Lining Drills for your Retriever Training.
Extreme Retriever Kennels uses quite a few lining drills that helps the dog while lining up to mark or for blind retrieves. The very first many ppl probably have heard of and that's the one they start with, know as Wagon Wheel/s. The first set of the wagon wheel is just 4 bumpers, you and your dog are at the pitchers mound and a single bumper is at each of the baseball plates (1st, 2nd, 3rd, & Home Plate). Now line your dog up and send it on the command BACK to one of the bumpers. Reheel the dog throw the bumper back to that base, then choose another base to go to. Repeat until the dog has that dog. Now lets make it alittle hard, leave the bumpers out at the bases and lets add bumper alittle longer distance and then slipt the difference of the bases with another bumper. You probably see where we are headed. Now there is never to many bumpers, there isn't a wrong distance. Make the drill as advanced as you like to get tight lines from your retriever. You can also stagger the bumper with this drill and 16 Bumper Wagon Wheels.
In the Extreme Retriever Program your retriever will be enhanced by the W Drill. This is also a lining drill. We will start with 3 white gallon buckets. The buckets should be 10 yards apart in a straight line but there isn't a wrong distance. Place bumpers out at each bucket and then go line up 20 yards from the center bucket. Que the dog with "Dead Bird" and send to a bucket. Do this to each until the retriever has it down with the 3 buckets. Now leave the 3 buckets there without bumpers. Split the difference between the buckets walking past them 10 yards and make just 2 piles. This should form a W. Now go back in front of the buckets 20 yards and line your dog up with one of the two piles past the buckets. Send your dog to those piles until he is lining them perfect. Now if you want to make it more advanced you can always add a dog stand that's off the ground to really define what your wanting the dog to do. This also can work on a dog breaking and on the PLACE command. You can really make this drill as advanced as you like with more buckets and piles, without any buckets piles only, Tighter lines and closer piles. There is a ton of options but start simple first.
This drill teaches the dog to realign his focus from bumper to bumper without moving his body. He learns to let you influence him away from distractions that would pull his focus off line, and the drill will make the subtle cues you give with your leg more meaningful.
Start with the dog sitting straight......then step forward with your left leg to push his focus to the left...
...step back with your left leg to pull his focus to the right.
Begin with two white bumpers placed about 10 feet out in front of you and 45 degrees apart. When you see the dog looking at one of the bumpers, tell him "No" and move your left leg (assuming your dog heels on the left) a small step forward or backward to refocus the dog on the other bumper.
Remember this rule: "Push" is accomplished by a small step forward, just enough to "push" the dog's focus to the left. "Pull" is accomplished by a small step backwards, thus "pulling" the dog's focus to the right.
Next, add a third bumper between the first two. When the dog is looking at it, move your left leg to give the dog the cue to push left or pull right, and send him to retrieve one of the outside bumpers.