Aug 21 did HRC line (bucket, gun with primer loads, duck call) at Thorson Pond in the land area using a holding blind, three wingers in a pod, mallards with "placeboard" expectations and working on repeating the line skills using  four singles plus a diversion

Aug 27 training day off - "day care center" was filled up today....no time for the dogs
Aug 28 low "eighties" in the afternoon (only time available)....hour drive to the Gallagher
property and no one there.......played the GunzUp CD via Bluetooth technology out of small boom box (first time)... the two older dogs began to whine and Pounce barked some....did nine walk around singles with a duck call and primer pistol......there were two, long cast/sends to a
remote line up on the big mound on the south end of the pond. Pounced "worked" the entire pond and was full of zip to the very end (wanted more).....pistol empty
              note: today included the longest "send back" she has ever done (and with water),  
                        two casts from north of the pond to right up on a large mound to the south
              note: This fall the "water training goals" were to reduce cheating and make challenging
                        water not a big deal......she is there much sooner than I expected.....finesse is
                        actually quicker
              note: the sequence of each single was determined "on the move" with the last back
                        toward the van

Aug 29 morning - Pounce did the HRC "line time" drill - wingers, ducks, gun........plus used a Bluetooth "boom box" playing the GunzUp CD using an "ITunes" connection with my IPhone
                  note: see Aug. 21st entry for a "look" at the "line time" drill.....did nine singles (by 
                            reloading and taking two breaks) plus two diversion birds....running line in
                            the shade was literally cool and she was "worked" very deliberately (slow)
                   note: "marked" improvement (no pun intended) & more composure (both of us)
Aug 30 no dog training...."cleaned" the big boat & had important eye doctor appointment

                   note:  good news distortion issues have been "resolved" check back in eight weeks

Aug 20 took Pounce and Lylah to the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA to give Pounce some fun, free swims in the Rock River and begin taking our Granddaughter along for the experience

Aug 13 out early Saturday - easy work (after week off) began with an extended warm-up on lead, moved to water and did a swimming "Zig Zag", five bumper lining drill in Thorson Pond, took a break (exercised Kooly & Daisy)....then ran Pounce - seven bumper, "Zig Zag" lining drill on land
                     note: quick drive to RockCut State Park DTA to check if it has been mowed......NOT!
Aug 14 starting this Sunday focus - "line time".....run Y-Drills, KRD's, ABC marking drills & blinds
               note: training groups Monday & Thursday afternoon
out early at sunrise - trained at Rockton Road DTA - need to be finished and home by 8 am
setup three remote wingers to run set of two Y-Drills using the "Flip-Flop" technique - line #1 ran to the north 125 yards and line #2 ran to the south at 75 yards...almost knee high, lush cover with heavy dew......first set, good initial lines......then big hunts, second set....much better
                note: duck call & beeper not very effective (traffic noise) and primer report not allowed 
                          plus bright, low sunrise could have been a factor....the previous week off???
                note: will revisit/practice Hillmann's Pin Point Marking drill                     

Aug 19 (Friday) rain early morning....after, drove to Thorson Pond to work at restoring our connection on line time.....Pounce was outstanding in her steadiness on a "placeboard" and "stand alone" marking and the line was where she was in charge (no one else there). Now that we are both at the line, there is a strong indication of conflict.....not steady, wanting to go in an instant and not focused....to restore balance, the plan is to go back to "square one" with her on a "placeboard" and introduce the relationship of the handler beside her....which is new
"stuff"........the holding blind is part of the process and a mat ten feet behind the "placeboard" provides a transition.....at the line everything slows down, HRC gun, loading shells, talking to her and putting my hands (stroking, reassuring and making a physical connection) plus keeping quiet and calm. This means it is not supported by corrections, but driven by a new sequence leading up to the reward - a retrieve........"The Game" with an "on/off" switch
                  note: three remote wingers in Y-Drill "like" pod at 50 yards......beeper and duck call from the wingers plus calling from the line, loading, shooting popper loads and shucking spent shells, placing gun back in the rack and making physical contact with Pounce while she stares at the fall....no rush, with the release all in due time including a slow accurate,  crisp delivery of the duck on the "drop" command. Then back the to holding blind to rinse and repeat again. After three "goes" the wingers are reloaded and the set is repeated again.

