SWPAHRC Training Grounds
Mas: “Well, I told you that this weekend was the 20th Anniversary NAHRA test sponsored by the SWPAHRC. Tonight, we had our last training night before the big event. The focus? Blinds.
Blinds are no problem once you have your human trained. Lucky for me, I have Jack doing just what I need him to do. He helps me focus downfield and I point my nose where I need to head. When he gives the command I’m off! Whether I’m running or swimming, all I have to do is go straight.
This is where Jack comes in to play. He’s responsible for keeping me on a line to the blind. If he thinks I’m off target, he’ll give me one long whistle and on that command, I turn and sit (or tread water), looking at him. He gives me a hand signal and I’m off and moving again. Rarely, ever so rarely, Jack will whistle-sit me again. Sometimes, he thinks he knows more than I do.
Once I get to the blind, I just have to grab a bird and head back to Jack. He gives me some short tweets to encourage me. A quick turn at his left side and I sit as still as I can. Hey, there are cameras out there and I like to offer a good profile shot of what a hunting lab looks like.
His next command is OUT and then he takes the bird. After that, Jack is all over me, telling me what a good boy I am. I hope when he looks at me, he knows I’m saying the same thing about him.
I’ll let you know how things go at the test. Or maybe I’ll see you there.”