicle for maximizing memory and performance.

April 9  rain - a "whole bunch" = day off (good timing) 
April 10 rain all day, 1 pm 39F & feels like 30F (20 mph winds gusting 29) = day off

April 11 trained at Rockcut State Park DTA - 11:30 am checked the weather AND it was
             39F & feels like 30F JUST like yesterday - Ground Hog Day time warp???
             put on long underwear & warm socks and the entire time we were training
             it was misting.........but all four got in some work
                     note: Taffey & Kooly came out after the two younger dogs work
                               and during pickup they were given several walking singles  
             using the far west "berm" of the training area, Carol Cassity's swish drill was    
             the setup, 14 orange bumpers were spread out to make a pile (destination)
             moving 125+ yards away, six blinds were run along an arc, the initial cover
             is never mowed and consists of shrubs, scrub pines, tall dead weeds, a few
             low vines and a pile of branches...... the dogs had to bust through the cover
             for the first sixty yards then cross a path and finally move over a stretch of
             short, matted and dead grass....all up-hill
                      note: each blind "line" was selected based on "slots" through the taller
                               shrubs, trees, bushes and piles of downed branches
                      Daisy went first and did really well at keeping a good line in the cover
                      Gunny was next and "sticky" cover has been a weakness for him, evidently
                      last hunting season reduced the problem considerably (he did well)

                                                                            (left click on thumbnails)
                                "blind 1"
                    "blind 2"
             "blind 3"
                                  "blind 4"
                    "blind 5"
            "blind 6"
                                                                     Carol Cassity's Swish Drill    

                  after the "cover blind drill" Daisy ran a X-Box marking setup with two sets
              of check-down singles, Gunny ran the same setup plus on extra check-
              down single in a different area (used remote line with "send backs")
              X Box Drill (link to drill photos)
                    note: once the session started the weather did not seem to be much of
                             an issue until the camera came out (still misting) and it was a
                             good day of training
April 12 trained in the afternoon at Winnebago Co. DTA,  high 46F winds 15 to 25 mph
             with rain....misting when left the house, caught a break in the weather, it 
             began to rain just as pickup ended - lucky timing & it was COLD
             ran Daisy & Gunny with an HRC line, remote winger singles and repeated the
             same poison bird presentation from April 8 (just in a different place)
                    note: Daisy was sharp.....Gunny was  good on the first three singles
                    note: Kooly & Taffey did some running around and a few walking
                             singles when setting up.....both need maintenance exercise           
April 13 Saturday 8:30 am  36F feels like 27F with snow flurries, partly cloudy this
             afternoon with strong winds, 46F 16 mph west wind trained at
RockCut State
             Park DTA - cold and windy, Daisy & Gunny ran two HRC doubles with cold
             blinds & a Diversion (ducks)
                note: progress is being made.....both did well, need to delay Gunny's
                         release at the line......wants to "leave" too soon on second mark

                                                                           (left click on thumbnails)                            

April 14 Sunday Daisy & Gunny ran a remote winger triple then came back out to
             run a set of three cold blinds at Rockcut State Park DTA (west side), used
             3" black/white flagged Avery Flashers for marks & orange bumpers for blinds
                   note: did NOT use HRC line routine & picked up marks "outside in"
                   note: at 2 pm 6
7F with 22 mph winds from the south east
                   note: both did well.....progress toward hunt tests is "getting there"

April 15 two sets of four remote winger singles with an HRC line including holding
             blinds, gun with primer loads, duck calling and decoys, Winnebago Co. DTA,
             ran first set to the north & then moved the line so that the same wingers
             would provide four marks toward the south (strong wind from the west)
                   note: after the first set of marks Gunny & Daisy ran 2 cold blinds across
                            the pond, reloaded wingers and moved line for the last 4 marks
                   note: it always takes a mark to "warm" Gunny up = get his focus, might
                            try a few short walking singles before the first real training session,
                            second set he was very sharp
                   note: Daisy was very good on the first set, but the two middle wingers
                            were visible (closer) plus the 2 outside marks never flew above
                            the horizon = she didn't see either, decided to reset the first and
                            not much different, need to work on getting her to "look" in the
                            correct direction when there is "nothing to see" (in terms of a
                            possible mark), to a fault.....she sees too much
                   note: blinds went well in spite of loosing sight of them on the bank entry,
                            walked out to get closer (Gunny needed it and Daisy kept going)     
                   note: Kooly & Taffey were let out to run around during setup periods,
                            they need to stretch their legs and exercise            
                   note: partly cloudy, 56
F and windy with "temps" dropping

