Raising Ragnar 12th Instalment

Raising Ragnar 11th Instalment
11th December 2018
Raising Ragnar 13th Instalment
14th February 2019
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Life has become a bit hectic and so writing up the blog has slipped somewhat!  I have been continuing on with all of Ragnar’s training, he has been attending puppy classes each week and is making some good progress.  He is very happy to work with me even though there are other puppies around.  We have met up with friends and had walks in nice places and he has mixed with other adult dogs regularly.

Mainly I have been keeping on with proofing the behaviours that I have already taught him.


We spent the day loading the caravan and travelling up to Broadway in the Cotswolds for a week’s holiday.  Ragnar transitioned to being back in the caravan well.  He was managing to not come out of the door until asked.  Initially Ragnar needed to be on a head collar whilst lead walking on site but transitioned to the flat collar fine once he had settled down.  I have decided to change my criteria for releasing Ragnar to free run.  I initially was waiting for a sit and eye contact but this seems not to be something that works for Ragnar.  He is cognitive, can take food and will remain in a stand without moving when the lead comes off and give me eye contact whilst waiting for permission to go but doesn’t seem able to sit.  On the basis that steadiness and waiting permission is the most important thing I have decided that the sit is not worth arguing about.


We are having a training session with Helen Phillips each day with each of the dogs.  Today we went through where Ragnar is up to with his training as Helen hasn’t seen him in a training environment since he was tiny.

I need to work on straightening up his sit at heel.

We talked about patterns that will be important for competition.  The most important one being hunt, stop, mark the fall, don’t take your eyes off the mark, retrieve on verbal cue.

Need to practice starting hunting with Ragnar facing me so that is not confused with a retrieve from heel position.  I need to stand still for a couple of sweeps so that potential birds have been moved from where I will be walking.

We started to teach some steadiness with Ragnar facing me rather than at heel.  Ragnar sat facing me, Helen put out a toy to the side and then he was released to get the toy with ‘Get it’ which is his permission to get your toy cue.  If he took his eyes off the toy then it was picked up.


We introduced Ragnar to going through a tunnel made of bales, he was fine with that but still needs a lure to follow through.

We introduced getting a ball over bales, small single ones.  He got hold of that very quickly.

We added the stop whistle to the steadiness exercise from yesterday.  Blow stop whistle, wait for stillness, Helen placed out the ball , send for the toy.

We repeated this exercise in cover to encourage not taking his eyes off the mark.

We then finished off with a bit of hunting.  Need to encourage him to get his nose down more.


We videoed Ragnar going through the bale tunnel and over the bales to retrieve a ball.

We introduced playing with Rabbit balls and realised that we needed to introduce more articles into his ‘pick up and play with’ repertoire.  He was a bit hesitant to get going with them but warmed up to it as we played more with them.

Videoed Stop whistle/stillness/send exercise.

We finished off with hunting for rabbit balls and the green balls, he was using his nose better.

We went to a tea room in Broadway in the afternoon.  Ragnar manged to settle after about 10 mins and lay down and relaxed.


We set out two exercises hunting for the rabbit balls and he was more confident picking up the rabbit balls today.  More nose down and less looking at me for help which is good progress.

We then looked at marking from the rough into a mowed area.  We back chained this to about 25yrds.  The 25yrds included rough to mowed to rough back out onto mowed.  He didn’t worry about the barriers of terrain change and kept a good straight line.

We then added marking into rough, again back chaining over a mowed strip back into rough up to about 20 yrds.

We then added playing with some 1/2lb dummies then did a few marked retrieves.  The last one came back to hand 🙂

The transition to the 1/2lb dummy was easier than onto the rabbit balls


We started by introducing Ragnar to all sorts of different types of dummies including dummy launcher dummies, plastic dummies, dummies with ‘heads’ which flapped and various outer materials, canvas, fur etc.

Ragnar picked all of the dummies up and was happy to carry all of them.

We then set these all out for him to hunt up.  His pattern and focus was much better today.

Really pleased with his overall improvement over the week.  Lots of good new skills to build on in the coming months.

We then drove back home.


We had a bit of a varied week being at home but with a week off from work.  We did some visiting with friends and chilling out.  The last part of the week was a bit restricted as I damaged my ribs and so training had to be pretty much abandoned.


Photo by Farlap Photography