Next up, the wingers were moved to the west so as to run three mallard singles in the pond. Pounce went used the same routine off the van, to the holding blind and then working on a "placeboard" line facing the other way. In all, there were nine close, exciting "reps". Pounce had not one single toe or step off the "placeboard" and we worked together. Now the job is to repeat often to establish the expectation (standard). Often encompasses a time frame of several months enriched by doing the same thing in "real time" including the  upcoming hunting season. She's familiar with the shot gun, duck boat, dog hide and has retrieved ducks and geese.  

Aug 23 did a Yard Drill in the morning  - introduced Pounce to the Migrator (no gear) in the front yard & established "place" plus did a YouTube for "after the fact" perspective.....it went extremely well and Pounce was "in to it".......then in the afternoon came back out to "push the
envelope"........she's a quick study and nothing seems to phase her when skills are gradually increased in degree of difficulty......afternoon video revealed she is good with the concept of "the dog hide NOT being a launching pad" and already fits with the Migrator like an "old shoe"
                 perspective from videos #1) talked too much, #2 should have slowed down some 
                 in the first session, #3 Pounce is high energy, but "the game" keeps her "kind of"
                 manageable and #4 Pounce continues to be a "quick study" (learns "new stuff" fast)

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Early evening, Pounce ran three singles and a blind in the Monday group training session. Used the HRC "gun line" with a "placeboard" and she did really well......kind of a test of sorts.

Aug 3 planned for a quick morning of "solo" training at the "New Place", but a group was there
and joined in on the session......Pounce ran four, hidden winger singles and two blinds plus an honor and later came back out to do some extra holding blind work and another cold honor
Aug 4 early Thorson Pond focused on "line time" skills....setup three remote wingers in a pod to throw three short, "in Pounce's face" singles
                     note: using a Hillmann theme - practice, repetition and being consistent
                     note: after she "works" through three holding blinds  sitting in, facing out  (without
                              moving)  walks at heel off lead to the line ("placeboard"), noise (beeper & duck
                              call) from the wingers after a duck call at the line, fake gun tracks splash single
                              and a retrieve is allowed if "zero" movement including feet.....delayed send after                               saying "Dog" for at least six seconds......."rinse and repeat" three times before
                              resetting the wingers for a total of nine singles (used three different lines) and                                 Pounce had 27 holding blind interactions
                    note: all holding blinds and running lines were in the shade......early breeze and cool
                    note: singles were about 30 yards .......with flagged, 3" black & white bumpers
                    note: at the end of the second set of three singles Pounce ran two blinds
                    note: no motion at the line (the entire session, not even one paw)...frankly, this is an
                              unexpected entry.....not going to test her by removing the "placeboard"

afternoon group session was shooting flyers, did not go (too hot for me -  89°F felt like 95°F)
A
ug 5
repeated yesterday's "concepts" with a similar setup (three wingers, but with mallards) continued with using the "placeboard"....had a cool, cloudy morning and the session's direction  was reversed to the east (no water made it move faster)...first set = three singles tracked with the fake gun, second set was a single and then a double and the last set was run as a "schooled" triple. This was the first "line time" situation for Pounce to focus on tracking three marks with a fake gun....no problem, a good morning.....then the cloud cover disappeared.
                     note: first set worked through the three holding blinds three times, second set twice
                               and the schooled triple once (16 different "holding blind" reps and six times
                               going to the line)
                     note: After picking everything up, Kooly and Daisy got in their "geriatric" exercise.
                     note: home by 9 am
Aug 6 Pounce passed her third AKC Senior Test at Bong Recreational Area in Wisconsin

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link to YouTube video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kn5QEPIoEM

link to YouTube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrtJM65MDFA

Phowler "Big Water" Mud Rig & Four Rivers "Migrator"
                   (down the road "piggy-back")

Aug 16 driver's license expires tomorrow, have to renew every two years now - 76 yrs old
passed test this morning, no written exam = pleasant "perk" for a "clean" driving record
Trained Pounce at the Roscoe Retention Pond DTA to work on Pounce's cheating penchant with something more than finesse.
         note: "walked out pile" of four orange bumpers, closed distance when necessary and
                   used "swim by explanations" on the first two.....simple message - stay in the
                   water.......out and back....swimming not lunging close to shore

After the "drill" at the "big pond" we went back to Thorson Pond and reviewed what she knew well there.....looking for some mental and physical contrast vs. compare 
          note: contrast = experience/identify the differences
                    compare = recognize/appreciate the similarities
          note: Thorson Pond needs rain and "weed whacking"

Also, recorded a YouTube Video of the session - three singles, a cold blind and a diversion
                  note: Pounce "worked" the blind well and the focus was on handling...."Go to the                                  slot where the blind was planted." Then she gave me the "Well, It isn't here.
                            You forgot where it was planted look." So I gave her the "Move over into the
                            next slot of cover cast."
 