                                                                                   (left click on thumbnails)
                               "van to the line"
                 "singles 1 & 2"
           "singles 3 & 4"
              "two cold blinds"
      "side view entries"
      "singles 5 & 6"
        "singles 7 & 8"

April 16 trained at BT's Daisy & Gunny ran four HRC walkups (popper gun), with
             remote wingers tucked back into a huge row of pine trees along a wide
             path adjacent to a cut corn field, ran "sans" e-collar....but was carrying a
             heeling stick...walked slow & fast varying speed and the focus was on
             precision, both have done this often in the past so this is more of a review
             next they ran a set of three cold blinds (tough terrain and not short)
                    note: was going to go home & come out later for the second session,
                             upon arriving plans were changed, turned around and took the
                             short drive to the Rockton Road DTA
                             Gunny & Daisy ran 5 remote line, Dokken marks with "send
                             backs", 75-150 yard "Ya-Ha" singles
 (link to drill photos)
                    note: much accomplished today - solid sessions
                    note: Kooly & Taffey had the day off
April 17 up at 6:15 am & radar looked like it would be a close call to beat  the rain,
             went simple, drove into RockCut State Park DTA at 6:55 am, walked Gunny
             out carrying a place board and stickman, he "aired" on the way out, cast to
             the "remote" line and ran seven stand alone, "send back" singles using a
             3" black/white flagged Avery Flasher in excellent cover (tall weed stems,
             shrubs, wood pile and matted grass), marks easy to see once upon them,
             repeated with Daisy, it began to sprinkle, Kooly and Taffey were brought
             out and aired together.....sent Kooly to the "line" both dogs ran "tandem",
             send back singles, Kooly ran four longer singles and Taffey three shorter
                    note: finished at 7:30 am as the sprinkles turned to a cold rain (still
                             in the middle forties with a wind chill in the thirties)
                    note: Wow! 21 singles, four dogs were trained in a small weather
                             window and the next three days look nasty = heavy RAIN

April 18 heavy rain and thunder storms forecast for all day, left at 6 am for fish/duck
             camp on the Mississippi River to meet RV repairman - install new power
             inverter, rained hard for the trip....but let up for about two hours when I
             arrived.....job completed and then the rains started up again with this 2nd
             front moving east, caught up and moved in the space between two fronts,
             not raining at the Winnebago Co, DTA so the dogs got some work in
                   note: Daisy & Gunny did the "Two Dog Lear-Frog walking singles drill,
                            each did ten singles with two of those being water retrieves
                   note: Kooly & Taffey came out next and did 5 & 4 singles with Taffey's
                            being much shorter than Kooly's
April 19 day off - 9:30 am, 36
F feels like 25F with 29 mph gusts, rain & snow
                   note: "spring" ???? is almost ridiculous

April 20 Saturday - introduced first phase of the two dog, "no bird" test honoring
             expectation at the Square Pond DTA, Daisy & Gunny were trained together
             using a Dokken and place board (one on........the other off - alternating)
                    note: no e-collar, only heeling stick, "no bird" command used with
                             both when I picked up the Dokken, each spent time on the
                             place board and were rotated about the area as each ended
                             up retrieving when the other was given a quiet "no bird",
                             varied the distance and circumstances as they became more
                             aware.......responsiveness increased and the drill expectations
                             became consistent = good session and ready for phase two
                    note: Kooly & Taffey ran a cold blind for a little exercise
April 21 Sunday afternoon late - "in your face" HRC line engraining honor drill
             (second phase), teaching mode using the "Long Wait" format Square Pond
             DTA grassy area ("short" setup, 4 remote wingers, 3" flagged Avery Flashers,
             popper gun, holding blinds, remote place board
                    note: dogs heeled from the van to the holding blinds, then to the
                             line and finally when finished returned to the van "off lead"
                    note: all marks came overhead from behind with the running dog (Daisy)
                             picking up the 1st single and the other dog (Gunny) doing a cold
                             honor off the place board, the 2nd single had the running dog honor
                             while the dog on the placboard made the retrieve
                    note: the dogs then switched positions and ran it again (4 retrieves total)
                    note: phase three = ducks, but will repeat phase two
April 22 trip to duck/fish camp to repair small leak in trailer roof & trained at the
             Winnebago Co. DTA on the way back, ran the "Two Dog, Leap Frog, Walking
             Singles Drill"
                   note: warm, nice day = unusual
                   note: Gunny & Daisy ran first - 9 singles apiece with 3 water marks (down
                            to the pond and back)
                   note: Taffey & Kooly were the second "duo" - 7 singles for Kooly with 3
                            water, Taffey ran 4 short land and 2 easy water

