June 18 - Saturday....cool, sunny with a good breeze out of the east - Pounce and Gigi attended a training group put on by pro trainer Corey Zandonai sponsored by the Madison Retriever Club. The purpose of the sessions was to get in some large group work simulating a test for Pounce. Gigi's purpose was to simply
continue practicing skills at the line. Well, neither did very well. Pounce picked up the triple and a blind to the east across water. The second blind was longer to the west across snall water, also. There were many whistle sits and she continued to ping-pong all over the place....for too long. Finally, I picked her up and began looking for an excuse. This was totally out of character for her. The only thing that made any sense was when looking back at me into the morning the sun from the east, it was shining across the tent used at the line. By standing in front of it, she may not have been able to see my many casts. Good excuse?

Then Gigi came out and she was "on the iron", lugging and pulling down the hill to the line. Coming out of the last holding blind she almost jerked me off my feet. It was not a pretty sight. The walk back to the van was not pleasant either except for the fact that Corey went out of his way to help me carry some of my HRC line equipment back, up hill to the van. Well, I found out what will be necessary. Pounce will be OK....if I pay more attention to backgrounds on blinds, avoid disappearing in the shade and walk slower. 

With Gigi, the answer is not in the e-collar or the leash. Later this evening I did a search and found what might be to my advantage. Small taps with a bamboo rattle stick have made an immediate impression that kept her focused on me. I had thought about using a pinch collar since she used one in her AKC OB class. I am not convinced it teaches much that carries over to having it removed. Yesterday, provided a strong hint that running two dogs in tests may be too much for me. Pounce will get her HRC Finished title and retire. Gigi will begin a low key training schedule that will be aimed toward next year when I will be 82.....too many wills.   note: discussions with Pro and subsequent applications of correction made an immediate impression. Refer to June 29th entry.
June 19 - Sunday (Father's Day)..since the rest of this week will return to another heat way, today's cool weather was difficult to ignore. I had planned to revisit the field trial grounds we trained on yesterday. Since we drive by the Stoughton property, I stopped there instead. The fact that I did not opt for more driving turned into a huge plus for this trip. Anyway, the gate to the Stoughton property had been improved to make entering without parking though a gate which was much easier and safer. The pond that I wanted to train on was perfect. With a trailer and UTV, setting up is always easier. Reducing walking is a prerequisite...especially at my age. It was not long before three wingers were in place and two blinds were planted. The running line was setup in the shade. Pounce was to run an HRC line triple with two blinds. Then Gigi would three singles. After Saturdays not so good training session was weighing heavily, I was somewhat anxious to see if what went wrong yesterday with Pounce's blind was what I thought.  Plus Gigi was totally out of control and that needed to be dealt with now. I search for a while in all of my equipment and finally found IT. A split, bamboo rattle stick can be a great equalizer....for some dogs. It was a good day. Pounce ran a water triple plus two blinds and Gigi ran three singles. You might say Gigi was very careful and cautious at the line. Paying attention to the handler seemed to become a "new pair shoes".
Both did well. After loading up the plan was to get gas because the van was getting low. Gas in Wisconsin is about 30-35 cents a gallon in Wisconsin. ...so I fill up on the way back. I noticed my little orange idiot light came on and did not know how close I had cut it. The van manual says capacity is 23 gallons. I have come close to that a few times. Filling up today, the pump read 23.35 gallons....whew...close call.

June 1 - Wednesday...clear/cool in the morning with a high in the 70's...Pounce then Gigi ran three HRC blinds with mallards after a five minute drive to the grassy area east of Thorson Pond. There is a training group Thursday near Morrison, Illinois (too far/not enough time)...Pounce's Finished HRC tests schedule is setting up well (already entered) = WISILL HRC June 25th, Mississippi Valley HRC July 23rd and Key City HRC August 13th (if needed...possibly two more tests - late Aug. & in Sept.)

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With today being Father's Day the front yard looked a bit different. My daughter's "blue" filled in the color scheme.

