“Jessie” is now one level from the top of our Training Pyramid. We will now cover Cold Land Blinds and Cold Water Blinds. To achieve this level all our prior teaching must be solid, if not it will be apparent instantly to a good professional. I once watched Billy Sargenti observe an amateur run his dog on a long water blind. Billy instantly could see all the holes in the amateurs’ program. The outcome was an abysmal failure.
When we talk about cold land blinds we mean a blind the dog has never run before. I try not to do a steady diet of cold land blinds but will go back to permanent blinds and wagon wheel drills to keep up the confidence of the dog. If your dog fails a cold blind what do you do? That’s right SIMPLIFY! Move up, don’t expect the dog to run a perfect line the first time. Give him a large corridor in which to run. If you are constantly on the whistle when the dog is 8 feet away from you, you will love momentum and we all know about that. Gradually narrow the corridor until you can hold up 2 fingers in front of you and you will never see the dog because he is in that tight corridor. Amateurs frequently asks judges what they expect in a blind. Professionals don’t ask, they know. Straight lines, never avoiding any obstacles or refusing to get into heavy cover.
Here is an example of a cold land blind.
Notice the log the dog must jump over to get to the blind.
What do we mean when we use the term Cold Water Blind. We do NOT mean cold water. Gary and Mary Algren employ the 100 formula. If the temperature of the water and air temperature do not reach 100, they will not do water. If you want to insure a dog fails later in life force him into really cold water when he is a pup. As we covered in Introduction to Water do it on a warm day, with warm water, and a firm bottom to the pond. A Cold Water Blind is one the dog has not seen before. Throw a few short marks to get his juices flowing go the line and give your oral cue he knows so well. “Way Back”, “Water”, or “Way Back Water”. Wait until he really is locked in and leaning forward. Give “Back” as a command not a request. He must go. Here are some examples of Cold Water Blinds.
John Schulte DVM