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Pounce - "In Beast Mode"

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Feb 1 At 10 am it is 13°F with a wind chill of  -2°F. There will be no field work today. However, Pounce did two precise, "upbeat" OB practice sessions in the heated indoor area.
Feb 2 warmer....not enough - did two indoor sessions of Hillmann "heeling" practice
Feb 3 late morning...cloudy, 30°F, wind chill of  20°F...trained at Roscoe Riverside Park DTA
Pounce ran four different remote winger doubles using an efficient  "flip-flop" technique. The focus was precise "reps" practice of "at the line" standards.       note: very good session
Feb 4 At 10:30 am it is 14°F with a wind chill of  -3°F and it is snowing.....3 inches so far
                      note: cleared driveway of snow & did one indoor session of "heeling" practice
                      note: cleaning snow off the big van is beginning to get old...very quickly
Feb 5 9:30 am +3°F with a wind chill of  -5°F plus a big snow storm beginning at 2 PM
                      note: "hibernation mode" - did one indoor sessions of "heeling" practice
                      note: This morning (before the snow) a 12 X 20 ft heavy tarp was purchased and
                                installed on the van. The next test will be "can I roll it off" with a lot snow
                                on top. The windshield area will now be much easier to deal with. 

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YouTube video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=WFtr5LhchwM

Feb 27 Late afternoon, Pounce trained at the Thorson Pond DTA in the "grassy area". The session was specifically designed to practice our standards at the line. Two remote wingers (beeps, duck calling and primers) threw singles using Dokkens. Pounce did the van exit routine, airing and then a 30 yard, on lead, heeling routine to a holding blind. The "van to the line" routine (and back) was done three times. When at the blind, a fixed routine is followed leading up to an off lead move to the running line.  After picking up each set of two singles, Pounce ran a blind.  After each set, Pounce did an off "heeling" trip back to the van.
                    note: The temperature was in the low 50's and this was the most comfortable
                              training session we've had for quite some time. A very "cool" bonus was
                              the sun setting in the west and a very bright moon in the east.  In addition,
                              several small groups of geese buzzed the area.  I was in no rush to leave.

               The Hillmann rationale for this type of training session is well established   
                conditioned responses are the result of consistent, precise practice with a
                                                          great deal of repetition.

                                                  Teach, Re-enforce and Practice.

Feb 28 high of 55°F....Pounce trained at the Harrison Road DTA. Two remote wingers were setup to run three individual doubles with a poison bird blind. The routine from the van to the line was a major portion of this "practice session" and the other focus was on the practice on the action at the line. Distractions are dealt with perfectly with short setups while the transition to larger field setups remains in the exposure, teaching, practice phase. For Pounce, bigger is more of a distraction because speed going long is a "huge rush".   

There is a routine in hunt tests referred to as "going to the line". It begins with exiting
the truck/van and moves to an area where the test takes place. The keys to success are precise repetition and practice. An effective retriever needs to be responsive, focused

and under control . Reviewing "game films" is a useful tool for advancement.

