I spent a few minutes with Doc and Mia on retrieving, combining honoring with marking. My diagram is inspired by Two Brown Dawgs and the nice retriever diagrams they post in their blog.
We ran 3 sets of bumpers with the first 2 sets placed on bare ground behind clumps of grass; this allowed the guys to see the bumpers as they approached. The third set of bumpers were hidden in taller grass which forced them to use their noses. In the following diagram, “1” represents the first set of bumpers, “2” the second set and “3” the third set.
The first set of bumpers were placed about 25 feet apart, with the first bumper set at about 75 feet. Doc honored while Mia retrieved each of the 3 bumpers and then I reset them so that Mia honored Doc as he retrieved each of the 3 bumpers.
The second set were placed about 50 feet apart with the first bumper set at about 100 feet. Once again, I had each dog honor as the other retrieved all 3 bumpers in that set.
For the third set, the bumpers were set about 25 feet apart with the first bumper set about 50 feet out. This time I alternated Doc and Mia between bumpers so each had the opportunity to retrieve 2 bumpers.
They did a nice job honoring and retrieving, and I noticed that Doc quarters during his retrieves rather than taking a straight line. I’m not sure how that would be scored in a retriever test, but I think it’s practical for hunting and likely to reduce the amount of casting that the hunter would have to do. Regardless, it’s not something I plan on correcting at this time.