Pounce - eleven months old

                                                           Pounce Training Journals Archive (link)
                                                               (July - December 2014, January - May 2015)
  April 30 morning first up was a fun session of whistle sits when in motion,
             the lesson moved along in an incremental process using motion
             and bumpers in the air.......gradually transforming to whistle sits
             on the way to retrieving an exciting mark - this went really well
next up was a drive to the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA for Pounce's
             introduction to a few marking concepts - inline, through the old
             fall and past the gunner singles........three winger stations were set
             up at 53, 91 and 125 yards with a stiff wind blowing right to left,
             3" black & white DT's were launched one at a time and landed in
             ankle deep grass - the sit command was re-enforced verbally
             and with low collar "stim" (often).....she is steady & her delivery
             skills are improving....."lotsa" go and marks well  
                       note: the new wingers are making a huge difference
                   Pounce - Marking Concepts (YouTube - link)
         (left click on thumbnail)  
                  "first mark"
         "ready for last"
    "arc of the last"
                 "back side"

             "side side"
       "front side"
               rest of the day off....except a few "games" with the dog hide
  May 1 morning repeated yesterday's "sit when in motion" exercise, then ran
          the back pile of her single T six times with "whistle sit, turn and look
          at me" en route twice
                   note: success!!

          drove to Roscoe Riverside Part DTA & did two, short, "solo" send
          marks with "send backs" in a Y-Drill format using an orange bumper
                   note: it was becoming warm and humid....went up around the
                            gravel road to the shoreline along the Rock River...Pounce
                            was ready for a cool swim and immediately discovered the
                            concept of a swift current...on the second bumper out she
                            began "aiming" downstream (instinctive?)
                   note: the rest of today is time off for good behavior....she acted
                            a bit different today........might be coming in heat?
evening Pounce ran right to the dog hide after airing.....OK...let's
          play....kennel command has her going in the back to lay down and
          look out, bumper tossed & she stays in, "here/heel" and she is right
          beside mr ready to retrieve.....does it three times and then on the
          last she goes in the front and spins around inside, "ready" again and
          is rewarded
                   note: all four dogs got their HeartGard Plus
May 2 morning up early and Pounce first did a seven bumper Zig-Zag lining
          drill in the yard, then the Avery Ultra Low Dog hide was taken out
          (first time outside) and Pounce ran three short singles out of it, the last
          with a short, flopping Dokken 
                    note: expectations 1) enter on "kennel/place" command (two
                             words (for now), 2) laying "down" (command) inside
                             looking out, 3) watching for the "big event" when it finally
                             "appears", 4) a delayed exit cued by the "here & heel"
                             commands to a position clearly off the line to the fall,
                             5) settle into the retrieving position, 6) wait, look out and
                             "collect" the moment for at least ten seconds, 7) released
                             on "Pounce" and 8) delivery 
then rinse and repeat    
                    note: #4 is significant when first teaching this skill because it
                            "intercepts" forward momentum, the dog is NOT allowed to
                             move straight ahead on a line with the fall

                             1) when hunting it is highly unlikely I will be in front of
                             where my dog is hidden) 2) it immediately establishes who
                             is in charge (control), 3) it enhances responsiveness and
                             4) it emphasizes that the line is not a "launching pad"

                             foot note: This is an adaptation of a Pat Nolan approach
                             and it "dovetails" nicely with the Hillmann philosophy.

 In essence, I refuse to become a potted plant.            


                     multi-rationale = 1) steady, 2) waiting patiently while in a high
                     state of excitement, 3) the hide is NOT a "launching pad", 4)
                     focus, control and responsiveness come BEFORE any reward
                     and 5) practice, repetition & consistency produce multifaceted,
                     automatic reflexes.......pup oozes "This is what I do because it
                     is all I know how to do."      

         note: I think Pounce is coming into heat. Going to lighten up the    
                  work for the next week (or more).

May 3
morning thunderstorms not until this afternoon, trained Pounce on
          Hillmann's 7 bumper lining drill (kind of like a longer, single side
          of the Zig-Zag......same skills.....she was much more "in tune" and
          did well
                   note: had enough time to work the older dogs and mow the
                            back lawn and airing hard (more yard work) 
May 4
morning Pounce worked on singe T, place eight bumpers at the
          back pile and did not run the full distance, two backs from a remote
          sit at the apex, then identified each side pile before doing a left and
          right over, sent to the back pile twice, sent and whistle sit a right
          over, sent to the back pile, whistle sit en route a left over and then
          repeated that sequence again....it was humid & sunny....not very
          warm and Pounce kept at it....and we quit while we were ahead,
          as I was picking up, she grabbed a bumper and ran around like
          that was fun, but I'm happy we are finished, drove home and
          picked up three frozen ducks for three winger singles at the
          Roscoe Riverside Park DTA....they haven't cut the grass so the
          ducks were really visible until right on top of them
                 note: set up three wingers far apart at 95, 112 and 125 yards,
                          was going to run them left to right, but the wind was such
                          that right to left was easy.....no scent conflicts
                 note: Pounce was all over the first two, but had a long hunt on
                          the last....figured it out and her nose was a big help, the
                          photo suggests there may have been a distraction,
                          I did not notice until after she began the hunt
     (left click on thumbnails)    



