We have had beautiful cool weather to train in this summer. July has been the second coolest on record. The down side has been chiggers. I really hate these little devils and never remember being so affected by them! They really love my feet and ankles when I'm doing so much field work and tracking!
The other down side of the last two weeks has been back spasms. I think after two weeks I'm finally over the worst of them. Thanks to my good friend Sheree who is a master at releasing muscles, I could actually walk again last Wednesday and I was able to travel to Ohio for some field training.
Speaking of field training, it's going really well. Devon and I have worked hard, and last week it really showed when we visited Mitch. Devon did a really hard lining drill, which worked suction from buckets that were closer when sending to farther buckets. You were only allowed to handle to each bucket once, then the dog had to line it.
The next day we did an over into the water drill, which is done before swim by. I was really proud of Devon for looking great and nailing this drill. Mitch said all our hard work on land showed with how well she did on this drill.
Page is officially field training now. She started her hold work on the table and was collar conditioned. She did a marking drill in the big field. Even though she was distracted by all the great smells, she did mark each throw and step on the bumper going out. We can fix bringing it back with her force fetch.
Our tracking continues with mixed success for both girls. After doing a fantastic job on a blind track one evening, Devon has been loosing confidence over the last few tracks. We've increased the difficulty by no chalk or hand prints. I also haven't been working pieces of tracking through the week; I've only been working tracks laid by someone else on the weekends. Put this lack of "training" together with "testing" on the weekends and a lot of field training, and Devon's lacking confidence. We're going to solve that by putting her back on fresher veg tracks and really getting tracking again.
Page is continuing to learn VST and retain TD tracking. She's doing a good job on her VST tracks, putting a lot of information in her "Rolodex" for future tracks. She's a fantastic problem solver, and leaving her to it is my best option.
I have to put a note in here about Devon's agility. She is really looking fantastic in her weekly class. Because of our emphasis on field and tracking, this is all the agility training Devon has each week, and it seems to be a nice balance.
It used to be if we did any type of field drill in the morning, Devon would melt during agility that evening. However, that doesn't seem to be the case these days. I'm not sure if Devon's new attitude has anything to do with Page having a class right before hers or not, but whatever the reason, I'm really enjoying the fun times!