Two days of cold and rain were an ideal time to go back and review past articles in “The Retriever Journal”. I decided to focus on one author – Mike Lardy. In the March/April 2001 issue, the title was Treatment for Trial Problems.
note: direct quotes from the article are in italics
One section of the article discussed the “ready, set, go” aspect of “Heeling to the Line” with respect to expectations. “The first step toward raising the standard would be to review basic obedience and even perhaps some collar conditioning around a holding blind in the yard.” I thought this statement was a key component of the article. “When you raise any standard, you should teach and enforce the new standard in a controlled environment such as the training yard.”
When the weather broke my dogs had a new drill to deal with. The setup (in the yard) consisted of three holding blinds and a set of complimentary place boards. The obedience standards to work on were greater precision, clearer expectations and enhanced responsiveness moving in and out of each blind.....on lead. When each dog was finished with the drill, they were left on a place board to honor the next dog’s session (and serve as a distraction). Eventually, all three older dogs went through their “paces” and Gunny (the pup) came out for the grand finale.
The drill was called the "Three Blinds Nice Drill". Sorry, I'm old and trying to chuckle more often. After finishing the drill, my three older dogs remained on their place boards to run and honor a Remote Drop Drill. For a first time “go”, the dogs seemed to "get into" the mode and produced good efforts.
This will become a regular maintenance type drill, and I can't help but think this would be a cool drill in a group training session...more blinds...more dogs. The place boards are not a necessary component.
The article mentioned, if line manner issues were a "big one" and improved standards was the goal, holding blind obdience drills should be the only thing occupying a dogs training for several days......no field work.
"The Three Blinds Nice Drill"
"three place boards"
"finished, placed dogs"