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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Alaska and have to deal with cold/snow until May.
I find 5-7 hand thrown multiple marks help keep me in tune with my labs for MH hunt tests.
Each session is in a different parking lot, so dog is learning concepts not old locations.
The handler works on handling mechanics and learns how to read exactly where the retrieve is focused.
The dog learns not to switch, and to become more of a “team player”.

Anyone can do this in any yard or parking lot, training alone with hand-thrown bumpers.
Start pup with doubles and gradually advance to more memory marks.

The dog learns to:
1) Be steady, moving only his head to see each mark. Not foot movement, no butt-lifting.
2) Focus on each mark until the handler moves his feet, cueing the dog to focus on the next thrown mark. (In AKC, handler can not verbally cue the dog). Dog learns no head swing habit.
3) Always get the go bird first, get memory birds in the order the handler directs the dog.
4) Remember all the marks, but defer to the handler’s decision on which mark to pick up next.
5) Focus on each memory mark and hunt that mark…do not switch.

The handler learns to:
1) Watch the dog to see that he was steady on each mark…no butt-lifting, no foot movement.
2) Watch the dog to see that he is focused on each mark all the way to the ground…no head-swinging!
3) Cue the dog with foot movement to focus on the next mark just before it is thrown.
4) Work on that perfect sit, spinal alignment to the next mark with each return.
5) Direct (push/pull) the dog to which memory mark to pick up next
6) Do not tug on the bumper, insist the dog spit out the bumper
7) Do not take the bumper until the dog is correctly focused on the memory mark.
 

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Nice video Miss Skeeter good job. About halfway through it truly put a smile on my face. When one of your hand tossed landed in back of one of your automobiles. I was doing much the same years ago with a very hard charging Chesapeake and had a similar Landing. She ran full-speed to the back of the truck put on the brakes and slid into the step and tow knocked herself out. As I ran to her she came to got up picked up the bumper and met me halfway. She was a great old red Chessie with a head that could withstand a step and Tow bumper. By the way, why do you toss orange bumpers in the snow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Bumper color does not matter to the dog. But since each session is from a new location, sometimes I have difficulty remembering exactly the new destinations where I threw 6 bumpers, so being able to see a couple orange bumpers from the line helps the handler to remember exactly where all 6 marks are located.
 

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I tried winter training in parking lots in New England back in the 90's. After one week, my dog's pads were like someone had taken 24 grit sandpaper to them and she didn't know which leg to limp on.

Running on abrasive, hard, road salt impregnated asphalt is not something I can recommend.

To each their own, though. -Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I tried winter training in parking lots in New England back in the 90's. After one week, my dog's pads were like someone had taken 24 grit sandpaper to them and she didn't know which leg to limp on.

Running on abrasive, hard, road salt impregnated asphalt is not something I can recommend.

To each their own, though. -Paul
Excellent Point!
I lived in New Hampshire in the 1980s and winters were really bad with freezing rain, ice, road salt.

Fortunately, we are blessed with dry, sugar-snow most of the winter and its too cold to effectively use road salt.
It is common to see pickups from the 1980s that would have rusted out in ten years in New England's road salt spray.

Our snow is sugar snow that crunches with each step:
 

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Just an FYI. A fellow here in MI was training at I believe Oakland College near detroit and paid a huge fine for doing so. I can';t give more details because the individual has passed.
 

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Just an FYI. A fellow here in MI was training at I believe Oakland College near detroit and paid a huge fine for doing so. I can';t give more details because the individual has passed.
I had the police called on my parking lot activity years ago. Officer was a dog lover. All went well. Always risky using dead birds in public. In hindsight as I type this. Police have come to watch me play fetch 4 times.
 
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