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                                            The following is a reminder from last month.  (Thanks, Pete)
                   1) "Dogs by nature are silent communicators."
                   2) "Training plus Motivation plus Consistency equals trained Response."
                   3) "The main ingredients of the rehabilitation process is a dog must focus on the thrown bird
                        while maintaining a peripheral focus on the handler's movement and cues."
                   4) "The dog's part is simple: All she has to do is respond to what the handler is doing. The
                        handler has to RETRAIN his own motor skills to respond quickly to what the dog is doing."
                   5) "The handler's responses must be second nature. Remember, if you speak or give
                        commands then you just took the responsibility off the dog.

`Copyright ©kwickLabsii.com All rights reserved

June 22 - Wednesday - Too warm, but did finish mowing the lawn....Gigi and Pounce had the day off.
June 23 - Thursday - cool morning with temperatures near 90...up early and back at the Gallagher Property to 1) train Pounce and Gigi on some blinds plus see if I can find the strap. The weather was perfect in the morning. Fog lifted quickly with plenty of sunshine. I just took the van (no UTV) and after running both dogs on several blinds, we were home by 8:30 am. The Thursday group training was this afternoon. It is an hour drive and decided to not push the dogs on a hot  afternoon. It is supposed to be water, but we already did water today and I am finished (two more hours of driving is too much). Both dogs are asleep and resting.

June 29...Wednesday - trained mid-morning with pro trainer Corey Zandonai at the W-Property. This session had a small group that came to train and/or receive tutoring. I needed his advice to help in "adjusting" Pounce and me. EDIT: Did not need any gimmicks.simply well timed, adequate corrections.
His time and input provided immediate, useful insight. The expression "It is not the dog." seemed appropriate.....once gain. Pounce will be much better in the field.The plan is to attend each Wednesday sessions left in July (that would be four). There is a training group this coming Saturday morning which Pounce and I will attend.
June 30...Thursday - high of 92°F...day off for Pounce. Gigi trained in the morning at the Thorson Pond "grassy area". It was time to review the basic drills leading to her cold blinds training. The goal is to be running long, cold blinds by the time goose season opens (three months). First up was having Gigi run the Graph Casting Drill which went well. It was warm in the morning, but working from a bit of shade plus a five minute drive back to the air conditioned house made the morning an "easy do".

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June 13 - Monday...much warmer with scattered thunderstorms...Something quick/close may be possible. I should go shopping for a hearing aid because of asking "What did you say?" too frequently. It is an issue I have been avoiding for way too long.....and especially during hunt tests (with judges). 

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The last few days have been interesting. For quite some time, I have spent moments trying make training alone easier. Unfortunately, there is an issue which I did not have a solution for. My van is large enough to carry all the equipment I need plus two dogs. Dispersing everything efficiently has never been easy.

Packing "stuff" neatly in the van continued to be challenging. I've never been what be labeled a neat freak, but something had to give. A few days ago, I set out to run both dogs on two triples by flip flopping the line. Driving the van around seemed to be OK, but I was still doing a lot of walking and carrying. The fact that I will be 82 in a few months may be part of the problem. When arrived home and unpacked, the recognition that I can’t do this anymore surface,  

Suddenly, ambitious training setups began to be too much. Plowing through setup after setup was not fun and depressing questions began to surface. The most obvious was, “Am I too old?” This spring I had become lax about not using my UTV because hooking it up to the van was not easy. Sometimes searching for easy ends up being lazy.

A few days ago (for the first time this year), I was hooking up the trailer and hauling my UTV for training. Suddenly, I was not walking as much and finding ways to pack and haul a bunch of stuff in and out of the field. I did not realize how much walking was being reduced. Five trips walking was reduce to one. That was a huge revelation. I had ignored the concept of KISS (keep it simple stupid). I am not sure why this did not occur to me before today.

There was some cloud cover and a nice breeze. The positives were that walking/carrying plus getting in and out of the van way too many times was noticeably reduced. Not only that but recently I have found that keeping track of Dogtra remote numbers on wingers is simple to check and then get back to the line only to discover which remote is which? The UTV bailed me out the first few setups with a quick UTV trip. The use of a ball-point pen for marking some pointing fingers made for quicker recollections.