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Aug 24 rain today - Pounce had the day off. There was time for reflection and to work on the "big boat" which will soon be heading to the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Plus, the "heavy duty" boat dolly arrived. Assembling was straight forward and it is a huge upgrade.

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     The following photos are boat hunting situations/setups that Pounce will be encountering.

link to YouTube Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kn5QEPIoEM

right click on icon for larger photo

Copyright © kwickLabsii. All rights reserved

Aug 7-12 six days off - four weekends in a row was challenging, anxiety and control getting out
of balance, time for a mental "breather" and "working through" her next heat cycle (due soon)
                     note: Pounce's previous heat cycle was preceded by a couple of weeks frequent 
                               "peeing" and that has just started
                     note: now  is the time to re-organize hunting boats and gear for waterfowl season
                     note: due to a need to take care of our two Great Granddaughters there has been
                               no time for dog training either (placed on hold)......relief next week as they
                               (not the dogs) go into a regular day care program....Whew! What a relief!

trained in the afternoon session and ran toward the end around 7 pm........good in the holding blind and very eager to get to the line........ran three singles and two blinds "antsy" and crept, stepped back and waited for her to come back to heel.....the "plan" was to not say anything and wait her out......didn't stick to it.......should have....next time more resolve and work to re-produce the same response in solo training using the "HRC gun line" approach
                            note: did not mark well due extended "activity" at the line.....both blinds 
                                      however, were excellent
                            note: need to go back to using a "placeboard"......all the time

link to YouTube Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzR90wfM-bI

        monthly training analysis through August 31             testing AKC Senior
         trained -  19 days  (Aug 7-12 = 6 day "break")             7/16 (fail), 7/23 (pass),
                                                                                                7/30 (pass), 8/6 (pass) 
         time off from training - 11  days    test day - 1       (no more testing 'til spring)    
         morning & afternoon (two sessions) - 5 days
         group training - 3 days
                note: see July 2016 for previous month's training session analysis
        
note: Illinois Early Goose Season begins September 1st...build small blind
                   on Thorson Pond
         note: Illinois Early Teal season is September 3-18.....scout Pool 13 on the        
                   Mississippi River (depending on weather.....too warm)
         note: Pounce will be "introduced" to upland hunting later this fall

note: KwickLabs YouTube videos disclaimer - These are not "how to do" videos. The intention is to observe in "real time" and adjust training in terms of what the trainer and dog need to improve (They provide a visually different perspective.) 

link to YouTube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyFjamMMKyM

"The Newest Beginning - Testing"

Aug 1 today's lesson begins the process of developing a better expectation in the holding blind routine - more focus on the "Two Way Street" of  responsiveness.....cool for August and a steady breeze plus much of the time we were working in the shade at the Square Pond DTA,

setup three remote wingers in a pod for singles.......each mark was run after "visiting" three different holding blinds......the biggest change was no more exiting the holding blinds "walking on eggs"......go to the line with a purpose.......together
When the first set of three were competed, Pounce was "put up", the wingers were reloaded and three challenging cold blinds were planted on the west side of Thorson Pond (angle entry/exits) with the last the most difficult
                     note: her blind work is very consistent and exciting......total "team player"
next up was Daisy and Kooly....both are old, need exercise......five short water swims each...
Pounce's morning training concluded with a complete re-do of the initial setup (three holding blinds before each of three singles)........repetitive, consistent practice......i.e. Hillmann
                     note: this morning was the result of observing a mentor/trainer at this last
                               weekend's hunt test, Thanks Jim W. 

