After arriving home, Pounce did a Stage #4 session of Hillmann's heeling process with the two geese used as "the game" aspect of this "yard work" (energy and focus was high...very high!)
Nov 8,9,10 Geese are not moving much, but will be needing to feed more often. It is now much
like an early pattern typical of winter. From now, the geese will mostly "loaf" on
Legend Lake (no hunting) and mallards have not shown up (yet) on Thorson Pond.
note: Pounce did one session of stage #4 of Hillmann's heeling program each day
(mostly on "slacker mode" this week).
note: gearing up for another long winter
Nov 11-15 Scouted for geese every day and the "pattern" did not change until the 15th. Geese were moving more and a few mallards were located on the 15th. It will be an early freeze.
note: Each of the five days Pounce did animated work on Hillmann's stage #4
heeling program. She is more than ready to move on into stage #5.
Nov 16 Today's "goose" movement was consistent with yesterday's. The only questions for tomorrow are "Will the geese move before it rains?" and the most revealing "Do I want to hunt in the rain?" In reality, I am not that desperate.
Nov 17 today was the time to "do leaves" before it rains......good fall job about half finished
note: Pounce began stage #5 in Hillmann's heeling program - "Practice"
Nov 18 Pounce had a change of pace today. The daily scouting for geese was done around noon. Then we headed for Lowe's Lumber for a store "walk around" working on her heeling skills. The back aisles with lumber have very few shoppers on a cold winter day. There we can move about working on her "heeling" and gradually shift closer to a "shopper" or three. There were no attempts to actually interact (I am sure she wanted to). The "session" was very good including the loose lead standard. Session #6 warns about "testing"..
Nov 19 scouted for geese - nothing and Pounce did her usual "heeling practice". Besides the actual yard-work sessions, every trip to the airing yard (from the house and back) provides practice.
Nov 20 Mid-morning & afternoon scouted for geese. The pattern has not changed. Drove to the Harrison DTA where Pounce ran four remote winger walk-ups and a double. The sequence was two walk-ups before and after the double. This session went extremely well as Pounce's work on heeling has come a long way.
note: Daisy exercised during equipment pick-up time (wingers & holding blinds).
Nov 21 Today is the beginning of a "cold turkey" effort to greatly reduce Internet interactions (including dog training forums) and the never ending, relentless travesty spewed by the TV political channels. This will be a test.
note: This evening Pounce began the regular, daily, late evening, heeling sessions in
the heated, indoor training area (practice).
Tentative Schedule for the rest of Nov and into Dec
"focus on Hillmann's heeling program and finish off the goose hunting season"
Nov 22 Pounce had the day off. However, this evening Pounce "worked" the regular evening, heeling session. For the next several weeks, a session (or two) of heeling will be done every day plus the evening, indoor session. Pounce will regularly run blinds for awhile (exercise)
and not run anything that will TEST the present level of heeling skills.
Nov 23 Pounce repeated the Hillmann # 6 heeling session (late evening and indoors). Correct "reps" (practice) eventually create reliable, conditioned responses.
note: Today the house was filled with full "turkey eaters".
note: Scouted the pond at 10 am (for geese - none there)...skim ice earlier than
ever before and hundreds of geese were up walking and sitting on ice at
note: will continue with level #6 until the middle of next week
Nov 24 Thorson pond had skim ice in the morning (no geese). There was a large number of geese in Legend Lake with many standing up on ice. I went home for the camera. In that brief time span, the warm sun with a southern breeze worked in concert to remove most of the ice.
right click on icons for larger photos
Around mid-night, Daisy and Pounce were "aired". Pounce then was worked in the heated area
on Hillmann's stage #6 (heeling) and that went extremely well (more reps and practice).
Earlier today, Hillmann added another video (to his vast library) Logic - a focus on problem solving. Everything in this video dovetails into his process of training. And with each new "lecture", many things are becoming more in focus. A singular repeating "logic" revolves around distance. If the skill is not "solid" up close.....it will most certainly be worse at a distance. The first video was followed by two more (a progression). The retriever needs to be focused on the trainer (and vias versa) and "what that looks like" was demonstrated.
When finished with heeling, Pounce was "introduced" to the Hillmann process of getting eye contact with the trainer before being released.
note: There was an excellent explanation of the rationale.