Pounce ran an HRC triple with two blinds. Gigi did three singles and continues to mark "lights out".  It is much more enjoyable to drive home from training knowing that working both dogs is going to be easier and more fun. Gigi is now on a long range plan. Her marking is way better than any other dog I have ever trained. However, there is more that a superb marking retriever needs to develop. The factors of focus, control and responsiveness need to be strengthened. A competitive retriever will not win by just being "birdy" and marking lights out. She has no problem picking up a triple. It is the animation at the line that needs to be modified. Therefore, we are doing singles and shooting at the line (HRC "stuff"). The HRC presentation is animated and distracting. Gigi and Pounce must learn to tune the distractions out and focus on what is expected. Not much happens "out there" until they sit quietly, wait and respond to  the trainers

ques (verbal and physical)....for however long it takes. The concept is simple. Pounce is doing well. Gigi
is a work in progress. Being a sloth like trainer at the line is required. "Go slow and prosper."

June 20 - Monday...high in the low 90's.....not training....The "ear guy" checked my hearing and it is not getting better. If the price is right, hearing aids will be be plugged in July 5th. I mowed about a third of the lawn this afternoon...twas enough. I plan on training at sunrise in the morning.
June 21 - Tuesday - warmer (upper 90's in the afternoon)...The running line was in the shade...great training water at about sunrise. For Pounce, the setup was an HRC triple with mallards plus two blinds. Then Gigi did three mallard singles. One of the four straps for hauling the UTV was locked up and fixing it just wasn't going to happen. The three left are very heavy duty and a decision to make the run home turned out to be OK. I bought a spare to use for now. On the way home, a quick stop was made at the Janesville DNR office. I needed to obtain a retriever training permit for the Bong Recreational Area plus an out of state window sticker. A "fill in the blanks" permit was available on the Internet. Therefore, it was a quick visit (sticker and permit) as there was no line. Later that day I realized that while attempting to fix the strap, I had placed it on the ground and left it there.

Type your paragraph here.

June 14,15 - Tuesday/Wednesday...two hot days in a row (in the 90's)...indoors and time off appears to be a good alternative. I am fairly certain there will be no Tuesday afternoon training group. It will be an ideal time to Dremel Pounce's nails plus brush Gigi's and Pounce's teeth. 
June 16 - Thursday...Today is our 60th wedding anniversary...mid-day 88°F..sunny/WSW wind was 21 mph,
both dogs needed some training...To make this work, the running line area must be shady otherwise the
dogs will not tolerate the heat (me either). There is a "windchill" even when the temperature is high. Plus the evaporating sweat helps (me)....not so much with the dog. The line and van are all in the shade. It was comfortable. The setup was an HRC triple (pump shotgun with primer blanks). Pounce did the triple and two blinds. The Gigi ran the triple...after a moment of deciding whether to do just singles....or not. I was pleased with that decision, as Gigi literally stepped on all three marks (in knee high cover). Her animation at the line is beginning to show signs of being a bit more relaxed and focused. This is accomplished by simply teaching a dog how to pay attention. Focus and control tend to tame the beast. "Pay attention to the handler" is the desired skill.    

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June 17 - Friday and another warm day...took UTV trainer off the van and had a brief training session at the Thorson Pond DTA. Both dogs were able to run one HRC mallard walk-up from the pond. Then one of the winger rings lost a rubber band. After, picking stuff" up, both dogs ran the 190 yard pattern plan for exercise. The goose gosling hatch this spring was the best in many years.

