Earlier today we went on a long walk in the big pasture. I usually save these longer walks for late in the Board and Train because the big pasture offers so many difficult distractions and today was no different. We did radius training all the way out to the pasture and he did very well. We then worked formally on heel/autosit, down, implied stay, and recall when we got to the pasture. He did extremely well. He stayed in the heel even when we startled two young deer who were bedding down not 10 yards ahead of us. While we were doing a recall a rabbit shot out right in front of him and he bolted after it but only got a few seconds off course when I paged him and he turned on a dime and sprinted to me and sat down. I was very pleased that even though he did make a mistake I didn't even have to correct him to get him back, I just had to make his collar vibrate (which is what I've done in radius training when he gets too far from me) and he left the bunny and came back to me.
Tomorrow he gets his "final exam" and we are going to go into town to work in an urban area (Mass. street). We are going to have a physical leash on his collar just in case but I don't anticipate needing it. Tomorrow I am also going to remove the hot collar and do an entire workout without it. We have so far done fine when working without the collar but he IS slightly collarwise (he knows when he has his IQ on) and so his obedience is a little sloppy without his collar on. This is not surprising and usually isn't a big issue when the dog goes home so long as, at least at first, when he is going outside or somewhere where distractions are going to be around he has his collar on so he can be kept in line.