Attending a days training this Saturday so thought we better brush up on our skills before then so working a bit harder this week with dummies.
Chester is always keen but sometimes a bit sloppy and over enthusiastic so thought I'd give him some long retrieves to really challenge him (although, not sure it's much of a challenge for an energetic viz!).
We walked our usual route and I dropped a dummy when he wasn't looking. Walked a fair distance, round a corner and into another field. I stopped him and send him back. He went straight back, followed the route we had taken and found the dummy. Lovely present too :) Not sure I've ever send him back onto a dummy he can't see and has seen placed around a corner out of sight. I guess it wasn't quite so hard because he did know the route we had walked but he still did well.
Send him off for another long retrieve. This time he had seen the dummy dropped as we walked but I pushed him on until we reached the end of the field then sent him back. By the time he got back with the dummy he was panting so much he couldn't hold the dummy and just dropped it at my feet! Possibly a step too far .. whoops! I am pleased that he will go back over any distance as long as he knows there's something there to find. I know in the working tests last year there were some long retrieves where the younger dogs were loosing their confidence over the long distances and weren't making the retrieve.
Also been putting in lots of steadiness with the dummy getting faster and faster, closer and closer to him. Really impressed as he sat there while the dummy shot past his head! He did turn to watch it but didn't move.
Looking forward to Saturday's training now. Let's see how it all goes down the pan! Positive thinking needed :)