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June 7 - Tuesday...trained in the morning with mallards. Pounce then Gigi did three remote winger walk-ups with an HRC shotgun. This morning's session went well. Both were under control and easy to work with. Then in the afternoon we attended a group training session run by Pro trainer Corey Zandonai. Pounce went first and there was a simulated live flyer which she would not go near. It ran around and she wanted nothing to do with it. Since we are running HRC, there have been no simulated live flyers practices. I should have thought about that a bit more....today (Duh trainer moment). Then the rest of her triple and blind went OK. Next up was Gigi and she was wired. I had planned to run an HRC triple, but when leaving the holding blind things changed. I decided to do singles (and no blinds). Her marking was impressive, but her line manners were "something else". In spite of being antsy (as Corey shot the marks like HRC Started tests), she straight line pinned each single, but was a bit rough/mouthy on the deliveries. All things considered, most of our sessions did not paint a very pretty picture. Pounce will be OK with her upcoming HRC Finished tests. As for Gigi, we will be going back to the drawing board on her inconsistent duck aggressiveness. No tests (that is zero) until the beast in her is fully tamed. The target date on that concept is best described by "wait until next year." Evidently, Gigi's OB sessions with "duck in mouth" will need to continue. The main reason for delaying "stuff" is that there is simply too much to do. I will be 82 in August and training is becoming much more difficult. 
June 8 - Wednesday....cool with scattered showers...most of the day. I decided to train in the afternoon at the Four Lakes DTA. The grass training area had been mowed. Therefore, three remote wingers with mallards were setup to practice an HRC line. Up until yesterday, I did not realize how poorly both dogs seemed to be paying attention to me when the HRC pump shotgun was firing off three shots while I am running the winger Dogtra electronics. This became very obvious at the group training session. Therefore, I am ditching the shotgun (for a week or two with Pounce). With my right arm, it is simpler to aim/"shoot" with no gun (or a fake, wooden one) or use a primer pistol while the other arm/hand can run the remote wingers and deal with any necessary dog behavior modifications....including an e-collar. The most significant aspect of this alteration was that both were more aware that I was focused on them (
refer back to the five points) and not just preoccupied with shooting/shucking a shotgun. This modification of the process will eventually transition back to using an HRC shotgun line. Pounce does not need nearly as much of an adjustment as Gigi. In addition, Gigi will not be running any tests this year...which means "What is the rush?" Friday, Gigi has another Vet visit at 3pm and probably more until her health situation becomes a non-issue.  
June 9 - Thursday...In the morning, Gigi worked on her mallard handling skills. Three thawed mallards were used. The first setup was a walking fetch including a review of "drop''. The philosophy is all ducks are mine even when she is carrying one. The next setup was a three mallard lining drill. Again the skill is pick up the duck without a lot of animation (no shaking, thrashing or mouthing) and come to heel with a quiet mouth, sit 

and deliver. The last drill was to bring each duck (one at a time) to a spot where she does a "drop" on command. "Again", the ducks are mine.

In the afternoon, the Thursday group training session was attended. There were three hidden winger mallard stations and two blinds (bumpers). Each handler selected how to present it. Pounce was first. She went to the holding blind off lead and walked to the line (off lead). There was a fake (wooden) gun (AKC setup). A triple was thrown...wide right, wide left and then long up the middle. Pounce picked them up middle, then right and left (no hunts). There were two blinds....one longer than the mark up the middle and a shorter one off to the right. Pounce had two handles on each and finished with an off lead honor. Her composure makes it much easier for me. Gigi was next and what a difference (between her and Pounce).

There were a few things to mull over before doing the setup. The rationale was to do what was best for each dog. Therefore, Gigi went to the line ON lead and the focus was to attempt doing so with a loose leash. I do not think that would have been possible without a few, low level nicks with an e-collar. The fake gun was not involved (less distractions and more focus). Gigi heeled and sat. The three marks were thrown as a triple and she was on lead (no fake gun). Pivoting from one mark to the next was smoother than I thought it might be. The marks were thrown in the same order as Pounce's and Gigi kept her composure. I did hold on to the flat collar at the line and there were no issues with lining her up for each mark (focused and responsive).

