However, the following "jumped ahead"
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Winter Project Reviews (full set - refer to previous links)
review #1 - re-emphasizing the significance of balance
review #2 - consistently apply the concept of "The Paradigm shift"
review #3 - re-enforce the value of keeping a detailed journal
review #4 - "Retriever Skill Gap Analytics"- new Pounce & KwickLabs' Skills Gap Analyses review #5 - Review, Modify & Strengthen "The Re-Engagement"
review #6 - Review and modify "At the Line"
review #7 - work on "streamlining/perfecting" Hillmann's "The Game" (online DVD)
note: Many of the "adjustments" will be practiced when working with the "project".
Today I received a text message with a brief video of my pup. She is about six weeks old.
It took me about three hours to figure out how to "work" the video and take a "snap shot".
After revisiting the old WEB "Kwicklabs.com", a relevant "Tip of the Month" was "retrieved".
Record daily training results and thoughts in a journal.
The following "tip" was influenced by being a high school chess coach in the 1990's.
Learning how to train dogs is a long-term process. What you know and can apply at any one
time is critical to the advancement of your dogs. Dog training is somewhat like chess.
"it depends a great deal on how much you know. But, what you know is really everything
you've learned, minus all you've forgotten.........and the forgetting process is powerful."
by Roelf Wetzell (He became a chess master late in life by recording and
reveiwing detailed notes of every tournament and practice session.)
Therefore, it would seem a daily record enhances “remembering” and is a wise course
of action. It provides a reference with context. The “paper trail” will provide quick
recollection and inhibit the “forgetting process”. You will know more because you
have planned to forget less. My "winter project" would be impossible without a journal.
Jan 12 day off from training....snow....The next step in the "Winter Project" is to do a new
Pounce and KwickLabs' Skills Gap Analyses. The process/update will be recorded in the
Jan 25 At 11:30 am, it is -2°F with a wind chill of -17°F. The pup had a fairly good night. She spent about two hours sleeping on my bed and evidently felt my left arm need "cleaning". Later, she fell off the bed and spent the rest of the night in her "den". Too cold to even think about letting her go outside. The pupping play pen is working well and she's comfortable. At 4:30 pm this afternoon, my vet will do a routine examination.
"right click on icons for larger photos"
Type your paragraph here.
Gigi's First YouTubes.
"Out of Nowhere!"
Jan 20 The van is still snowed in. However, the house has been transformed into a "puppy friendly" zone. Our tri-level may be complicated when requiring rapid exits. The pup's night crate will be in an upstairs bedroom...."Thirty Yards To The Airing Yard" by Willshe Makeit.
note: at 1:30 pm...10°F feels like -6°F and the low tonight will be -4°F (wind chill -11°F)
Jan 21 "Cleaned" van....oil changed tomorrow....finish "prepping" van for Wednesday's trip. Gigi's (the new pup to be) two bags of "Large Breed" Eagle Pack dog food was just delivered (from Pet Flow). The last segment of "prepping" the house was laying vinyl floor covering over the carpet and under the crates (easier to clean up "stuff"). Two smaller, puppy crates
with dividers will be used for a month or two (depending on how fast she grows).
Jan 22 A winter storm arrived tonight and will "complicate" tomorrow's long trip to Nebraska. The plan is to leave three hours later....otherwise the "pickup" will have to wait until next week.
Jan 23 The snow storm forecasts were not good....but left at 11:30 am. The first stretch is a Toll
Road and many were going at the speed limit (some over).....not bad....good start. Eventually drove through the "tail end" of the storm and the havoc it caused on Interstate 80 in Iowa and Nebraska......many cars and trucks were off the road and deep into the ditches.....probably saw more these two days than that of the last twenty years total. However, the roads were clear, open and moving at the speed limit. Arrived at the motel after dark........and tired.
Jan 24 The trip home was not easier.....a strong north wind was blowing snow across the four lanes. Being on the east bound side it was not causing much of a problem. West bound was more challenging and there were additional cars and trucks off the road. The total round trip mileage was 1050 miles. The puppy slept most of the time and was a very good girl. The weather for this evening and into tomorrow is high winds and low temps with minus 20-30°F wind chills. In addition, there is 6+ inches of snow in the airing yard. There is no way a seven and a half week old pup should go outside even for a few minutes. Therefore, since the litter was in a larger heated area with plenty of dry bedding, the quick plan was to make something similar so as to avoid the cold. Therefore, I stopped at Farm & Fleet and bought a puppy pen (one left at a discounted price) and a large bale/bag of kennel bedding.
note: She adapted to this rather quickly. ......whew!!!
note: I suddenly remembered that taking photos of black Labs is more difficult.
