We returned to the baseball drill Friday morning and while Doc did very well with his left and right casts, he had a lot of trouble with back casts and taking a line to the bumper. I quickly gave up on baseball and focused on Doc taking a straight line to the bumper.
Doc waits to be cast during the baseball drill
First, I made two piles of bumpers, the second pile about 15 yards behind the first. I sent Doc after them until he had retrieved both piles, just to get his accustomed to taking a line.
Doc retrieving a bumper
After that we did the Looking Glass drill, a drill we haven’t ran since 2016.
The two piles of bumpers aren’t that visible. Doc tries to be efficient by retrieving two bumpers at the same time.
The Looking Glass drill was developed by Mike Gould a number of years ago and involves sending the dog between two rows of bumpers, or poison birds, in order to retrieve the mark.
The Looking Glass drill configuration
I used 8 bumpers as poison birds, placed the bumpers about 5 yards apart and about 10 yards between the rows, using Scott Linden’s Real Bird Bumper (R) as the mark which was about 5 yards beyond the last two poison birds.
Doc is lined up on the mark during the Looking Glass drill.
As I knew Doc would do, he went for the poison birds. I’d tell him “no”, reset the bumper, and send him again. We did this a few times until he took his cast all the way to the mark, and then coming back (the looking glass part of the drill) dropped the mark and picked up a poison bird. He did this a couple of times and I’d tell him “no”, replace the bumpers and send him out again.
The last two iterations of the Looking Glass drill, I back cast Doc to the mark which he ran perfectly.
After his first successful retrieve through the looking glass, he had it down pat and made perfect retrieves from then on. After our last iteration, I sent him out to retrieve each of the poison birds.