Her duck handling was very encouraging (actually much better than I expected). I think the morning yard work with mallards was helpful. Gigi's strong suit is that she is a very gifted marker with a great memory. That was obvious from day one as a puppy. It's almost as if she knows which "blade of grass" the mallard is lying on......most of the time. On the last mark, she flew right by it (fast) and for a moment it looked like I might have to handle her. Then she stopped and wheeled around as if to recognize she had gone too far.
She does not get unglued if it isn't "right there". Coming back on a searching line, the scent cone of the AOF finished off the last mark. Today's session left me smiling. Pounce was very good and Gigi responded quite well. Pounce is ready for her Finished tests (beginning at the end of June). Gigi will remain an interesting  work in progress (no hurry...some rough edges). Next year has a ring of reality to it. I will be 82 years old in August and being in a hurry is not going to cut it.
June10 - Friday...high in the low 70's with some rain around 10-11 am...day off from training and Gigi has a VET appointment at 3 pm. However, before the vet visit there was a Dremel nail grinding job to complete on at least Gigi (not my favorite thing to do). Recently, the sling has made nail trimming easier. Got three paws finished on Gigi and the last one required more help. Gigi is the difficult one and Pounce will be done the next day.

Gigi's Vet visit was mostly about doing a wellness exam. I was somewhat concerned about her weight. She is not skinny, but does not have that "roundish" Lab look. Vet said, "She looks good.". I guess being slim and very fast will be OK with me. On a related note, I finally have both Gigi and Pounce on the "feed once a day" routine. The theory behind this was part of canine studies done by Purina several years ago. The genetics of a wild canine were designed around a routine of hunting/feeding once a day and then digesting, sleep and/or resting the rest of the day.

Secondly (and closely related), running/exercising on a full stomach is not good for the digestive system. The stomach and intestines were not genetically designed to function well when exercising (bouncing up and down, full of undigested food with the flush of digestive chemicals at work). Gut flop/food irritation is not a theory. Thirdly, there should be muscle stored energy reserves available when hunting (training). It is a three stage process most effectively not done simultaneously.

The sequence of the four phases of a day in a dog are 1) exercise (training), 2) eating, 3) digestion and 4) sleep. To repeat, it is a genetically evolved process. It is best when training a dog to have each transition blend via a series of consistent time intervals. The concept of relating the activity of a Lab in training to
that of a dog in the wild (surviving) is based on same similarities (hunting, eating, digesting and sleeping).
It might be wise to handle the activity of a competitive Labrador by coordinating the daily activities in the same genetic scheme - the  evolution from 1) hunting, 2) eating, 3) digesting and 4) resting/sleep. In other words, repeat a day long training process that is parallel to the genetic designs of a dog.  How well does your dog's daily life satisfy the four stages? How well does your input mesh with the dog's day?

I leaned back in my computer chair and wondered "Do my two dogs like what they have to put up with?" Early this evening both dogs were aired. Gigi appeared to catch her right hind leg by the toe on the wire crate as she left.....not sure. She was limping and uncomfortable walking. About five hours later at 11:30 pm it was time to air both dogs.....and no limp.
June 11 Saturday....cool day/chance of light rain (not much)...Pounce and Gigi ran a handling drill at the Riverside Park DTA. That went well. Afterwards, it is short drive to the Roscoe Retention Pond DTA. The rainfall this spring has the level down several feet. It is a long walk around to the west end, finally two sets
of two white bumpers were placed so each dog could run a "two down the shore set of blinds". Actually, they were not blinds since the white bumpers were quite visible on the far, gravel bank. The setup was designed as a change of pace. Both were eager as they made big, splashing entries. As for me, the long walk was not fun. Bad knees and being 81 has a tendency to wear on my physical tolerance at bit. I spent quite a bit of time repeating to myself, "This is good exercise. It will help you live longer." Unfortunately, being convincing is not one of my stronger attributes. However, after we all were loaded in the van, it didn't seem quite as bad and reminded me of the following Internet gold.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Actually, it was the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who said it. Others prefer the one which goes, "That which does not kill you gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