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note: used Corel Photoshop new editing step of "light clarity" on the third photo note: At midnight on the first day home, she is sleeping quietly right next to the
crate of Pounce's (sleeping "buds" at first sight).
"two logs hurdle, lining practice".
Jan 26 8 am it is -18°F(no wind) more months of this can't go fast enough. Pounce was out for five minutes and was high stepping the cold snow to get back inside (fast). The large puppy pen has already proven to be invaluable. Tomorrow Gigi will be eight weeks old. Yesterday we began Hillmann's program with mostly "hands on snuggles" and a small, yellow "squeeky" duck. She appeared to be just another a good looking, sweet and dainty pup. However, the motivation was "Let's see what we got". Wow, she was wild to "chase" and "attack" (with extended claws). This morning I tossed her all my "puppy things" and quickly realized the best expression (modeled after the "Master of Arms" TV program ) is "This Puppy Will Chase, Attack & Fetch" (bringing back?...from two yards away....not so much). Today brought in more cold weather which in the grand scheme of things is proving ideal. The indoor "intro" pen (too cold to go outside), simplified the process by making "us" more significant. When March arrives, "outside" can be phased in with the two of us well engaged. The following is a short term, flexible day planner.
note: The above session is "practice" related to a Hillmann "Point Blind" run "cold" (1st time) on 12/23/18).
Jan 5 Pounce did the indoor session ("heated area")
A few photos from the December setup were computer generated "snap shots" from a video camera.
The following photo is a "screen shot" generated by pressing the "Window" key and the PrtScr key.
Once a "screen shot" is "captured" it can be cropped and edited as if it came right out of a camera.
Jan 6 Bear's game at 3 pm - trained 1 pm..37°F....practice/conditioning Mini-Handling drill at 60 yds
note: left pile - 4 white "Ergo" bumpers, middle 4-3" orange bumpers, right 4 Dokken mallards
"stats" - 750+ yards of running ("fast bursts"), 12 "at the line" lining & delivery practice, 6
whistle sits & casts (the minimum), 6 lines (no casting)....not wearing a collar
note: Pounce is accurate/fast (loves to retrieve). This was finished "rapidly" (wanting more).
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"Finished" Photo - "Last Blind" on "The Hurdle" Line
review #7 Hillmann's "The Game"
Jan 13 Pounce will not train today - snow and don't have the urge. After receiving
yesterday's text, I replied "She's gorgeous!" That's about the fifth (not exactly sure) text message I've ever sent. I can see why getting into "texting" can be addictive. The result of the spontaneous comment resulted in coming up with a first possible name for her....KwickLabs Gorgeous Georgia call name "Gigi". That was last night and not "etched in stone". However, this morning's clincher was the result of an ironic discovery. One of the synonyms for "gorgeous" is "fetching".
living room & bedroom "dens" are setup
Jan 28 Monday...blowing snow & "wind chills below zero possible"....However, with the indoor heated area, "Gigi" won't miss a day of puppy fun. Today we did some 72" retrieves and went for a walk, visited a "placeboard", dog hide and several goose decoys (a few on motion stakes)
note: Today she is eight weeks plus one day old and "engaged".
note: continuing with the "Winter Project" (see Jan 1st entry), the 3rd topic to
review from the "Thinking" page was
Jan 2, 3.....two days off.....cold and not very energized.....my old Benelli M1 is not "cycling" properly. Looked to repairing it via YouTube videos and priced parts...$$$$. Ended up taking it to the place I bought it. A new one is more than double the price I paid several years ago.
