The trailing memory builds upon established skills developed through sight memories. The handler heels the dog into the field and tosses out a bumper. The dog is then heeled away in the opposite direction 180 degrees, effectively creating the "trail." At the appropriate distance for the dog's ability, the dog is turned about facing the memory bumpers. A brief delay precedes the release, allowing the gundog an interlude to focus on the placement area, distance and establishment of what is about to occur. This is a very effective drill at water's edge. Toss in the bumper and heel away. Send for the memory at gradually increasing distances.
As the dog's confidence builds, sight and trailing memories can be run in a variety of locations incorporating lots of factors, influences, and terrains. We now have moved away from the crutch of the straight edge such as the fences to incorporate more realistic conditions.
No marks have been thrown, yet memory is being developed. These methods involve delays, requirement for patience and concentration. No disruptive behavior can be tolerated: No creeping, no whining and no messing about or inattention.
Through consistent repetition, sight and trailing memory exercises will enhance more than memories applicable to marks. They will build a young dog's confidence in his handler while promoting patience and steadiness. As an added bonus, trailing memories that are discretely placed provide a natural progression to blinds.
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Next, Distance Extensions.