Marking off the barrel
Saw a note by another member in another thread about marking off the barrel. Thought it would be good info to start another thread. Thanks goes to Burke. He mentioned using a broomstick with a thrower in the field. Pointing the stick and saying "watch" as a que to the pup while the mark comes out and following the mark to the ground with the stick. Good info.
I'd like to add the following. I'm sure lots of you have heard me talking about teaching "here" and "heel" in your obedience drills. Then practicing using "here" and "heel" in your wagon wheel lining drills. This same skill can now be applied to moving your dog to watch marks fall and in this case to swing with the gun from one bird to another.
I start this as a drill while sitting on a bucket with an unloaded shotgun. I have a helper to toss bumpers from behind me and the dog. I try to coordinate with my thrower to have each throw to be 45 or more degrees from the previous so that the dog has to physically move with each swing of the gun. I use "here" and "heel" so I can either push the dog with the swing or pull the dog with the swing. As the bumper flies over head I aim upward commanding the dog to follow. Then follow the bumper to the ground before I send the dog to retrieve. They catch on pretty quick. Don't forget about steadiness.. I cycle the shotgun because I don't want the dog to break due to the noise of the shotgun being pumped. By the way have a thrower you trust not to hit you in the back of the head with the bumpers. Been there.. done that...LOL OUCH !! #@!&
After several sessions.....I then will use clipped pigeons in remote launchers.