Pounce has a very responsive "connection" (with me) in her "stand alone" marking skills at a distance, but our "connection" when I am at the line (next to her) is not so well established. This is just the reverse of what one would normally expect. Therefore, we worked on "close" engagement this evening.
In just this one session, the method in his video produced results. It was very gradual (incrementally better each time) until finally Pounce gave me the "Oh, I get this!" look. That was a very cool moment and revealed again that she is a "quick study". It was interesting to watch her (on a sit), thinking about what was happening and trying to figure what should be done next. She was openly seeking some hints (input) and happily reacted to the praise (reward) when she responded correctly. With each attempt the response was faster. The goal is to develop a consistent responsive interaction between the two of us (up close and far away).
note: This does not have to remain a physical "look"...simply a mental awareness.
note: This was one of those "If you don't know what to look for....you will not see
note: In addition, we would not have engaged in this interaction without
Hillmann's video "Logic" (and the two that followed it).
note: To some degree the extensive training Pounce has experienced in the
Hillmann "Heeling" program has enhanced other aspects of her training.
Nov 28 Aired at midnight and Pounce "finished off" stage #6 of Hillmann's heeling process in the warm, indoor training area. Tomorrow we will begin stage #7.
Nov 29 Pounce trained at the Rockton Sports Complex (late morning). Set up a new "point blind" and ran four blinds in a wide fan design. The first blind was 151 yards and the last at 217 yards. The "choices" were a Dokken Goose, two Dokken ducks and an orange bumper. The order of "picks" made by Pounce was very predictable (same order as the "list").
right click on icons for larger photos
Nov 25 Today was warmer with a strong breeze........Pounce did another late evening stage #6 heeling drill in the warm, indoor training area. With practically zero distractions, it is very simple to repeat many very precise "reps". Pounce will do three more days of stage #6 with outside sessions plus a late evening (indoor each day). On the 29th (Wednesday), she will begin stage #7.
Nov 26 warmer with 17 mph winds....Pounce did an early afternoon "yard" session of stage #6 heeling and she was very good. Her late night heeling session was animated, fun and precise.
Nov 27 Pounce ran seven Stand Alone/Send Back/Walking Singles at the Harrison DTA. With a temperature of 50F and 9 mph wind out of the SSE, it was a very comfortable. Pounce was "right on" each single. Used a primer pistol and a black/white, flagged bumper. Going back to the van, we worked on Hillmann's Stage #6 Heeling Standards. Daisy was given several short singles for exercise. note: Scouted for geese before and after training......nothing.
Nov 1 Wednesday - scouted for geese today...they were "flushed" off the pond yesterday when the pond area was mowed and did nor return today. This is normal, but not good.
note: did get some of the leaves off the "home" lawn before the rain started
Nov 2 another day off with no training and the geese still have not returned
Nov 3 There were no geese on the pond. "Yard work" consisted of doing the removal of leaves from the front lawn which is becoming more of a challenge every year. However, Pounce had an exceptionally good day working on stage #4 of Hillmann's heeling program. Excitement was provided by Dokkens (one big goose and two smaller ducks).
Nov 4 cold rain beginning about 11am....scouted for geese (none moving and pond empty)....trained Pounce in the yard (before rain) and did a session of Hillmann's stage
#4 heeling process. This went extremely well (using two Dokken "reward" mallards to enhance the excitement level).
Nov 5 scouted geese late morning, no days available to hunt until Wednesdaythe 8th
note: Pounce did session of heeling repeating the stage #4 process.
Nov 6 scouted geese, the "no days available to hunt until the 8th" was cancelled
Pounce will be hunting tomorrow early and decided to "take the edge off a bit". She has not done much in the way of challenging exercise the last few days. Therefore, a short drive to the Riverside Park DTA had her using an old Point Blind and ran three new lines to it. It is 225+ yards from where she ran ran today....lined all three "goes" and wanted more......not so sure "the edge" will be off that much in the morning.
Nov 7 early morning goose hunt with Pounce....setup at sunrise and home by 8:15 am with two geese. Made an adjustment which enabled leaving faster and will not hunt it for at least four days. In addition, switching to 3" 2's has proven to be more effective.
The above photo represents about one fourth of the total number of geese on Legend Lake.
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