              note: loading up we took a short trip to the Roscoe Retention Pond
                       and Pounce chased 15 geese off the shoreline......threw a
                       Dokken mallard out as far as possible and Pounce kept at it,
                       the geese had her pumped up....the water cooled her down
              note: finished off my yard work by mowing the front lawn 
May 5 day off
May 6 early morning right after airing Pounce did an extended & "amped"
          off lead with e-collar OB session - getting better!
mid-morning still cool & perfect weather Pounce did a session on her
          single T and did everything I asked of her - first day of really running
          "everything" - good "MO" and finished strong & up beat....let her
          play a bit afterwards
              note: off the van routine including airing, to the holding blind and
                       finally to the line was "off lead" (wearing e-collar) nice job,
                       this is gradually beginning to be a good thing
              note: afterwards Pounce had some time to relax as Kooly and Daisy
                       ran a set of eight walking, "send back" singles in tandem
          after the break Pounce ran a basic Y-Drill with orange bumpers at
          75 yards in the "stand alone/send back" mode,  she understands
          the "place" command & returns to the line with vigor...as we left the
          van she just ran out to the placeboard, turned around & sat without
          me even asking her to......looked at me and said "I'm ready"
             note: it was still cool and comfortable when we finished
             note: afternoon at 5 pm topped out at 80F and we stayed inside

May 7
was planning on training - ended up working on a project that the
          "instructions said would take about 1 hour & 50 minutes.....of course
          what that really meant was that if you've done it before......several
          times...and someone was helping.........started a 8 am and finished
          around 1:30 with a couple of mental health breaks and after getting
          the phone input from Charter to program the electronics.....or course
          that did not include cleanup time and disposing of what seemed a lot
          more cardboard than it looked like when dragging the two cardboard
          containers into the rec-room....plus there was a big bag of "unused"
          hardware which came in the deal....."cause there were three different
          choices on what to do........my wife is happy & the big HD screen on
          top of the entertainment "platform" does look "kinda" cool 
          Pounce had the day off - at 3;30 pm is it 82F....grass is growing
          good and I'll have to mow again....soon         
May 8
morning OB session of  "off the van to the line routine" with the last
          part off lead, Pounce worked the full single T with mostly backs and
          a few "overs" to both sides, whistle sit is improving, but her body
          language suggests some anticipation issues at the "over" distance, 
          after Kooly & Daisy ran their "in tandem" set of six singles with a
          Dokken from three stickmen stations, Pounce came out and ran the
          same "send back" singles with a mallard (65 to 85 yards)....ankle
          high grass with one single (of the six) thrown over a gravel drive
          falling "out of sight" on the other side (never hesitated & flew
          right over the gravel to  pick up the mallard)
                  note: "send backs" are solid, especially with real ducks to retrieve
                  note: drove down to the Square Pond and Pounce got wet (five
                           times) worked on "here" (to me not dropping bumper) &
                           introducing the "shake" command  

