And I truly believe running cold blinds is more productive than running a ton of drills...you just have to adjust your expectations as the dog is learning and slowly increase standards.
Here's about the only casting drill I do with my older dogs. I copied and pasted what I've written in the past on this drill. It's been posted on the RTF a few times so some will be pretty bored with it. The only other casting drill I do is/are the baseball drills that I do in basics with the puppies.
I do this every couple of weeks with my older dogs in different places My transition level early advanced dogs get this drill sometime after the double T four or five times a week at the same place until they're smooth. I then move it to other places with the little guys. With the old dogs I believe it keeps casting sharp and gives me an over when I need it. I line to each pile first and then cast. Mostly on featureless fields but also sometimes where there's cover and some terrain. I didn't make this drill up I stole it fair and square from Jim Gonia. No one drill keeps a high casting standard, you have to reinforce good casts in the field. This drill just ensures in my mind that the dog knows what the casts are so when they don't do it on an actual blind, I can make a fair correction.
Howard gave me this drill a couple of years ago and it is brilliant. It is amazing that I have never had a dog complete it perfectly even the titled ones!
It seems the take away message in a lot of these casting/lining discussions, is that all the drills work! They were all designed (and at some point) used by a successful someone to successfully develop a dog to a very high level. It seems the specific drill, is more a function of what the handler enjoys running, and what they read their dog gains benefit from. The important thing is to practice, practice, practice! The best way to improve casting/handling is to practice casting/handling!
I have a 10 month old that I have been running WBB with. I really enjoy running it, and my pup seems to really enjoy it, and learn from it. I like the fact that it is not a static position type drill, and offers the flexability and versatility to add different factors, terrain and distances to cast and distances to carry casts...all within the same session. I'v read DL's book, but Evan's DVD for $12 is the best explanation I've seen of WBB.
On a side note, I ran an impromptu, shortened version of Howard's drill this morning, and see it as a very useful drill as well. Will definately be running the full length version, and incorporate it into our training. Thanks for sharing Howard!
Howard, I am a little confused as to how you run this. You mention lining the dogs first, and then casting. So are you stopping them midway to one pile and sending them to another? Or are you just sitting the dog facing you somewhere in the middle and casting from the line? Sorry, I must have missed the first go round. Thanks for posting.