Need to buy 2022 window sticker for Bong Recreational Area and check the date on my Wisconsin dog training permit. Pounce's HRC Finished test is June 25th at Bong.
June 12 - Sunday...high in the 70's....I thawed three mallards and was planning on setting up two HRC triples using the flip/flopped line approach (remote wingers stay in one place and just move the running line). The concept is easy to describe. However, after setting up wingers and one line, it was clearly to ambitious. Therefore, Pounce ran an HRC triple with mallards plus a blind and Gigi ran three mallard singles. I had two Son of a Gun wingers and regular Gunners Up winger (longer) hauled in the van. The smaller wingers now stay on the UTV making setups in the field easier/quicker. The larger Gunner's Up winger is taken out of the van and placed on top. The weather was wonderful (low seventies with a breeze and cloud cover most of the time). When the clouds parted a few times, it got warm quickly. The only bad thing that happened was that I  had to stop and fill up my gas tank. Yikes....hundred bucks goes fast!!! "Riden with Biden" is not cheap!!!

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June 24 - Friday....Pounce has an HRC Finished test Saturday. Thorson Pond is a five minute drive and I needed an easier day because it was warm. The van was parked in the shade. The plan was for a quick setup for Pounce. She did three HRC walk-ups with winger thrown mallards out into Thorson Pond using a primer loaded shotgun. Next up was a poison pile of mallards that Pounce had to run past to pick up a cold mallard blind. The two mallards were placed upwind of the blind line to another mallard creating a poison mallard blind. As she encountered the "poison scent", a quick whistle had her sit (responsively) and a right hand cast had her wheeling away from the tempting poison scent to pick up the mallard blind down the line. I picked up the poison mallards. Good dog! Next up was Gigi...needing some exercise. A pile of three very soggy, last training day mallards were placed 125 yards away. Proper handling/delivery was practiced by Gigi. She she was very good at presenting them.   note: better focus, less anxiety, major improvement

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June 25...Saturday...it was a cool, on and off rainy day at Bong Recreational Area. The HRC Finished test that Pounce was entered in was mostly a "test" to see which skill sets need work on. Her skills in the field (marking and running blinds) were very good. However, her line manners (creeping, not sitting much "were not"). The hints in training have been obvious....just not nearly as bad as what was revealed on test day.  Our next test was scheduled so as to have a full month to work on what was revealed (if needed). I guess deep down I knew that already. The last blind was giving most a very difficult time (poor initial lines, lots of whistle sits with poor casts and very "hacky"). Pounce did the blind with just two casts. Being very good on most of the test was not enough. A plan is in place to solve her creeping issue in four weeks. The big question is "will it work"? Pounce is eight years old and and I am eight-one years old. This did not happen overnight....the age thing and creeping. What is interesting about this "steady' issue is that Pounce will sit at a distance quite far away while I throw a mark and "shoot". She will sit and remain steady until released with a hand signal.....very reliably. Conditioned responses are just that.
June 26...Sunday...day off and then the plan for dealing with creeping will begin. I've been advised that it is not an easy issue to correct. Therefore, the approach will not involve corrections. More of the same just doing it better is like treading water. Replacing a skill set with another will take time. Hillmann has a new YouTube out that may prove to be helpful. Since the e-collar is often a crutch in training and it can't be used in tests, Pounce will NOT be wearing one in training. We have about four weeks to make this work.
       note: update.....adequate/timely collar corrections were the key.....help from a pro in late June
The good news is that my painful shoulders' issue seems to have become less of a nuisance. It involved firing and shucking eight rounds of (three blanks with the primers already shot) through the gun twice a day. With a decrease in noise, I can do this in the house. Bicep muscle tendinitis (both shoulders) is painful. Exercise does make a difference.
June 27...Monday...high of 78°F...training was not on the agenda, made 12" elevated platform
June 28...Tuesday...late morning, sunny heady for the 89's with a good breeze...trained Pounce and Gigi
at in the grassy area east of Thorson Pond. The setup was three wingers in a pod throwing a triple. The focus was on responsiveness, focus and control at the line after coming off the van and "working" a holding blind. Control at the line was manipulated by using a placeboard plus platform sequence and a verbal cue before sending with a more to think about (pay attention/focus on the handler).