                                                                             (left click on thumbnails) 
                                                                              "out of the bank" 

April 23 scouted turkeys in the morning, none in the area rain on the way ...two older
             dogs' day off, ran Daisy & Gunny on three long blinds (175-250) yards) in a
             drizzling rain, with two pairs of geese nesting on the pond, I doubt any turkeys
             will visiting plus it is surrounded by a wide open bean cover 

                      note: since March 22, Daisy & Gunny have trained 28 out of the 33 days
                               (missed 5 days for weather issues & had 2 days with two sessions)
                      note: rounding into shape 
                      note: a few days were two session days (morning & afternoon)
                      note: "turkey permit" April 20-25 - doesn't appear it's going to be filled
April 24 trained at the Square Pond grassy area Daisy & Gunny ran the Two Dog, "No
             Bird" Honoring Drill, Taffey ran around after "helping" me pick up gear, Kooly
             got two 100 yd walking singles (to stretch his legs)
                      note: evening applied FrontLine Plus to Gunny, Taffey & Daisy and put
                               a Preventic collar on Kooly (no water tomorrow)

                               Two Dog, "No Bird" Honoring Drill (YouTube link)

April 25 early afternoon - trained at RockCut State Park DTA - ran a set of four HRC
             singles using remote launch with Gunny - focused on "waiting" for release,
             Daisy ran the same HRC setup with two "heel" doubles = sharp, moved to
             different area for the second setup, Gunny & Daisy ran two "here" doubles
                   note: Gunny was much improved and Daisy was especially sharp
                   note: Gunny is "laid back" while Daisy is "right on the edge"
                   note: Kooly & Taffey had the day off 
                   note: partly cloudy, stiff breeze with
"temp" 46F and wind chill 40F
April 26 trained at Winnebago Co DTA - noon = setup 4 remote winger stations
             north of the pond, Daisy ran singles with poison bird blinds on the first
             two, Gunny ran the same setup (first two singles with poison bird blinds)
             in addition, Gunny did about 10 very short angle entry hand tossed marks
             to "review" the expectations
                   note: water was cold, so each did some walking singles on land right
                            after their work = both did quite well with their session
             Taffey helped reload the wingers between runs and got a few fun bumpers,
             Kooly helped on the final pickup, he took three long casts using "place" to
             cast to a remote line up near the parking lot and then had three long
             singles to retrieve (first two in the pond) - he's still got it (marks lights out
             with a ton of speed)
60F with 20 mph winds SSW
April 27 attended Fox Valley HRC "Fun Hunt" at the Richmond, IL Hunt Club
                      note: weather forecast was excellent, left 6:30 am (hour drive)
             the ultimate purpose of the day was to answer questions about Daisy's and
             and Gunny's readiness
                      note: for Daisy it was mostly about control and focus.....skills and
                               experience were not the question
                      note: with Gunny the focus was on dealing with the cluttered water
                      note: with the very late warm-up neither have had much water, in
                               fact first real water for any extended time was yesterday
                      note: whether to go to the line with a heeling stick and/or an e-collar
                               (some participants did) neither Daisy or Gunny did, the day was
                               to be a measuring stick of what each needed, neither wore an
                               e-collar and I didn't carry a heeling stick                       
             Land was first with a solid and basic setup in a harvested corn field with tall
             hedgerow, tree lines on both sides, walkup, right to left triple with a blind
             behind the long middle holding blind station with a diversion and honor
             Daisy went first and was her usual "on the edge" self, training has focused
             on being calm and quiet, avoiding any tendency to feed into her built in
             anxiety a word she is always "high",  went slow and slower
             and she was able to keep it together, just barely saw the long middle bird
             because I was slow on swinging and shooting and I'm sure she did not look
             at the last , short duck down on the left - decided to pick up the birds right to
             left right and save the "fight" for the duck she didn't see until last, all the
             poison bird work paid off as I had no trouble getting her back on the first duck
             down - Daisy responded well and picked up what would have been the
             "memory" and the long mark down the middle was OK, I lined her up on the
             the one she didn't see and gave the "go as sent" routine......with a firm DAISY!!!
             she fired out and front footed it
                        note: one run our to the way and answers obtained = retrieving skills
                                 are excellent - poise at the line is getting there (whew!
             Gunny requires a switch in gears, he is excited but under control, I really
             notice a contrast in my "nerves" when running him (as opposed to Daisy) - he
             is responsive and works with me (what a breath of fresh a way his
             temperament and work has helped me become more calm when running
             Daisy = his land was really solid, marked well, kept it all together........I
             really needed that
             Daisy was first to go on water and the fun test was just about as challenging
             a Finished test as I've ever seen, my initial thoughts were we've really only
             trained in water once this spring and it was yesterday with short marks, the
             water was heavy with dead water weeds on the left and right marks, the
             longest mark (up the middle had) a narrow island strip to cross with loads of
             "wood" to deal with
                         note: spent a goodly portion of time with Daisy out on lead and off
                                  before going to the line, quiet and mostly OB training, went to
                                  the only holding blind area and spent a bunch of time ignoring
, even used the "hands on pressure" technique we use to
                                  calm down our autistic granddaughter.......(well, I must admit
                                  she seemed to respond to it, hands spread over both shoulders
                                  and pushed down with steady pressure
             Daisy was much calmer going to the line than ever before, not sure why, I
             was calmer, the routine before going to the holding blind including the
             "grasping as straws" pressure thing had some effect or the first series had
             taken some of the edge off......she was good (for Daisy)
             Gunny went next and I was too confident (due to Daisy's performance), big
             mistake..........he is not strong in cluttered water, spent months a few years
             ago getting him comfortable with underwater obstructions, with almost zero
             water work this spring....I should have run all singles and called it a day, he
             was excellent at the line - a huge "breath of fresh air" for me, saw each mark
             go down, lined the "go bird" in the heavy, weedy AOF and then the middle,
             longest mark "ate him up", once over the narrow strip island 3/4's the way,
             logs, sticks and timber cluttered water ended with me calling him in
                         note: questions answered...the $20 and time spent on running this
                                  "Fun Hunt" was an excellent investment