 note: "Go Daddy" will no longer host a Front Page based
                           WEB site....Microsoft ceased supporting it and the Front
                           Page extensions are becoming unstable...searching for a
                           method to archive the KwickLabs WEB.....no more editing
                           but accessible and creating a new Website KwickLabsII
                           to carry on
May 9
morning Pounce was brought out to start working the 7 bumper lining
          drill.....using brand new 3" DT white bumpers we were flying through
          the first go, alternating each side and working on the skill.......it was
          going really well........repeated it and again it started out well, then it
          suddenly "went south"......a jogger ran by on the road and Pounce took
          off to play, I said "here".....she hesitated,,,,but kept going, turned the
          e-collar up and she stopped and came back to heel.....OK, that was
          not all bad. re-enforced the sit and she "BOLTED". re-enforced "here"
          with e-collar and then she really bolted into the garage....checked the
          e-collar and it was on 81 out of 100, she's never felt anything over
          35 so now I know the problem.......and she wants no part of me or the
          drill......leash on start playing the "chase a bumper in the air & catch it"
          game.....she was momentarily distracted from the bolting moment & of
          course the e-collar was back to the normal 22 out of 100....heel, sit and
          chase were repeated & I was up beat & "acting" happy...not feeling all
          that great about what just happened.....but she snaps out of it, lines a
          few tossed bumpers and then runs the 7 bumper drill correctly like
          nothing happened......whew!!!...that was not a great moment except
          for learning she 1) is indeed very sensitive, 2) extremely resilient
          3) all the good "stuff" we've done was not lost by my momentary "screw
          up" and 4) if I need to "adjust" the e-collar dial CHECK!!! where it is
          before "jumping" no matter how rushed the moment may seem
  afternoon slight change in plans - did a set of seven, "stand alone",
          send back singles with a mallard to put a very different & exciting
          end/spin to further negate today's morning session, used the inlet
          ditch to the square pond which is about 15+ yards wide and provides
          angle entry/exit exposure to singles thrown on one side with the
          remote line on the other....perfect start for a pup, there is mowed grass
          on either side and the ditch has had no time to shoot up the normal
          five foot high grass so there is excellent straight line visibility when
          crossing, Pounce seemed excited about the "send back" expectation
          and zipped back to the line on the "place" command almost as just as
          her retrieves. ducks are really exciting
                  note: restore balance???make up????feeling guilty?????
                  note: do NOT run the seven bumper lining drill in this "spot"
                            for quite awhile & wait a week before starting it up again  
                  note: her handling of ducks is very good considering the fact
                           she has not retrieved them often in training
May 10
morning 8 am cool, cloudy with a slight mist Pounce went straight
            to yesterday morning's training "spot", using two, 3" white bumper,
            the split lining drill was done AFTER "amping" her up...she was
            excited and ready to roll, one bumper was planted & another was
            tossed, in the first part, the tossed bumper is retrieved first & tossed
            back out....then the other is lined, soon the "student' is "no'd off"
            the tossed bumper with the appropriate physical and verbal cues
            to pick up the other, heeling & fetching are done from each side
            and alternated using the "back" command, the bumpers are not
            always on the same side as the heeling position (ex. bumper on the
            left may be retrieved from a right side heel & (the handler mixes
            the sides while the dog learns to adjust = it is a lining drill requiring
            teamwork (communication and responsiveness), the pace is very
            rapid and with bumpers only 10-15 yards away is a very upbeat
            session....half way through a bumper may be tossed off to the side
            and away from drill location, it is designed to "amp" and provide
            a spontaneous alternative, Pounce was "all over" this drill 

                      note: yesterday's forgettable session had zero carryover,
                               resiliency is cool

                     note: would not have known without checking
afternoon Pounce ran nine singles in the reverse direction across
            the ditch used in yesterday's session and worked at manipulating
            the squaring tendency most pup's exhibit
                     note: by moving left & in the pup learns squaring isn't close
                              to the direction of subsequent singles which translates to
                              a learned expectation of "marking.......not lining"
                              (this is an assumption)
                     note: the last two singles were right in the reeds at the
                              shoreline and about fifteen 15 yards out in the water
                     note: Pounce's first duck mark from water
                     note: the nesting pair on Thorson Pond is not doing well,
                              many broken egg shells  
      (left click on thumbnails)  
 Saturday's singles
  Sunday - 1st two
Sunday - last seven
     "The Ditch"
    "nesting pair"
      egg shell #1 
      egg shell #2
      egg shell #3
         Thorson Pond

May 11 morning radar said "Hurry!" Pounce worked a very good single T
            session at the Square Pond "grassy area" - nine "back" piles with
            two right and two left "overs" spaced out at even intervals
                   note: returns to the line are greatly improved - putting the
                            breaks on slowly just enough to wheel & heel, the
                            lining drills have aided in "no'ing" her off the visible
                            "over" piles and she is becoming "slicker" and more
                            comfortable with what is being taught.....body language
                            says "I get this!"
                   note: taking this all in perspective....the drill work plus marking
                            (with bumpers and ducks) has her well balanced - she likes
                            to train!
and learns quickly, at times however, Pounce's
                            speed sometimes "outruns" the expectation
                  note: a dark, ugly front arrived just as we came home
                   note: partly cloudy with a high of 69
F this afternoon
                   note: around the house Pounce is finally beginning to be a
                            lot easier to deal with. 
the "off the wall" puppy is
                            finally becoming a little lady
    BIG note: recent training videos revealed a need to correct the
                            repetition of commands for re-enforcement, cutting back
                            to using fewer is simple...
now that it has become a
- single T went well today and it was much
                            "quieter" than usual. more relaxing....too.....go figure

