I upped the ante with Doc and Mia in preparing them for duck search, with the addition of Scott Linden’s Real Bird Bumper along with getting them accustomed to retrieving from land to water. Although they have retrieved ducks from land to water on several occasions, it’s nothing we’ve trained on.
I really like the Real Bird Bumper because it sits higher in the water making it easier for them to mark, has a wing that can be left to flap or fastened to the bumper, and (the size of bumper I use) weights about the same as a duck. I haven’t used the bumper for a couple of years and Doc was intimidated by it at first.
last week –
Mia had no problems with straight water retrieves. Doc wouldn’t pick up the bumper but I solved that by making Doc heel while Mia retrieved. After impatiently watching her retrieve the bumper, I let Doc go and he was retrieving it like a pro.
I then set the bumper on the opposite side of the pond and this time it was Mia who wouldn’t retrieve. She would swim over to the bumper but not pick it up, so I sent Doc to retrieve and that’s where we ended our session.
This week –
After giving Mia a few preliminary water retrieves, I placed the bumper on the opposite side of the pond. She learned from last week’s mistakes and did a great job of searching and retrieving even though she chose the land route for her retrieve. At the beginning of the video, she looks back at me for direction and takes her cast very well.
This time Doc had trouble with the bumper. We did a few water retrieves and as I did with Mia, placed the bumper on the opposite side of the pond. The distance was too far for Doc so I’ll have to start him out on shorter distances. I led Doc to retrieve the bumper, but since didn’t see me throw throw it didn’t recognize it as a bumper and was afraid of it. We ended the session with some easy water retrieves.