June 6 - Monday... forecast was rain..didn't happen...Therefore, we trained at the Thorson Pond DTA. It is a five minute drive. The setup was another HRC skill set focus. One issue that crops up more than once-in-awhile is the handling of soggy, mushy mallards. Therefore, today's plan was to use some old and used mallards from the freezer. The worst of the three was selected for Pounce's OB session. To repeat, It was a "not so nice" mallard.  When Pounce's OB session was completed, that very used mallard was then placed in a remote winger for an HRC walk-up. The walk-up mallard was retrieve by Pounce after the "mallard in mouth" was removed. Pounce was very good at paying attention during her session.

So far things were proceeding very well. Next up was Gigi. She always goes second for two reasons. It will amp her up which tends to make the session more meaningful. Her mallard (for the OB session) was especially soggy and not so nice (worse than Pounce's). She did well with the now very mushy mallard in mouth OB session (better than I thought she would). The final segment of this session with Gigi was an HRC walk-up with another very "soggy" mallard being launched. A shotgun primer blank fired and a winger/primer report plus the Dogtra "quacking and beeping" were exciting. I stepped back from the final line to the soon to be launched, walk-up mallard to take a photo of Gigi waiting to be sent. The step-back/wait was a spur of the moment test and we passed. The test was "Is she paying attention to what I am doing?" Gigi is finally beginning to put it all together.  Waiting, paying attention and always going second seems to have made a more permanent impression.  

June 4 - Saturday....cool (n the 60's with some rain, 50% chance)....day off for Pounce and Gigi
                      note: they trained seven days in a row....trainer will mow the lawn if there is a weather window
June 5 - Sunday...Pounce and Gigi ran seven bumper lining drill at Thorson Pond. Pounce was mostly doing it for the exercise. Gigi needs basic practice on lining, entering water and handling (skills for water blinds). The setup (on water at Thorson Pond was done on May 31. A few changes were made. The first was to move the seven bumpers farther east. In doing so, all the lines were angled to the east. The only issue was not seeing a bleached piece of wood that looked like an eighth bumper. After the first run with Pounce, that distraction was removed. Both Gigi and Pounce were much better on their second practice session. When finished, they both got in some aerobic exercise by running a 175 yard, known pattern blind (twice). The goslings that seemed to be missing the last time we were here was a mistaken assumption. Three sets of parents and their "babies" are doing fine. (approximately sixteen goslings)

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June 2 - Thursday...high in the 70's again...repeated the "shooting" three HRC blinds setup (see yesterday) with Dokkens (several at each stake). However, Gigi will continue to return to the van until going to the line improves enough to move on the next step (running the setup). The basic process is go to the line doing it correctly or go back to the van. In Tuesday's training group session Gigi was very consistent and under control at the line. The setup was "busy" and she dealt with it well. In comparing this morning's work to the group session, it was obvious that consistency is not going to happen overnight. That is a function of practice. Skills become consistent and predictable with precise repetitions and practice...its just practice.
Scouted near-by water training areas used in the past. It was a dry winter with little snowfall and a lot of spring rains. There was not much to be excited about. It has been two days since I saw the ten goslings on  Thorson Pond...not a good sign.     update: hiding in the shade near the over flow pipes.
June 3 - Friday...high in the 70's again....morning...Pounce and Gigi ran the HRC Triple Drill twice. After that was a thirty minute drive to the Harrison Road DTA. Both did a repeat (each set triple was done with three Dokkens). The grass at Thorson Pond is mowed (short) while there is calf high cover at Harrison. The focus of this drill is the "busy" HRC line...many small skills are in a sequence that requires focus..."watch, make no noise and pay attention to me". The sequence is precise only if every practice step is consistent. Pounce was quiet and focused. Gigi is very slowly realizing that being quiet and focused are required. The HRC pace at the line is still too fast for Gigi. Therefore, we are slowing down and isolating components. Getting rid of "herky-jerky" (characterized by sudden, irregular or unpredictable movement or style) is a slow and relentless process. To repeat...by breaking down the sequence into manageable steps, a focused practice is more likely.