May 12-15 cool mornings, perfect to "hit" single T every day with marks in
                 the afternoon  = solo "Ya-Ha" singles (send backs), winger Y Drill
                 and two sets of winger "inlines"
May 12
morning sunny with a breeze in the upper 50's = perfect for single T 
           setup single T with another 10 yards length 2" white bumpers at the
           back pile and 3" white at the side piles = another excellent session,
           not perfect which provided a few opportunities to "work things out"
           which greatly enhances responsiveness....neighbor was mowing
           the edges and erosion strips in the adjacent field which was initially
           distracting for Pounce (that was a good thing) got her refocused and
           finished another solid T session (big motor and likes to train) walked
           back to the van and she "noticed" a bumper way back by the over
           pile....she helped pickup the two leftover "over" bumpers & was
           looking for more......
   note: setups, lining and delivery are much improved = good
                            number of precise "reps" with single commands

late afternoon 54
F with 20mph winds out of the west setup to run
           two solo Y-drills at 75 & 100 yards...downwind threw what would
           have been the longest mark of the session first and found out my
           voice would not carry enough back to the line because of the wind
                   note: Pounce could not register the sound of her name until
                            closer than 75 yards - threw a few short singles, then
                            move up the gravel road where she could get wet in
                            the Rock River
       (left click on thumbnails)  

May 13 afternoon Pounce worked her single T and with each day there is
            a noticeable improvement in stamina, desire and understanding
                   note: excellent session.....a dozen "back" piles & five "overs" 
                            and strong right to the last
                   note: after the older dogs did a set of singles, Pounce came
                            back out and did five very short "send back" singles
                            and I picked up four others in between her retrieves,
                            new expectation...."they all aren't yours"
                   note: afterwards she and Daisy did a free run & play session,
                            their personalities are pretty much the same,,,,.....,no
                            quarter given and Daisy was not exactly thrilled with
                            Pounce's presence.....attitude
May 14
morning Pounce ran a single session with a dozed back piles and
            four "overs" (two to each side), four of the back "runs" were "sit
            en route" doing left and right backs....very sharp and into it, working
            with me and fast at the finish....wanted to line each of the two side
            piles from the van..........picked up everything and then set up the
            "hide, toss Dokken, "here/heel" & "fetch" on name drill
                    note: worked on this during the winter, did a brief outside intro
                             a few days ago and she was really good at it this morning,
                             several "tosses" I picked up and she had no issues coming
                             to heel first out of the hide before retrieving
                    note: focused, responsive and control control with a great deal
                             of drive when prompted to retrieve
                    note: drove to RockCut State Park DTA to check grass height,
                             permit to train expired.....went to office and renewed
                    note: grass already calf high and Pounce has not done any
                             retrieving in cover this tall.....after getting past the initial
                             and almost overwhelming abundance of things to smell,
                             she was retrieving like it was not that big of a deal
                             (did a few fun, short, walking singles with send backs
                             throwing a 3" white DT bumper
       (left click on thumbnails)  
        "at ease"
 "looking at cover"

May 15-17 Pounce and I took three days off from training (other priorities)
note: all four dogs were given their Frontline Plus

Place & Send Backs Training (link)

