I have been continuing with progressing the IYC with movement and the placeboard work and I am also getting back to practising hunting.
Erik had a breakthrough the other day, I took both boys with me to an area to hunt and had a friend hold Ragnar whilst I hunted Erik for some dummies. Ragnar waited quietly whilst Erik worked, which was good but not massively surprising. Erik was quiet whilst he was working, no squeaks on cast off which was great. This is becoming more common now, working with no sound. The best bit was when we swapped dogs and I left Erik with my friend, he could see Ragnar working but was able to take food from my friend and only had two small squeaks whilst Ragnar worked. I didn’t hear anything so they must have been very quiet.
Yesterday I progressed to taking the fabric crate to the working area and setting up with Ragnar in the crate to start with and hunted Erik. All good. I then swapped dogs and Erik was quiet in the crate whilst I worked Ragnar 😊 Huge step forward!!!
This will make it loads easier to practice the hunting as I won’t have to spend so much time walking backwards and forwards to the car to swap dogs. I am hoping to be able to progress to having one dog on a raised bed and then on to one on lead and one dog hunting, and in my wildest dreams one walking off lead to heel and one hunting! Watch this space. It may take some time but I will keep on trying 😊
Today I tried tying the non-working dog to a handy post. All good for the first go, so stupid me tried a second go! Talk about increasing the criteria too quickly! New place, new station, added reps! Bless them though, they did step up for me. Erik managed to remain quiet through most of the second go, only squeaked twice, when I added yet another criterion of stop whistle and thrown dummy for Ragnar. This is why making things up as you go isn’t a very good idea. I should stick to my plan and not free-lance! Hopefully not too much damage done, but I now know that I need to work on watching quietly whilst whistles and thrown dummies are happening as a separate exercise before I add it into the hunting sequence.
I had some time training with a friend and had Erik out to do some retrieving and it was so nice to remember how easy he is to work with and that actually his gundog training is at a fairly high level. I forget this sometimes when I am concentrating on the background stuff and desqueaking him.
I have continued to work the boys together when out on a walk, finding a handy post to tie one to when hunting the other, all is going well with this. I brought Erik out to work when Helen Phillips came down for the weekend and he did really well in his crate whilst waiting for his turn to hunt. I was working on being able to be a good distance from him and he had a few squeaks early on but soon settled into being in his crate and watching the world go by.
I got him out for his turn and he hunted really nicely, no noise and he retrieved the finds well, stopped to a whistle and also to a thrown dummy. It was a good demo for the students who are just starting out to be able to see what they are working towards. If only he could do this in competition! Hopefully one day we will get there 😊
He came out on Sunday too and did some more nice hunting, stopping to thrown dummies very well. He had a small squeak right at the beginning of the exercise as he had been able to see all the other dogs hunting over that area and the dummies that had been put out for them to find. He had been quiet whilst all the other dogs worked but once it was his go he lost the plot a bit. I just stood still and held his collar until he settled down and then he got it together and worked really nicely. Good recovery.
I took him to see a Physio as his shoulders still aren’t right and she has found a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder. This means 2 weeks of restricted exercise and stretches and different physio exercises. He is not too impressed with the stretches as I think they were a bit uncomfortable to start with. He likes the exercises as it means training time and food! I am hoping that he will be fit to work when we are away on holiday.