K9 Contenders

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QAA Training at Mossy Pond

Contender Pro Brad Arington of Mossy Pond Retrievers gives us an inside look at QAA (qualified all age) training.
There are many factors at play here - water, points, wind, current (created by the wind) and loss of visual clues. Each is designed to test Bella and her training. Brad is also being tested - if Bella's struggles, it tells Brad what she needs more work on.


We're on our marking set up today with Bella.
We got a short bird out here about 75 yards. We want the job to push back past like a down the shore mark. We want the dog to push past the short gun, got the wind to the left or the right just blowing the dog into the bank early. After they get that single, that's going to set them up for the next bird.

Our next long bird, the same conditions. Left to right wind plus they have the suction of the old fall. Then this point comes into play. If they push out around the point trying to be a good dog, that really puts them in a bad situation.

The next factor is the corner of the water where the dog should get out going to the long gun. Three quarters of the way through the water the dog will lose sight of the long gun so the factors will really magnify theirselves. The wind, if it pushes her into the bank and the old fall will magnify itself because that's all she can see. If she makes it to the corner, so she's beat two factors, she's gone over the point and she's made it all the way to the corner. If she gets to the corner, then we have two ditches and a bunch of cover into play on the correct side of that gun. He's throwing that bird from right to left, both birds are thrown from right to left. We got the wind, we got the point, we got the swim to the corner of the pond without going back to the old fall. We got the two ditches. We got the big piece of cover out there to the left of the long bird.

We're going to run it in singles. Let's see how she does.

Short bird first. All right guys, here we go. Short bird first. Single. Easy. Easy. Bella. You see here how Bella's fighting the wind. She got in straight at the gun. Kind of went down the shore, but now she's having to fight the wind to get back out there where the bird is. My boundary would be she has to be three quarters of the way of the throw down the bank. You can see where it landed. She has to be three quarters of the way down. She's headed in the right direction, but if she were to square up she would get a correction. All right, Bella squared up a little bit, but she's goin right at the bird. That should get her the bird there. Good girl.

All right. Now we're going to run the long bird single. She's going to get in. Winds from left to right. Go over the point, then the next big body of water wins from left to right. At that point she's going to lose sight of the long gun. The suction to the short bird is going to be magnified. She's got to swim all the way to that corner. If she swims all the way to that corner, it's going to keep her in good shape to stay in front of the gun out in the field.

Out in the field, the wind's still a factor. She's got to go through two ditches and hit a big piece of cover to stay in front of the gun. Let's see how she does. Watch. Watch. Long bird single guys. Here we go. Here. Watch. Bella. All right. Bella fought the wind, stayed in a good position. Went over the point. That was the last time that she'll see that long gun until she comes out of that first ditch. Right now all the factors are a little bit magnified. That wind picking up. She's in a bigger body of water so the wind's harder. The only thing she can see right now is the short gun. She can't switch. Can't go back. She's got to fight that wind and go all the way back to the body of water, which is the corner, and then we'll see what she does after that.

All right. It appears that she's going to put herself out in the good spot. But here's another big decision she's got to make. To fight that wind and those two ditches and the cover to stay in front of that gun and not go behind. She pushed the first ditch. Little out of sight on the camera but she's pushing hard. Going to put her in good shape. Good girl Bella. She went right through the big body of cover. She got the bird. Good job. That a girl.



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