Sunday, January 30, 2011

Training Log for Jan 29

But first, today's weight update: 65 pounds! YES, we're finally below 70 pounds!

Now, about yesterday's retrieve session:
Weather: sunny, dry, 2.5C
Distractions: other dogs, people, one horse

Locations of all retrieves. Blue dots are dummy's, green dots are where I've released her to retrieve.
We did eleven retrieves total. A bit much, in hindsight, but she worked really well the whole time; fast, sure, stubborn. She KNEW where the dummy's were and she was gonna GET them, damnit! Way to go, Luna!

The longest retrieve was nr. 11, in the lower left corner. 241 yards/221 meters, to be exact.

The start of our walk. I'd just gotten off my bike, and this shows Luna's mood perfectly; I'm ready, I'm ready, toss one already! Let's play!

Coming in with dummy nr. 1, 186 yards.
I tossed dummy nr. 2 behind her, in the lower area.
Coming in with dummy nr. 2, 182 yards. The one horse showed up here; when I sent Luna to get this dummy, the horse was at the top of the sandy track, to the left of the tarmac.
Walking away from dummy nr. 3. She voluntarily heels all the way to the release point. Her ears are back because I'm taking a picture, without the lens in her face she looks happier.
Coming in with dummy nr. 3, 229 yards. You can see a person with a GSD in the background, she was about where Luna is in this picture when I sent her to get the dummy. She very carefully went past the person and her dog, and then took off to where she remembered the dummy to be. The drop point is behind the line of trees.

I wanted to take a picture without Luna in it, but I guess this speaks volumes; hey you, stop messin' with that camera and toss another dummy!
Again, hoping I'll tell her to 'Get It!' I tossed dummy nr. 6 behind the thorny bushes, behind Luna in this shot.
Yihaaa! Coming in with dummy nr. 6, 105 yards. This is clearly one of the dummy's that got mauled by a Labrador on our Gundog training camp two weeks ago.
And coming in with the last one, dummy nr. 11, 241 yards!
Dummy's nr. 4 & 5 were tossed between the trees, she got nr. 5 first and then, after a long search, came back with nr. 5.

Dummy's nr. 7 to 10 were again tossed between the trees. She got nr. 8 first, then nr. 9, then nr. 10. Then she searched and searched for nr. 7, but she kept going the other direction right before hitting nr. 7, so finally she came back and said, 'I don't know!' So I walked her a little closer to nr. 7 and reset her. This time she found it!

We had a great time, and I LOVE seeing how much Luna enjoys this game when it is just the two of us. She has great memory, and quite good stamina for finding several dummy's in a row. I love seeing her take off at top speed and come back at top speed!

All in all, we spent two hours in the park, including the walk and cycling to the park. Fantastic weather, but my bike is messed up now. My gears have stopped working, so it's almost as if the chain has come off. Have to remember to fix that, today, cause I need my bike tomorrow!


  1. Are walking with her and dropping the dummies? And then having her go back and get them? Or are they thrown? I'd like to understand the game so I can try it!

  2. I have her Sit Stay, then I throw a dummy (I try to throw it far enough away from me so that she can't just retrace my scent), give her a second or two to have a good look at where it lands, and then I take her away. I'll just ask her to come with me, walk away as far as I think she can handle, and then I have her Sit again, make sure that her body language shows me she remembers the dummy, and then I send her to retrieve it.

    You can also walk with the dog, drop a dummy behind you without the dog noticing, and then send her to retrieve it. However, this means she has to go on faith; she has no idea - if she hasn't heard or seen the dummy fall - that there's something for her to pick up. This I haven't done yet, but I would start with very short distances. Drop the dummy, make sure the dog doesn't know, take another five steps and then ask her to find it. Then build up from there. I'd start this exercise on an obvious path, so she has the straight line as a guide.

    Option nr. 1 relies on the dog's memory, option nr. 2 means the dog has to trust you that when you say Go!, there's really something for her to find. That's, for my dog, quite hard, and because she can't know I've dropped a dummy, I haven't taken the time to do this exercise yet. When I have, it'll be on this blog!