Headed for afternoon training group, but stopped on the way at Lowe's to buy a piece of wood. Pounce went in with me (on lead) then on to the Winnebago Co. DTA. No one there....no group training......so....setup two 125 yard cold blinds and Pounce did both well.....home early.....good thing, still fighting a cold
Aug 2 left early on a trip to the Bong dog training area in Wisconsin (a little over an hour drive) first thing to do was a handling, lining drill in lunging water and with low water levels in the runway technical pond, Pounce trained exactly as planned....lining, handling and gaining more experience with the "no cheating" skill......first session of the day went well.....next up was to do a set of two remoter winger, mallard doubles with a blind using the "flip/flop" technique plus
"working on" holding blind skills before each set.....did this up on the "Bluff" above the Stick Pond (someone was training there and what a surprise......ALL the weeds were gone). Sooo...
when we finished, the group using the pond had left.......Pounce ran three cold blinds that tested the limit of her water blind skills........she was more than ready for the challenge and did super.....very good morning and the drive home seemed quicker than usual
                        note: Daisy and Kool did a few "in tandem" singles to exercise their "old bones"
                        note: the temperature was absolutely wonderful for August

This is a "diagram/photo" of a "stand alone" single off the mound nearest to the levee.  Pounce first had to  complete a long, two cast "send back" (up on to the south levee mound) from the second peninsula just to the west of the AOF.  It should be noted that Pounce had completed a shorter "send back" to that mound earlier (remembers "stuff").

Aug 15 trained at the "New Place" after seeing cover at the Winnebago Co DTA is too tall.
Pounce ran a version of Hillmann's "Pin Point" marking drill..."stand alone/send backs", then
did a Key Relationship Drill (KRD).....blinds - past the fall, under the arc & behind the "gunner"
                note: Kooly and Daisy were exercised in the usual format......."In Tandem Singles"

Type your paragraph here.

Aug 31 trained at the "new Place" - Pounce ran two doubles with blinds, remote winger, mallards, "stickmen" with a primary focus on precise "line time"....did the HRC gun at the
line for the first "double-n-blind", with the second double used an AKC line with no gun 
                note: Pounce counts to two extremely well and has a great memory
                note: first double had wide marks and a blind (gun "pushed" left to right)
                note: second double was more challenging - go bird was long past the shorter,
                          almost inline, "check down" memory while the  blind was past both falls                           and closer to the AOF of the "go mallard" (all straight downwind)
                note: It is not supposed to be that easy the first time......pretty cool! She was "with
                          me".....locked on the long "go duck", swung her focus to the short memory,
                          responded to a quiet "no" followed by a slight "push" back to the longer "go
                          duck" where she stayed locked until released.......stepped on the checkdown
                          and ran a fast three whistle blind
drove by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve DTA to see if they mowed....it was!!!!
Pounce ran three mallard blinds to the south........August was an "excellent adventure".                                    

left click for photo & right click for "slide show"

Roscoe Retention Pond (southwest corner)

Aug 25 day off - plan was to work the on duck boats - did the "Migrator" dog hide mount
Aug 26 Pounce trained in the big pond at the Gallagher property (Madison Retriever Club),
intent was to do larger, challenging water with cheating temptations before winter....multiple "entry/exits", "cheaty" shorelines with master level distances.....the big pond looks terrific
       note: Pounce has not done much "distance" work with water......mostly because of her
                "cheating tendencies"....that has improved quite a bit and distance in itself has
                never been an issue
trained "solo" using "walk-arounds" and "send backs"....presentations were planned  ahead of time, however, not all went as expected.......Pounce was up to the task and dealt with everything  easily.....got a few "what not to do's" out of the way with no issues and Pounce was energetic the entire session.....it was fun.....a Hillmann pre-requisite.

Aug 18 (Thursday) trained early....Pounce visited water "cheating" expectations by doing three sets of two remote wingers as "cheating singles" (repeats) at the Gallagher FT Grounds - got there early and finished by 8:30 am....then attended the afternoon group training session
                note: the two old dogs (Kooly and Daisy) each did five water retrieves in tandem and
                          all three are sound asleep in the living room

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Aug 22 Pounce did a simulated hunting setup on Thorson Pond.....see the Aug 25th Journal "link" from last year for Pounce's "initial intro" to a hunting routine
                  note: Pounce moved from a hide to the "placeboard" for the all retrieves. Basically,
                           the hide is not a "launching pad".

Aug 17 (Wednesday) day off from training.......work on duck boats & lawn ("yard work")

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Thorson Pond

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