Marks with Dakota

Friday was Dakota’s turn for some training and I ran the same drills with her that I had run with Sophie, and with similar results. She did well at 20 yards, okay at 30, and lost it at 40 yards; since both her and Sophie had the same problem, it told me that this was a problem I had caused. Namely, 30-40 yards is as far as I throw a bumper so that’s as far they search. Unlike Sophie, who goes into search mode when she has trouble finding the bumper, Dakota goes into panic mode and wildly races about in search of the bumper.

And unlike Sophie, Dakota still had a lot of training left in her so I moved over to an area with less cover and started her on easier marks. My greatest challenge through the session was keeping Dakota from creeping up from her “sit” “stay”. Invariably I had to go back and reset her several times.

Again I started at about 20 yards and increased the distance in 10-yard increments; again, she began running into problems at 30 yards but I was eventually able to get her to stretch out to 50 yards, and she lost it at 60.

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4 Responses to “Marks with Dakota”

  1. Long Life Cats and Dogs Says:

    Well done on getting to the 50 yards

  2. 2browndawgs Says:

    Can you ever get a partner to help you? When we do this drill, I throw the marks and hubby handles the dog. We throw one mark at a time. I stand in the field wearing some sort of white. It helps the dogs to mark off me. The other thing you can do is put out something white. You are teaching marking and stretching the dogs so you want things visible. I also noticed the wind was pretty strong. It looks like you threw the bumpers so that the wind would help the dog so that is good. I am impressed that she picked up in order. That is excellent! :)

    • murphydogs Says:

      Thanks. I’ve never had a partner in training the Labs which has really limited me, but it’s only been the past few years that I’ve started taking it seriously. Now that their hunting careers are essentially over I’m focusing on the Spins, and can find partners to work with them. Dakota has a real problem when it comes to decision making and has never really been able to do multiple marks, and in cover, she’s able to somewhat forget about the marks she can’t see.

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