May 18 morning Pounce worked her single T, 12 back piles with four
            en route whistle sits with right & left backs plus four "overs"  (two
            to the left and two to the right)
                  note: is was cool and she wanted to pick up a bumper from
                           each side pile from where the van was parked (visible)
                  note: ran the two older dogs and then Pounce was taken down
                           the lane to Thorson Pond where she ran four basic, white
                           bumper single from a remote placeboard  line, for several
                           reasons 1) she hasn't done much water, 2) to work on
                           deliveries, exiting & giving a bumper to me...THEN shake
May 19
morning cool & in the upper 40's perfect for a solid session of single T,
            worked mostly on the back pile and specifically on "back" from the
            intersection over's line......Pounce "hung in there" right to the finish
            and was "amped", ran a few errands & ended up at Roscoe Riverside
            Park DTA (hoping that it finally was mowed = it wasn't) the cover was
            calf high.....therefore, the session was "adjusted" from winger Y-Drills
            to "stand alone/send back" single....ran 3 Mama/Papa sets of angle
            back, inline singles at 60 80 and 100 yards (range finder)
                     note: factors = calf high grass, 15-20 mph cross wind and the  
                              singles were all the same fall line making through the
                              old fall a challenge
                     note: did well (lined) four of the marks and had a small hunt
                              on the two others when first "missing" up wind
                     note: send backs were sensational! and I was extremely pleased
                              with her marking - good lines, knew when she was nearing
                              AOF, eyes were searching and nose too with tight hunts,
                              what's not to like about all that!
            walked back to the line and stopped forty yards out, sent Pounce to
            line ("send back"), threw a "Momma-Papa" double, walked to the line,
            set Pounce up on the left side for the "go bird" = all over it, came back
            set Pounce on the right side for the memory = nailed it and this is NOT
            short cover 
                      note: Pounce is bouncing and playing around as we head back
                               to the van (carrying a bumper)
May 20
late afternoon - cool rain all day with a small window around 5 pm,
            went to the Square Pond DTA to set up Pounce's single T, 12 bumpers
            at the back pile and two at each over, put a place board at the vertex
            and ran Pounce off that several times, after working on only right and
            left backs (followed by "send backs" to the placeboard) the side piles
            were mixed in, finished with four straight runs to the back pile from
            the line....good session and full of zip right to the end
                       note: this May cool spell has been fantastic for doing single T
                       note: went from the van, to airing, to the holding blind and
                                finally the line
off lead wearing e-collar = did well   
May 21 Thursday 
morning (cool with breeze) Pounce worked a session of the
            single T and began it with a little warm-up jump start that was very
            effective - put a placeboard at the over vertex and sent her from the
            line on "place", right to it....turned and sat with a whistle sit,,,,,then
            did three rounds of right & left "backs" to the pile....the next  2
            "sends" were to do two "overs" (right & left), walked out and removed
            the placeboard and did two sends to the back pile, then alternated
            the next four full sends with whistle sits to work through the two
            "backs" (right and left) and the two "overs" (right and left), then she
            finished with two sends to the back pile........fired and ran hard to
            complete this session, she gave me the eye when we finished and
            wanted a fun bumper.......now! which she ran around with until it
            was time to load her in the van - Thinking this may NOT be a good
            idea to continue doing.
                    note: she's a determined "tiger" in a Labs body
            drove the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA and the area that is usually
            mowed apparently will not be regularly - nice cover and calf high,
            the two older dogs ran a set five of waling singles in tandem and
            this gave Pounce time to relax after single T
                    note: moved to a different part of the huge area and Pounce
                             ran six walking singles with a 3" black & white bumper,
                             she was flying to the falls and marking was good - she
                             is quickly putting together the lining, eyes and nose
                             aspects of marking and she has a good idea about
                             just exactly where the AOF's were
                    note: super morning
May 22 Friday
morning another cool one Pounce worked her single T in the
       about the same order as yesterday - fast to the end & improving every
       day, drove down along the sprouting corn field to Thorson Pond and
       did four water retrieves, then off to Roscoe Riverside Park DTA (still not   
       mowed) and did four walking singles
                    note: did not mark as well as yesterday....cool, damp and a lot
                              of other interesting scents she must learn to ignore
May 23  
morning cool early, mowed front yard for Pounce's "yard work" - did
       a first time intro to Wagon Wheel casting drill with bumpers at 10:30, 12
       and 1:30, worked on coming to heel properly, consistent deliveries and
       push/pull focusing on mirroring physical cues for both sides (right & left)
                    note: Pounce's natural, rapid  grasp of concepts continues to
                              shine.....her responses to cues were accurate and she was
                              pouncing on every "target"
                    note: very animated....this was fun for her
                    note: used 3" DT white bumpers with a mat at the line
                    note: rest of the day off, trainer has his own "yard work" to do
May 24 morning rushed to beat the rain Pounce practice the skills leaned in
        yesterday's "yard work" = continued the intro of Wagon Wheel lining
        and added another bumper to make four
                   note: Pounce worked in a windshield wiper rotation with each
                            lining retrieve tossed back while being at heel and lined
                            up for the next
                   note: worked four in a row on each side before switching
                   note: not only are the physical cues for push & pull being
                            taught, but the actually coming to heel in the correct
                            position relative to which way I am "aimed" (right at the
                            next "target", in addition, Pounce habit of sitting in the
                            "nose & toes" setup for the next "go" is becoming an
                            automatic reflex
                   note: I keep reminding myself that even though Pounce quickly
                            picks up (no pun intended) the expectation of a new skill,
                            the Hillmann's philosophy requires many, many precise
                            "reps" to make it a solid habit
                   note: consistency do not happen overnight

  Pounce has entered in the magical phase of retriever training. The exciting  
  skill of "learning how to learn" has "surfaced".