                                                        (left click on thumbnails)
go bird"
    "middle mark/blind"

           side note:
             When home (short drive), I was beat and down a bit with making the mistake
             in not simplifying Gunny's water, but the Bull's game was on, when they fell
             behind by 14 points with very little time left in the game, I turned it off,,,,,didn't
             need more "down stuff" to think about, took Lylah (our autistic granddaughter)
             for her daily swim and afterwards went to town for gas, turned the radio on
             and the announcer is "over the top" excited about how the Bulls won in 3OT,
             I missed an epic finish!                
April 28 Sunday = day off for all good day for "real" yard work
April 29 train at Rockton Road DTA late morning - setup five cold blinds
Daisy & Gunny ran all five, Kooly rand three and Taffey did the short two
  note: worked on Daisy getting a better square sit - some progress, the warm
                           temperatures affected her the most (plus the pressure)
                  note: Gunny's focus was on taking good initial lines - did really well
                  note: Kooly was efficiently terrific on his three (maintained conditioning)
                  note: Taffey had her "geriatric" workout - tired, but loved every second

                                                                               (left click on thumbnails)

April 30  8 am  vet's - Daisy (Lyme, Lepto, Bord'), Gunny (Bord')), Taffey (Lepto)
drove on up to the Stoughton FT grounds (Madison Retriever Club)
  setup take two place boards with white buckets & stakes, 5 stickmen, 6 goose
              sleeper shells, two holding blinds, a popper gun & stand plus a duck call
Daisy & Gunny ran the stand alone & send back setup alternating retrieves,
              once on their way back to the line the other dog was thrown a mark, some
              honoring, but once underway one dog is usually in the water either "coming
              or going"
note: Daisy's marks were more swimming than Gunny's as he had the
                              corner with shallow water - lunging by design to "amp" his water
                              enthusiasm - it worked & and the session went well
 note: six singles were thrown with the last back at the initial station and
                              thrown on the opposite side with an "in your face" diversion 
                     note: Kooly & Taffey were "out" to run around during setup & pickup

                                                                           (left click on thumbnails)
        "Daisy on the left"
     "Gunny on the right"
         "The Setup"
         "The Marks"

