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.
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.