May 25 five of the next seven days have rain in the forecast " work around       
                   note: plus mow the lawn often
May 25
morning Pounce did a five minute combination casting/lining/ drill in
      "the yard" - using a round placeboard, rectangular rubber mat and 14 2"
      and 3" white DT bumpers.....first Pounce did her excitement routine to put
      her in "drive'', the 2 side piles were "identified".. then Pounce was cast to
      the "placeboard" with the "place" command, several angle backs were
      then run (left & right) with deliveries to the line and "send backs" to the
      "board" with the "place" command, the 2nd phase is then to re-identify
      the piles from the line and cast to each pile with "back" and Pounce must
      run past the placeboard straight to the pile indicated in that lining routine
                   note: "identified" = tossing a bumper to the pile from the line
                            (so the dog "sees" where the drill starts....once the
                            identification process is taught new "stuff" is easier to
                   note: skills worked on =
square sit on place board, take each
                            expectation "angle back", "place" or line correctly, many
                            deliveries at the left and right side heeling positions and
                            proper "nose and toes" positioning at the line.....most
                            of all establish that both of us are on the same page as
                            to what line she is expected to take because of cues
                   note: it was important that this drill was an addition in a frame
                            of reference that fits into Pounce's overall program steps
                            (satisfies the concept of "doing what the dog needs")
                   note: Pounce's session performance was another common
                            "happening",  showing her a "new look" at using skills
                            we've been working on and seeing her take it in stride
                            was just another exciting day of "picking up stuff" 


                                       (see photo in May 27th entry)
                note: with all the rain, "yard work" has the lawn mower
                         in action every two or three days

May 26
morning cloudy, cool, & slight breeze Pounce ran single T and was
eager & sharp - did a dozen back piles with 4 of those whistle sits
            with right & left "backs" plus she did 4 "overs" (right & left) 
                  note: change up the placeboard "insertion" until Pounce ran two
                           "backs" to the pile, after mixing in and alternating "overs"
                           and "backs", the placeboard was removed then single T
                           was continued in the conventional manner
                  note: very fast right to the last bumper
                  note: just beat the rain from another big front that moved through
                  note: started T work April 18th = with today Pounce has worked
                           single T 21 separate days out of a possible 29 and we are
almost to the repetition phase (see below) 

         The thrust of what is expected from working single T in Hillmann's
         program is teach all expectations clearly in an exciting  format (drive)
         until they are clearly being performed consistently. Then run single T
         many, many more times for the repetitions necessary to transform the
         new skills into automatic reflexes (habits supported by maintenance).

         P.S. Thanks, J.W.
evening drove to the Rockton Road DTA - cover was tall (calf high),
            wind was 21 mph out of the southeast with gusts to 32 mph, Pounce
            picked up six "short and fun" singles (60-75 yards - used a mallard)
                note: Pounce takes a good lines & seems to have a "natural" feel
                         for the AOF, her nose works really well and she needed no
                         help locating each mark (she paid no attention to the gunner)
                note: with highways/heavy traffic adjacent on three sides, long,
                         "solo" singles are challenging because dog's can't easily hear
                         a verbal release, strong winds makes it even more difficult
                note: This evening's duck singles created a good balance with the
                         morning single T work. The total of today's sessions dealt
                         with all five factors of a balanced retriever. Add to the mix
                         Hillmann's training in drive concepts and they meshed well.
The five factors of a balanced retriever are retrieving, "birdiness",
                      responsiveness, control and focus.
by Julie Knutson

May 27 morning Pounce ran the "yard drill" (see May 25th diagram) and just
            as we started......so did the rain....finished a bit wet
       (left click on thumbnails)  
     lining/casting drill  

May 28 early morning - trip to vet clinic for Daisy (routine "stuff") and close to
      field trial grounds = arrived at W Property and group was training, drove to
      the Stoughton Property = empty and setup three mallard wingers on the
      small pond and then first ran a set of land, "send back" singles to the west
      (before water)
            note: Pounce had a break between land & water when Kooly & Daisy
                     ran their set of land singles, photo doesn't reveal the small inlet
                     channel with tall cover (and standing water) for several marks
        (left click on thumbnails)  
     "The setup"
  "from the west"
      "first two"