May 1st weather forecast warm & sunny = trained at Bong in the morning, wanted to
        train the Stick Pond, but a group was already there, went back to the gravel
        pond and soon realized the rumors I had heard were true - evidently almost all
        the shrubs and trees on the pond had been chopped down, the ones that gave
        a nice shady spot in the heat of the summer were gone, the character of this
        somewhat famous pond was trashed - I'm sure from the description it was not
        a DNR approved process - need to check on that, but for now I am not happy!
        However, we did train on a "strange" pond today....the look was very different.
        Daisy & Gunny ran setup similar to yesterday's - 5 singles off  5 stickmen, 2 field
        holding blinds, 6 goose shells & 3 FB duck decoys, duck call & flagged mallard
                note: used goose shells to cover nasty shrub stickups (here and there)
                note: Gunny again had the section with more lunging water
                note: drove down the runway to a small pond and Gunny did a series
                         of angle exit "reps"
                note: Kooly ran the first three marks - he was super
                note: Taffey ran the first mark - she was happy with that
                note: long morning/day and the extra miles of detour didn't help
IverHart Plus for all this evening

                                                                          (left click on thumbnails)
                        "singles on the right"
         "two-dog setup" 
     "first station"
                                                                              angle exit drills
                      "cheat" setup #1
      "cheat" setup #2
  "cheat" setup #3

when setting up, 2 trainers with seven "Brits" were working upland birds and wanted to know about letting their dogs cool off in the pond (sometime) - it was a very warm day
and the timing was excellent.....their dogs liked the romp in cooling water  

                      photos of "The Gravel Pond" from the south a few years ago
             almost every tree and shrub around the pond in this photo were "leveled"
                               (see single exception noted in the following photo)

                         all trees and shrubs around the pond in this photo (except
                                        the tall poplar behind the AOF) are "gone"

           the shrubs and trees in this photo (on the west side) provided morning shade
                                                            (not anymore)

                                                      new "look" -  southwest side (barren)

                                               today's photo from the south

May 2nd day off for all
May 3rd - worked Madison Field Trial (morning) - Derby......cold, windy plus rain
                   note: chest waders & late November duck/rain gear
                   note: another day off
May 4th Saturday - trained late afternoon, Gunny ran eight short cold blinds with
              mallards (focused on "mo"), Daisy ran four cold blinds (with mallards)
  note: Gunny seemed to be limping on his left front paw, checked
                            several times during the early morning, found small splinter of
                            wood which may have been from the Gravel Pond brush cutting
                            (just a guess).....but he ran the blinds well this afternoon
                   note: caught Daisy off guard by taking her out of the van and moving
                            a few yards to run the first blind, got a "no go", stepped forward
                            saying "heel"/"back" with a quick response, she did the next
                            three with no issues except her square sit is getting "sloppy"  
  note: day off for Kooly & Taffey
May 5th - day off for all - mowed back lawn (just in time)
May 6th - trained with friend at the highway W FT grounds
               note: Gunny & Daisy ran four remote winger singles HRC style & 2 blinds,
                        goose and mallard decoys (difficult terrain on marks)...later they ran
                        three singles with a thrower/shooter in the field 
                        Kooly & Taffey ran a few hand thrown marks with the popper gun 
                        for exercise
May 7th - trained first at old shopping center land - not developed and vacant 
               note: Daisy & Gunny ran two remote winger/holding blind poison birds

with real mallards, Kooly & Taffey ran around afterwards while
                        picking up the setups
note: drove to the Square Pond DTA - water level is a almost two feet
                        below the outlet pipes which means the levee/dam is compromised
Daisy & Gunny ran an HRC double with popper gun, remote wingers
                        and holding blinds - water with easy go bird and difficult memory
 note: need to do water cheating reviews with Gunny
May 8th - trained early at Bong Recreational Area in Wisconsin - mostly in the
              "Stick Pond" = ran four HRC line singles "down the shore" in the water,
              then did a walkup followed by two singles with a diversion, drove down
              the "runway" to the technical pond. it was full of nasty looking algae, ran
              135 cold blind parallel to the shore of the next pond to the east      
              note: Daisy & Gunny worked with Kooly & Taffey running loose during
                       pickup (exercise)
              note: Gunny's "aversion" to "sticks in the water attacking him" was
                       directly dealt with today by running several short marks into plenty
                       of obstacles in three spots along the shoreline this is now called
                       the "sticky stuff" conditioning drill
              note: Gunny is not "focused" in training (too laid back, changes at a test)
              note: Daisy is "amped" in training and at a test she is often "over the top"
              note: translation = Gunny & Daisy require switching gears (significantly)
              note: left the house at 6:10 am and back home at 1:00 pm with 143 miles
                       on the van

                                                                          (left click on thumbnails)

            "sticky stuff"


