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What drills have you used to improve your retrievers lining skills?

I am running a 3 legged pattern blind (100yds, 150yds, 200yds) with fairly tight angles.

I am also thinking of going back to 8 and 16 point wagon wheel drills.

My dog has been through all of this, but has gotten rusty. He takes the initial line for about 30 yds and then starts to drift off line, and needs to be handled. I am trying to hone his skills so that he takes the line until told otherwise.

Any other suggestions??
 

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Fowl,

I am working on the same thing with my dog and having a few of my own frustrations. I'm not sure exactly what your doing but I will take a shot at what I think might be going on.

You did not say if your bumpers are visible to the dog or hidden. If the bumpers are hidden, I would simplify the drill by going back to using white clearly visible bumpers. Walk out to the piles and make sure the dog can see where the bumpers are. Perhaps you might consider staying on the three point drill (crow foot) until the dog is linging straight. Move to the eight only after the dog is solid in lining to the three. If you find yourself still having to handle, keep stopping the dog the second it starts going off line. The dog will eventually learn through attrition and repitition of your consistant commands.

For the longer blinds (60 yards+), maybe put a white flag up so the dog can't possibly miss it.

Another option is to mow a path through the weeds to the piles. In the winter, you can plow paths in the snow.

Maybe put a couple lawn chairs out and have the dog line the bumper by going between the chairs. If the dog goes outside the chairs, stop it and start over.
 
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