Feb 7
snowed last night...forecast - two more days of snow......"hunker down" time
                   note: Pounce did an excellent off lead indoor session at noon
Feb 8 repeated the same kind of indoor session as yesterday - snow
Feb 9 removed 7" snow from the driveway this morning - No snow in the forecast for several days (update = that was wrong) No warm weather to melt the 10" on the ground. However, March and spring are getting closer.
                  note: Pounce's two indoor training sessions were better than nothing.
                  note: Next week, Pounce will begin a sequence of two influenza shots.
Feb 10 Yesterday's forecast was wrong - 3" of additional snow on the driveway this morning. The 12+ inches of snow in the airing yard is not much of a problem because it is "picked up" every time Daisy and Pounce are "aired".....no exceptions. 
                  note: Pounce did one high energy, indoor heeling/OB session. 
                  note: more snow tonight and into the morning
Feb 11 Sunday - now 18" of snow in the airing yard, knee high boots not enough
                  note: +40°F on Wednesday should reduce that some....snow Thursday
                  note: removed van snow cover and it was not easy (too much snow)
                  note: It has been several years since having this much snow on the ground.
                  note: Pounce did more practice (indoor heeling/OB session).
Feb 12 Pounce had 10 am Vet appointment...weight = 53.6 pounds. She was given a
Bordatella Vaccine and the first Canine Flu H3N2/H2N8 shot (3 weeks until second).
After a trip back into Illinois (Vet is in Wisconsin), Pounce did an extended heeling session in the aisles of Lowe's Building Supply (a very big "box store"). 
                 note: at 10 pm it is 6°F
Feb 13 deep snow = no field training and with yesterday's "treatments" a day off
Feb 14 warmed up into the 40's and Pounce was "worked" on her OB and heeling at Lowe's (indoors). Today began more interacting with the employees. They are very good about this. Pounce is animated in a split second and the session was "useful".
                note: The snow cover is just too deep to work in plus it hides "stuff".
                note: The good news....it is two weeks until March!
Feb 15 in the 40's snow too deep........Pounce trained indoors doing a single session of our upbeat, fun Hillmann style heeling and OB practice 
                note: The next four warm days are supposed to melt all the snow.                
Feb 16 Late in the morning, Pounce repeated the Feb 14th Lowe's practice "activity".
                note: Pounce was not quite as "antsy" when encountering other people.   
                         That behavior will not to be rewarded and/or re-enforced.
                note: Snow melting and then freezing has become dangerous. Boots will
                          need the YakTrax installed to "pickup stuff" in the airing yard (slick,
                          uneven and slightly downhill).         
Feb 17 Pounce did a warm, indoor midnight training session (heated area, very good)  
Feb 18 at 4:00 PM it is 35°F and sunny.....snow is melting and the next two days are going to be warm...with 49°F and 54°F for highs...plus rain....all the snow will be gone.
               note: Pounce did an indoor training session around noon and  focused on

                         precise heeling off lead.

               note: rest of this month....lows 24°F or better.....highs mostly +40's.
Feb 19 rain/drizzle all day  At 11 PM Pounce did a fairly challenging off lead, upbeat heeling session with an increase in teaching  the "whoa" command - "stand/do not move". Not defaulting to sit and walking away has taken some time. Today, there was some improvement.......more time, better use of praise and persistence are working. 
Feb 20 "rain & more rain"...around noon Pounce repeated yesterday's indoor session 
                note: energy/activity is kept high during every session using "The Game"
                note: The command "whoa" (stand & do not move) was changed to a word
                          that did not sound anything like "no". In just this very first session,
                          the "up" command was quickly understood. "Sit" , "here", "down"
                          and "up" are better matches (along with "kennel" and "place").
                note: The reason for the "up" command is that in three weeks she will be
                           "doing" an AKC OB class where "stand  for examination" is required.

Feb 6  noon.....sunny 13°F with a wind chill of  +7°F the plan is to run five "snow blinds" at
Roscoe Riverside Park DTA. This session of blinds in the "greens lines" section completed

the entire point blind "circle" and was an "easy, fun do" for Pounce (good conditioning). 
                  note: The park entrance was half-closed in preparation for what appeared to be
                            a strong chance of an ice jam with sudden high water (damaging flood). 

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Feb 26 Sunny and warm, lower 50s...Trained at the Thorson Pond DTA in the "Grassy Area"....Pounce ran two triples with blinds....remote winger distractions included quacks and beeps plus primer reports. The primary focus was practicing  "our" line standards.
This was a useful, efficient session. Pounce's memory is a huge plus and her blind running skills are exciting. This means that sessions like this one can be set up to focus on fine tuning "actions" at the line (precise practice and repetition).

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Feb 21, 22, 23 Snow did not completely disappear and icy patches were not to be ignored. 
Each day Pounce did one brief indoor session in the morning and then a long, fun, off lead workout late in the evening (six sessions total).
                  note: Roscoe Riverside Park DTA is flooded (no training for several weeks).
Feb 24 mid afternoon, cloudy, stiff breeze, on/off mist and 37°F.....not sure why we ended
up training at the "Thorson Pond Grassy Area". Three days with nothing outside was probably a factor. Pounce did three very short remote winger doubles with primers...each with a blind. Then three sets of two singles. Pounce was in and out of the van six times.
The focus was no motion  DISTRACTIONPRACTICE at the line. 
                  note: Daisy was exercised.
Feb 25 Sunday -  early afternoon 42°F and very windy....Drove to county Four Rivers DTA and the winter gate is still in place. Went to the Harrison DTA which a few miles away and the entrance was too muddy 10 yards in. After solving that problem (another truck and a short tow rope), the best thing to do was walk in and setup a new "Point Blind" for Pounce.
Pounce was  "super sharp" on all three blinds
                        note: purchase a long tow rope and a "Come Along" winch