May 9th - rain most of the day = day off for all
May 10th - cool, trained early afternoon on two sets of 4 cold blinds, ran from the
               opposite angle in the "new DTA", Kooly & Taffey had another day off
               Daisy & Gunny ran four cold blinds at a time (two sets of four) with ducks
                      note: for some reason Daisy gave me another "no go" out of the box,
                               worked through it, finished with no issues, after clamping down
                               on her hyper attitude at the line = may have crossed the line,
                               need to balance it off, sensitive and hyper are a bad "combo"

                                                                          (left click on thumbnails)

May 11th Saturday - afternoon, trained at Rockton Road DTA - strong winds out of       
        the northwest, this setup is sheltered by pine trees and large overpass/hill
        Daisy & Gunny ran an HRC triple with a diversion & blind using mallards
               note: both trained without wearing an e-collar, Daisy was excellent &
                        Gunny put in a good performance - good session!
               note: Kooly got some exercise & OB in with eight hand thrown Dokkens
                        Taffey ran the cold blind in reverse, she liked the duck, every day
                        now it seems as if she is physically slipping away (too quickly)

                                                                           (left click on thumbnails)

May 12th Sunday (high 54F) - day off
May 13th trained early afternoon at the Square Pond DTA (high 6
4F), setup three
               remote wingers with easy marks and "worked on" the 180 triple pivot,
               primary focus of today's session was to emphasize responsiveness
                       step #1 used only the sounds from each winger and "moved" to each
                       one...first pivot right to all three, back to the van & then back out
                       step #2 to do a left pivot, used HRC bucket & cap gun
                       step #3 came back out (third time from the van) and repeated the
                       left to right triple with mallards (using cap gun)....back to the van
                       step #4 then back out to do the mallard marks right to left
                       note: each dog worked "off the van, through two holding blinds and
                                to the line four times, heeling stick and no e-collar day
               Daisy is almost too "amped" to keep it together = more exposure is showing
               some improvement, but she will always be right on the edge
               Gunny is very cool & collected, really beginning to put it all together
May 14th trained in the morning at "W" FT grounds (high 80F) morning 50's wind SW
 "setup HRC triple with a diversion, decoys (goose and mallard shells), two
               holding blinds in the field, duck call, four remote wingers, real ducks,
               popper/primer gun with no e-collar and a heeling stick             
               turned the wingers around (moved a little) and setup a water double with
               a cold blind (using real ducks again) 
               Daisy & Gunny ran both setups with the primary focus on the "line" routine,
               marking off the gun, "heel" and "here" significance with "reps"
                        note: Gunny was sucked into the short diversion scent when going     
                                 long on the triple, the second mark and memory conflicted
                                 (too much in-line, but both sorted it out)
                        note: both are getting better at swinging with the gun, Gunny is
                                 calmer and more focused, Daisy marked much better which
                                 for her is more a function of experience than focus/control

                                                                          (left click on thumbnails)

May 15th trained early morning at Bong "Rec" area, weather = great, 70's, WNW
               setup four singles on the north east side of the Gravel Pond, move wingers
               around and ran four water singles from the west side of the pond
                         note: Daisy was very sharp, Gunny was long on a two land singles
                                  and pretty much clueless on the water = no focus....thinking
                                  and reviewing original and old opinion that he his better off
                                  training every other day, trained super yesterday and different
                                  dog today = again the hips issue continues to make me wonder

                                                                        (left click on thumbnails)
                                "fourth water"

May 16th day off for everyone except Daisy = set of water blinds - Square Pond
                    note: yard work = mow lawn
FrontLine Plus to Gunny, Taffey & Daisy and Preventic collar
                             has been on Kooly since April 24th (new middle of June)
May 17th easy morning did two easy land doubles at the Square Pond DTA
May 18th HRC Finished tests at Banner Marsh right rear wheel bearing going out,
        made it there in plenty of time, Daisy was very "amped" during the water series,
        picked up the marks and did a great job on the blind, honor was borderline and
        responsiveness was unacceptable, decided not to let her run the land series,
        Gunny picked up the marks OK (cheated two) and I picked him up on the blind,
        got to the "wood in the water" section and gave me cast refusals, picked him up,
        scratched both dogs from the second series and the only good thing about
        the day was that the wheel bearing made it back home...........all four dogs
        are now "retired" from hunt tests, not enough time, money or desire.....and
        way too many other more pressing issues to be working on........the end....
        ...except for hunting season

Gunny is 6, Daisy is 8, Kooly is 10, Taffey is 13 and I'm 73. We are all retired.                 

                                                                           updated 04/12/14