~ TEAM MAC ~ Water Training


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Nov 1, 2018
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~ MAC On Return ~


~ MAC, Three Directional Casting Training ~
Gun dog trainee MAC is seen during a water training session conducted by yours truly. The retriever is sent on retrieve from the handler's side on land into the water to make retrieve of training bumpers / birds.

These sessions are designed to train the retriever to respond to whistle signals, voice commands, and gestural cues (casts) to send him to the location of one of three bumpers on the water in three separate locations. Trained to turn toward the handler / trainer on one single blast of the trainer's whistle, the retriever will tread water while focused on the handler in waiting for a directional cast. The retriever is trained to take BACK casts to move away from the handler in a straight line. The retriever is also conditioned to respond to both right and left OVER casts as needed to keep the dog progressing toward the location of a specific bumper / bird to be retrieved.

By using a combination of whistle signals, verbal commands, and gestural cues (casts), the handler can direct the dog to a bumper or bird located at a position completely unknown to the retriever, that being referred to as a "blind" retrieve. The method is much as though the retriever is being directionally cast as though the handler had a "joystick " to control the dog's directional progress. Retrievers must do blind retrieves on both land and water at advanced levels of competition and whilst actually bird hunting. Blind retrieves can often be in excess of two hundred yards.

Young MAC is doing well with the progression of his directional casting training on both land and water. He still has much repetition of drills to complete before becoming dependably solid in his performance, but he is well on the way conceptually. The retriever is required to deliver the bumper or bird classically into the hand of the handler upon return to his or her side.

These images were captured by my wife Lisa using her phone camera during this morning's training session.


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