Jan 4 much warmer, sun and no wind ("no brainer") Drove to the bean field for another "go" at the "log hurdle", lining practice. Pounce was on fire and having fun.."burst" photos were OK.
note: something to do during the "dog days" of winter
Maintaining a Training
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Jan 27 bitter cold today....at 7:30 am it is -11°F with no wind......decided to snow blow the extra 2" of snow off the driveway before it gets packed down. Ran the snowblower in fast mode and just did avoid "loosing my fingers"...not going anywhere today. Pounce will train in the indoor
heated area. Gigi has adapted quite well to the puppy pen and the severe winter conditions have not negatively impacted her adjustment to life as a "KwickLab". She is one very "cool" pup....no pun intended. After "working" down the five steps to the carpeted pool deck, Gigi was playing the part of a retriever. She was making excited leaps at her small canvass bumper and bringing it back for more (72 inch, fun, exciting retrieves at eight weeks with a return).
In the afternoon, all the cedar bedding was removed from the "puppy" pen. The sides and floor were then sprayed with a strong disinfectant. Afterwards, fresh, clean cedar bedding was added. Then Gigi went down to the pool deck wearing a short, light lead and attacked a small, furry squeaky yellow duck. She needs to begin wearing a puppy collar (a few hours a day).
note: Pounce is in "hibernation mode" with workouts in the indoor "heated area".
Late afternoon, Gigi was taken to the pool deck area where it is carpeted. This is the same
area where she's been attacking thrown objects. There is no carpet around the rest of the pool deck (just tile). She was cautious. Eventually, she arrive at a large goose decoy on a motion stand. After wrestling with it, she got braver and eventually walked all the way around the pool. So we took a "victory lap" and she was very "perky" on the second "go around".
In the evening, "Gigi" was exercised by doing three laps around the pool and kind of figuring out how to climb the five steps to the landing where her "puppy pen" is located. On one of the laps she had the goose decoy on a stand getting "knocked around". After a drink of water, it was a half-hour of "sofa-lap" time in the living room. She likes the routine and attention.
note: watched NBA game....so the 9 &12 pm puppy "windows" were combined at
11 pm. Cleaned "puppy pen" and we played with her five "puppy objects".
She brought a few back this time with "more" as the intention. This is a very cool pup!
This afternoon decided the driveway needed snow removal........7" with drifting and 14°F. The "persuaders" start tomorrow.......0°F & wind chill -25°F, Wednesday -11°F & wind chill -43°F
At 10 pm, Gigi had 30 minutes of "lap time".....while I watched the late news...then we went out
to the pool deck and walked around it a dozen times. This was the first time she was wearing a short Hillmann lead (4 feet). The walking kept her focused on moving and the lead proved to be a "nothing burger" as she dragged it behind her......"what a cutie" and "spunky", too. This intro was almost too easy. She simply just walked with me....stopped when I did and was engaged.
Jan 29 11 am Gigi did what will become a regular activity...."The Deck Walk".......fun, exercise,
developing "engagement" and wearing/dragging a "rope". She willingly dives into a dog hide (closed, dark on one end) and nothing seems to phase her. It is all fun. When finished, she sat like a little statue and allowed me stroke/pet her. By lifting the "rope collar", tiny Hillmann re-enforcing tugs with a quiet, soft, verbal "sit' command were introduced. This was not planned. It simply just happened. She was calm and engaged (with good eye contact) and I was totally impressed (more like amazed). We then walked off some and then paused to repeat. She liked it....she really liked it!! Me, too! ("easy peasy"). All that was followed by a good drink of cold water, a brief interlude of "snuggles" on my lap and then her 11 am "nap time".
note: The large, isolated puppy pen with cedar bedding and vinyl flooring is invaluable.
note: At 12 noon, it is 4°F with a wind chill of -25F° weather forecast - terrible
at 10 pm, it is -13°F wind chill -38°F
Jan 30 Wednesday......the 8 am "temps" are -25°F wind chill -49°F.........the high will be -11°F. Pup was fed and watered at 7:30 am. Her pen was "cleaned" and there was a "lap" snuggle break followed by "pen time". Later, "Gigi" went for her morning "deck walk" (six laps, free run wearing and dragging a four foot, Hillmann puppy lead.......which she is ignoring). In addition, she "worked" a brief time on going up and down the five step staircase (down was easier......gravity is cool). Afterwards, it was "water and nap" time.
About 2 pm, it was time to take "Gigi" out of her puppy pen for some exercise and fun. This would be her third "deck walk". The first two she stayed with me and was very engaged. This time not so much. She knew the territory and no longer "needed" me. Gigi stayed in the Avery hide and chewed on straps, went the other way when I walk off....and roamed freely.
