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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2 year old Lab. She is small (50 lbs). She has had a continuous issue of carrying her casts in cover since we began running blinds. We do lots of drills in short grass and she takes and carries her casts with confidence and drive. I follow Evans Smartworks program doing the drills as directed. She does double T, 8 handed casting, wagon wheel, walking baseball (with good suction) etc with not many issues. As soon as we get into cover (not even real thick cover where she can't see but shorter stuff up to her chest) she takes the cast but pops at after about 5 yards. She will go the direction I cast her but just stops after a couple yards. I cast her again and she takes it but then pops shortly after. I also have trouble with her keeping her lines she takes when sent into cover. She runs good straight backs in short grass.. but in cover zig zags or gets off her line quickly. Does anyone know of a drill that can help with this?.. or has anyone run into this and found some good solutions? It just seems as soon as she gets in cover she loses all confidence in her casting. Thanks is advance for any input.
 

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You did not mention pattern blinds. Has she done well on pattern blinds? Are you able to let the cover grow tall on your pattern blind field?

If not, I'd suggest possibly creating a new set of pattern blinds on a field with some cover and help show her that it's all good and give her some confidence to go out there and take the cover.

Chris
 

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I have a 2 year old Lab. She is small (50 lbs). She has had a continuous issue of carrying her casts in cover since we began running blinds. We do lots of drills in short grass and she takes and carries her casts with confidence and drive. I follow Evans Smartworks program doing the drills as directed. She does double T, 8 handed casting, wagon wheel, walking baseball (with good suction) etc with not many issues. As soon as we get into cover (not even real thick cover where she can't see but shorter stuff up to her chest) she takes the cast but pops at after about 5 yards. She will go the direction I cast her but just stops after a couple yards. I cast her again and she takes it but then pops shortly after. I also have trouble with her keeping her lines she takes when sent into cover. She runs good straight backs in short grass.. but in cover zig zags or gets off her line quickly. Does anyone know of a drill that can help with this?.. or has anyone run into this and found some good solutions? It just seems as soon as she gets in cover she loses all confidence in her casting. Thanks is advance for any input.
What did you do when she popped during the double T?

I would be working the dog, marks and blinds, in cover quite a bit. You've found a hole now you fill it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate all the feedback. I have done pattern blinds, but only in short grass at the park. I don't have land that I own that I can control the length of cover, but I will continue working to find new spots with more cover that I can transition this into.

If she popped when we were doing Double-T I would say and cast back, nick, back. I would unpop in the direction she came from (ie if she poped right, I would give her a right back). We do a lot of marks in good cover and run blinds there as well. The issue is she has little confidence when we do blinds in cover..her marks have tons of confidence and drive and she just shuts down on the blinds. I will work on pattern blinds in cover and see how she progresses. Thanks again.

-Adam
 

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Definitely do some pattern blinds, or some kind of sight blind, such as running to a white stake or bucket. Anything to build up the confidence in the dog. For my dog, I have avoided using the e-collar to correct a lack of confidence until I had exhausted all teaching opportunities.
 

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Have you tried throwing short marks in heavy cover, heavy enough where she can't see them but a short distance of maybe 15 yards. When she gets three in row, make a short move to some heavy cover nearby. Then after two days of this try a short blind (pattern) in the same area for the first retrieve of the day. I have had good success with young dogs with this drill. I have used also used only pigeons for this insted of bumpers.

JB
 
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