Training Sophie on marking

Choco, the neighbor's Chessie-Blue Heeler pup has adopted Sophie as his mom.

Choco, the neighbor’s Chessie-Blue Heeler pup has adopted Sophie as his mom.

Sophie is my training assistant, mentor to the Spins, and guinea pig for trying out new techniques and routines. So when 2 Brown Dawgs Blog posted a good routine for marking and stretching out retrieves I put Sophie to the test.

Sophie retrieving a 20-yard mark, Real Bird Bumper from Scott Linden Outdoors.

Sophie retrieving a 20-yard mark, a Real Bird Bumper from Scott Linden Outdoors.

Approaching 11 years old, Sophie still has the desire of a puppy but a senior body that fails her; five retrieves were enough to tucker her out and after training on marks, I let her cool off in the pond with a couple of water retrieves. Among my standard and Dokken’s bumpers is a Real Bird Bumper from Scott Linden Outdoors which is actually my preference among bumpers, and which I used today.

Each set of retrieves (approximately 20, 30, and 40 yards) was done first to the left where there was less cover, then the right where there is heavy cover. Sophie did very well at marking at both 20 and 30 yards, but the 40-yard mark really threw her. She either wasn’t paying attention or had a memory lapse, because she returned to her 30-yard mark instead of marking the 40-yard bumper.

After some searching and a little casting, to which she didn’t pay real close attention, she found her mark and retrieved the bumper. She told me that was enough by dropping the bumper and sitting down. After training, she slipped into the pond for a little swim so I tossed the bumper for her a couple of times to let her cool off.

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2 Responses to “Training Sophie on marking”

  1. 2 brown dawgs Says:

    I hope this comment posts. Now even twitter is giving me fits…lol.

    Glad you tried that drill. The dogs do get heated up running it. When we run it, I am usually standing out in the field tossing one bumper at a time. I try to dress with a white tshirt or hat so that the dog can mark off me if they need to. It helps the dogs keep their bearings. Sophie did a great job!

    • murphydogs Says:

      Thanks, Dakota is next with that drill and it’ll be interesting to see how she takes it. I found the problem with your comments, my blog decided to start dumping them into the spam, so I’ll have to check it more frequently.

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