Suddenly, I had to become more interesting than a dog hide. Reality is amusing (or not). Well, she got her exploring mode under control, jumped over the rolled up rug hurdles and was soon doing well at crawling/climbing up the stairs. She is definitely not a shy, needy clinger".
this evening at 7 pm -16°F wind chill -34°F
morning at 7 am -31°F wind chill -44°F
Jan 31 "the last really cold day"....this month....high -4°F with snow.....this morning when it had
warmed up to -17°F, we decided that more snow was needed in the front yard....so my son "made some". Hot water up into the air was "cool".
Jan 7 Today is the beginning of "New Year's" resolutions. Dog training forums will be viewed only one day a week......or less and I will not watch anymore Bear's games for about nine months.
note: There was quite a bit of rain last night and this morning. It is 52°F with no frost in the
ground and mud "everywhere". Thorson Pond is free of ice and "out of its banks".
Airing Pounce means "bucket and a mop" time. The only "good" thing is no ice in
the airing yard.
Jan 8 3pm - 37°F and 20 mph winds...Pounce is sleeping in the living room ("let sleeping dogs...")
Can't do that.....tomorrow will be almost 20° colder...Do something simple and productive. Five
minute drive to the Thorson "Grassy/Bean Field" DTA - Pounce ran a Point Blind (five Dokkens) and a "hurdle, handling" session using the same "point"......sharp, fast and accurate. In addition, she did quite a bit of heeling "off lead". Initially, the "two log hurdle" was going to be in one of the long point blinds. After checking out an angle approach, that idea was scrapped....not safe looking and "why not" was very obvious. The plan was to line perpendicularly and once over "whistle sit and angle cast" to the blind. On the return, a "whistle/sit/angle-in-over cast" was understood to
mean "go to the hurdle and jump straight over". Intelligent retrievers are "fun to run".
note: All topics selected for the "project" have been "reviewed, updated and/or modified".
"Winter Project" Group
Jan 1 Pounce "worked" in the heated indoor training area - a "fun" OB practice session. The goal for this month is to spend a good amount of time reviewing, comparing and contrasting previously, written "perspectives". The rationale is to provide useful insight into how they might relate to the present (Hillmann's program). This will enhance Pounce's training and add to (or adjust) my skill set for training the new pup arriving at the end of January. All "reviews" will be "extracted" from the "Thinking" page.
review #3 (refer to Jan 11 entry)
note: remembered an interesting link on RTF
note: The "gun shop" said my shotgun will not be back for about a month. This means
Pounce's "upland training" is on hold. The plan was to have most of the training "prep"
well underway before the end of January when the new pup arrives.
Jan 9 much colder......trained indoors (heated area)......fun repetitions = practice & exercise
note: Continuing with the "Winter Project" (see Jan 1st entry), the 2nd topic to review from the "Thinking" page is the recently updated "Paradigm Shift".
Jan 14 Pounce trained in the "indoor", heated area...off lead OB practice & "The Game"
Jan 15 Repeated yesterday and finally "explained" to my wife about the new pup. Whew, turned out to be not that big of a deal. She has definitely been a "keeper".
Jan 16 This afternoon my computer went "south" and it turned into an "all-nighter".
Jan 17 The spider web of refreshing a "scrambled" computer while dodging security probes and "discovering" the right updates/patches in the correct sequence was (to say the least) frustrating. Winning is everything.......and being lucky is way better than the alternative.
I am "clean" again......ready for the next "game". "Dodge ball" when you are old is not much fun. Then again....all I had to do was move my fingers and stay awake.
Next Wednesday is the eight hour drive into Nebraska. Thursday morning will begin the return trip with a "passenger".
Jan 18 Pounce trained in the indoor heated area.......getting for the snow storm
Jan 19 spent most of the morning snow blowing 5-6 inches out of the driveway...cold wind
note: beginning to rearrange the house preparing for the pup......crates in bedroom,
living room and the heated training area....also setting up the feeding area so
as to do the same routine that was used with Pounce
Jan 10 day off.....windy and cold........review "stuff"......."Winter Project"
Jan 11 trained - Rockton Road DTA, Pounce ran six "stand alone/send back" singles