May 29 morning Pounce ran single T first - upper 60's, humid - setup eight
            white bumpers at the back pile & two at each over...then realized I'd
            forgotten the e-collar and whistle - went ahead....off the van with
            no lead, walked at heel to air, came right back to heel afterwards,
            walked at heel to the holding blind and went to the line at heel with
            two short sits on the way = ah.....that was cool! then she proceeded
            to take every command and cast while stopping sharply when I asked
            for the sits with a verbal "sit"...took correct turns on the four back casts
            and the correct casts on the three "over" casts.........she's entering the
            "smooth stage" with animation, speed and style
                 note: drove to Thorson Pond (north end of property) and worked
                          on entries to water with short, exciting tosses and return
                          exits to a place board to focus on the "shake" and delivery
                          command/process (plus cooling off a bit)
           drove to the Rockton Road DTA where the cover is now knee high,
           Pounce had five short marks off a remote line place board using "send
           backs"....her head was just barely above the cover and locating the
           line was a slight issue - the singles were with a mallard, the line was
           in front of the van with a white bucket on a post as an additional locator
                note: marks were downwind and she really has a very good nose,
                         she's learned quickly to use the wind to her advantage
               note: drove to Kelly Meyer Field DTA, Roscoe Riverside Park  DTA
                        and the Roscoe Retention Pond DTA to size up the cover for
                        training potential (grass is growing - much not mowed)
May 30 rain in the forecast for all day - will squeeze something in if able
               note: day off
May 31
morning cool with brisk north east wind Pounce worked single T
            with eighteen whites bumpers plus a white stake at the back pile,
            three white bumpers at each side pile with NO stakes
               note: with the exception of initially taking a back on one "over",
                        Pounce was "hitting on all eight cylinders"  = sharp
               note: there were two bumpers left at the back pile and one at
                        each over pile,,,,,,Pounce liked those from the van which
                        was 30 yards behind the line - she is now looking forward
                        to those extra sends
               note: worked the two older dogs with seven singles in tandem
                        which gave Pounce a good, long break and then drove to
                        check two nearby training areas looking for the best place
                        for Pounce to run singles in cover, wind direction was
                        important too (downwind), Roscoe Riverside Park DTA had
                        knee high cover with a short grassy rise along the border,
                        a placeboard could be positioned with excellent  visibility
                        (Pounce's and mine), threw a 3" black & white bumper seven
                        times = Pounce again did the send backs well and marking
                        was sharp - lots of "go", good lines, checked up at the right
                        distances and zero's in with her eyes and nose...fun to watch
                        up close!
               note: new 1st, Pounce was off for the forth single just before I said
                        the release.......whistle and verbal sit, sent back to the line,
                        I picked up the mark, moved on and the rest were fine (varied
                        time more, re-enforced sit and waited longer)

June 1
early morning very cool & continue to have great weather for single T
today there were no stakes set out & each pile was moved back 10 yards
     back pile = 16 bumpers & over piles 3 each, with no placeboard at the  
     apex, Pounce ran 10 backs plus, with 4 casts back from a sit at the apex &
     two overs on each side pile, then lined each pile from the van to pick up
     three bumpers which she seems to think are her "fun bumpers", she's at
     full speed the entire session and only one momentary miscast (took back
     on an over & corrected quickly)
HeartGard Plus for all four dogs
               note: packed "stuff" for fish camp on the Mississippi River & left
                        around 2 pm - Pounce is an experienced traveler as she
                        went to duck camp regularly last summer and fall 
               note: airing loose is way easier now than last summer

Final Entry

      starting to work on new Website - KwickLabsII.com plus setting up a
      new computer. The old Dell used for most all of Kwicklabs.com is ten plus
      years old. In addition, MicroSoft Frontpage is no longer an option for
      the up-to-date Website servers. Too bad....the program fits like a "well
      worn shoe". I'm not looking forward to the learning curve.        

                 Which means probably not any entries for Pounce's work for
                 the next two weeks.......until the new Website is up and running.

              note: started to "build"
several brief training session similar
                      to the ideas in Hillmann's recent 2 minute drill video
                      link for Pounce plus one for Kooly & Daisy (training
                      two dogs together)  
                                     Hillmann's Two-Minute Drill (link)

        HeartGard Plus (1st of month) & Frontline Plus (middle of the month)  
  "Useful Links"

                                           Bill Hillman's Blog (link)

                     "What & Where" - Training Strategies by Darrin Greene

Pounce's Hunting Lab Pedigree (link)

               Web Crawler (
link)      KwickLabs Website - 10 Years Ago (link)
                                       Amite River HRC Library (
Pounce Milestones

