The Beginning of Handling your retriever.
If your like most people you probably wonder how a dog learns to handle or cast in a direction that the trainer gives the dog. Well it starts with a drill called baseball. At the end of this post will be a video on the beginnings of the baseball drill. Eventually that will evolve into the single T drill. But Baseball is the foundation to handling and casting. Why is it is called baseball, that's because you will have an imaginary baseball inzone you'll be working on. But first your dog must know all its obedience as if it was second nature. You will start by heeling your dog on the pitchers mound. Tell your dog to stay there and you will go back to home plate with your dog in remote sit at the pitchers mound. Now this is a smal inzone, maybe 10 or 15 yards from the pitchers mound, so keep that in mind. Throw a bumper to 1st base. Now blow your sit whistle once as if you had sent your dog on a blind retrieve and you want to stop him to cast him. Now put your arm in the direction of 1st base and command over. Hopefully your pup is crazy about bumpers and it will want to go to 1st to get that bumper. Go back to the pitchers mound, heel your dog and sit it back on the pitchers mound. Go back to home plate a repeat only throw the bumper to 3rd base. Blow your sit whistle and command over with your hand in the direction of 3rd. After a few days maybe week you dog should have and understand what you're wanting with overs. Now we need to work on 2nd base. Same drill take your retriever to the pitchers mound and heel it there and make it sit and stay. You go back to home plate only this time we are not gonna be head up on the dog we will shade to one side of it, maybe halfway between home plate and 1st base to start. Your dog will have its head slightly turned facing you, now throw the bumper over its left shoulder and blow your sit whistle. Give a right back by raising your right hand straight up in the air and commanding back. Now if your dog turns to your left tell your dog NO, stop it, reheel at the pitchers mound go get the bumper and repeat the drill over til it turns into the right direction. You shouldn't have that promblem though, thats why we shade the dog to kinda cheat over and make the dog turn the way you want it to. Now its time for a left back. Repeat the drill. This is the beginning of Handling or Casting your retriever.