Hunt Tests and Field Trials seem to go through phases.  For example you may not see a particular concept in a test for some time and then you will see it in 4 tests in a row.  One such concept that was all the rage some time ago was key hole blinds.  Let’s look at a few and then discuss the best way to successfully navigate them.

In this first example we have added the complication of a poison thrown in the direction of the line to the blind.  Absolute control of your dog is the key to success.  Dogs will take advantage of a situation.  You might direct your dog between the trees and you might let down your guard.  Don’t.  Once past the trees the dog is very likely to run right or left to block your view of him.

Here is another example of a key hole blind.

Several factors complicated this blind.  First it was a shoreline blind with a road to the right that influenced the dog to go too far to the right.  Second the dog had to go over that spit of green after swimming about 40 yards.  The next factor was the brown spit that the dog had to almost touch to stay on the correct line. The last challenge was to get the dog to go through the key hole created by some willow trees about 160 yards from the line and then swim an additional 70 yards to the blind.

How can you assist your dog run a successful keyhole blind?  It is rare that it is a true keyhole. In almost every case one of the obstacles is slightly closer to you than the other.  To run the blind, line the dog a little closer to the closest obstacle until the dog has run past that one and then put the dog on the true line to the blind.

If the obstacles are the exact same distance away just line your dog as best you can to the true line to the blind and keep your corridor as narrow as possible.

Happy Training
John Schulte