June 5  whelped
Aug 5   into to live quail in the field
Sept 5  3 months,14 weeks old - early stages of Traffic Cop (doing very well!)
Sept 29 Vet appointment = final puppy shots weight 26.4 lbs
Oct 5  four months old = to duck camp several times & beginning to calm down
Oct 6-12 lost focus for awhile with distractions which was a good thing for the
             long haul in that reasons and techniques are now in place to deal with  
Oct 12/13 learned the "missing links"
Nov 5   five months old, took growth photo, weight 38 lbs
Nov 12   through teething (took a few more weeks for teeth to "set up")
Nov 13   began "indoor" training sessions
                  note: working outdoors as weather permits
Dec 24   retrieving goose wings (see photos & journal)
Feb 12   signs that FF is close to being a "predictable expectation" 
             ready for higher levels of distraction and experiences
Nov 26   Hillmann stable sit (walk away, throw mark, walk back release)
Nov 27  official start of teaching how to turn off pressure introducing "heeling"
             with the pinch collar (note: see journal entries for need to go this route)
Nov 27   going to and sitting on close-by placeboard on command
                  note: Nov 30 update - excellent progress & went outside
Dec 4   Pounce is beginning to demonstrate a stable sit (outdoors)
Dec 8   with very little snow (lately), training on grass is doable new advantage
Dec 10  e-collar "sit" reinforcements (started)
Dec 15  "heeling" is a work in progress - high energy & "stable sit" is excellent
Dec 24  retrieving goose wings (see photos & journal)
Dec 25  retrieving "stand alone" goose wings singles off a remote line stable sit
Dec 31  did a fecal check with Vet = negative
Jan 11  
started FF - 7 months old
Feb 5   eight months old growth photo & weigh weight 50 lbs
Feb 5   started e-collar fetch
Feb 12   signs that FF is close to being a "predictable expectation" ready for
             higher levels of distraction and experiences
Feb 16   Pounce has pushed through the envelop of grasping FF  it is well
             entrenched in regular training which is just another way of saying
             the process has progressed seamlessly into skill development
Mar 10  began pile work
Mar 11  it's been too long waiting for training to be outside (fun day)
                no ice = mud, snow, standing water & grass
Mar 11  continued yard work outside off a place board
Mar 12  brief episode of "shopping a pile" worked through (indoors)
Mar 13  third day of outdoor short pile work - totally better
Mar 13  Pounce's first "go" at doing a Y-Drill WOW!
Mar 13  began outdoor angle backs (close piles)
Mar 14 
began the regular "off the van to the line routine"
Mar 15  Pounce's first "go" at doing a Ya-Ha marking drill

Mar 17  visible, 3 bumper piles lined from 50, 60, 70 yards - "torched"
                 it's been one week since we began
outside OB training
Mar 21  the "Van to the Line Routine" is now in place -
etched in stone
                       Van to the Line Routine (bookmark link)
Mar 22  Sunday at 10:30 am 32F feels like 21F.....with cold showers
Mar 27  Friday at 2 pm 30F feels like 20F
April 1  "bumper in mouth OB drill" - daily yard work
April 1 
HeartGard Plus for all
April 2  first remote winger singles

April 3  Pounce did her first remote wingers Y-Drill
April 3  Pounce finished the CD for gun conditioning "The Master's Voice"
April 5  began working on remote whistle sit "when on the move"
April 9  began Dog Hide imprint - discovering" kibbles inside (daily)
April 10  started daily yard work on
"casting" to elevated placeboard
               note: skill required for "send back" marking drills and hunting 
April 11  started feeding tablespoon of canned pumpkin with Eagle Pack
April 12  pile work, angle casting going well = almost ready for single T
April 15
Frontline Plus for all
April 13 Pounce 1st 2015 water (slashing/lunging) - Kelly Meyer Field Creek
April 17 Pounce first 2015 deep water retrieves - Roscoe Retention Pond
April 18 Pounce began single T
April 20 Pounce's "send back" skills for "solo" marking sessions are in place
April 24 Pounce ran her 1st ABC drill with "send backs"
April 25 Pounce ran her first "Zig-Zag" drill (mini-version)
April 27 started "stretching" marking distance - 171 yards
April 28 con't stretching Pounce's marks - 150 yards
April 29 dog hide routine is now in place "waaaay" before hunting season
April 30 the skill of whistle sits "en route" is nearly completed
April 30 wingers continue to make marking concepts more doable
             (did "stretch" inlines, "through the old fall" & past the gunner)
May 2  started working regularly on the Zig-Drill & dog hide "rules" (outside)
May 8  began doing "off lead OB" regularly
May 8 full single T work in place (ready for repetition)
May 9  began running HIllmann's seven bumper lining drill
May 10 first water retrieve of mallard
May 10 first time running the "two bumper split lining" drill
May 10 first time running marks thru angle entry/exit singles
May 11 began serious effort in reducing repetition of commands
May 13 began "pushing" efforts to do water regularly
May 20 the use of "send backs" for training alone is solid
May 25 began using a new yard work lining drill
May 28 single T is becoming a "slick do" and she is liking it