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Refraction is the change in direction of waves that occurs when waves travel from one medium to another. Refraction is always accompanied by a wavelength and speed change. The concept is somewhat similar to a retriever attempting to run in a diagonally, straight line up or down a slope. When running up or down the diagonal, white line the tendency is to "square" the hill. A
retriever is conditioned to run straight lines. There are many factors that inhibit going straight. 

Windrows Turn Into Haybales (obstacles)


Depending upon which training program is being used, their are several different philosophical approaches to teaching a retriever to run cold blinds. Evidently, they all work...if done properly. Obviously, one of the major factors in training a retriever is the trainer. Skills and talent are not a given. Over the years many talented trainers have introduced advances in retriever training. My list was a progression that included OakHill Kennels (John & Amy Dahl), Northern Flight (Butch Goodwin), Dobbs Dogs (Jim Dobbs), Gun Club Labradors (Julie Knutson), Rush Creek Press (Evan Graham), Mike Lardy, Danny Farmer, Dennis Voigt ​and Bill Hillmann. Therefore, one might surmise that how to run a blind has been influenced by many different approaches. They all require fairly similar, basic skills before beginning the process of running a cold blind. However, when nearing the stage of actual running any first, true blinds, the approaches diverge considerably. 

Since my last two dogs were started by using Hillmann's program, they learned by using his Star Drill approach followed by the use of Point Blinds. To add some perspective to this, I have never really had any issues with running cold blinds with all the seven retrievers that I trained over the last twenty years. This would suggest that most issues with running blinds are NOT because of the dog or program.       The following two button links are about the Hillmann transition approach that was used with my last two pups. Also, during this phase there are basic philosophical ideas that carry over from Knutson, Lardy, Farmer and Voigt.

                           Fighting the Wind

                                       (not giving in)

visual analysis       source of field photo

Roscoe Riverside Park DTA - "Pounce" 13 months old

         right click on icon for larger photo

right click on icon for larger photo

May 16, 2016

The waves into a shoreline example is more similar to a retriever entering a cut corn
field with short stalks. They will either square the rows zigging and zagging or running up/down a row. Learning how to compensate requires exposure and practice (experience).  


cut corn field impact on blinds

      The ideal setup is a large, north/south, undulating field with excellent visibility.
      Use it as a pattern blind for conditioning wind factors from different directions. 

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      "Kooly"                      "Daisy"

May 26, 2016                                                            May 29, 2016

The Influence of Factors

For example, when the dog is lined to bumper number one, her left side (legs) would have to travel farther than the right to maintain a straight line. That is not a normal gait. Therefore, a dog must physically practice muscle motor responses which will adjust to the visual perspective. 
Initially, muscle memory must be enhanced and practiced.

The following diagram reveals the effect of waves in motion encountering an angled shoreline.

YouTube Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWqk5Xq6A_M 

YouTube Link:​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDUuklpilZY