Depends on the day.
And if I had a "typical" training routine, then I'd be training a pattern, wouldn't I?
Sometimes I bring him out into the middle of the field and platz him and leave him there for half an hour while I step off the field to talk to others or help someone out with some spotting, while everyone else just works around him. Sometimes I'll stand there with my back to him for 10 15 minutes so he gets used to it. Sometimes I do a long down after we have worked on other stuff. Sometimes we don't do any downs at all.
Sometimes I start heeling down the field moving in a stiff manner and breating in shallow breaths with my head held high as if I was in trial and shaking with nervousness. I don't do more than one or two sits and downs in motion in a session, sometimes I break him right away, sometimes I take a few steps and break him. Sometimes I move back to him and we take up heeling again. Sometimes I'll do my 20-30 steps or more and either do a recall, or not.
Sometimes I start by working him up into a drive frenzy by playing tug with him first but not quite letting him catch it. Sometimes it is out of the car and onto the field in a heel and not break for a while as I expect him to work in drive with or without me waving the tug around for him to try and catch. But all the previous tug sessions incorporated into the heeling helps him bring his drive through by association, tug or no tug in sight.
Sometimes I go on the field and we start with jumps and retrieves. Or recalls. Or I go on the field and pretend I'm reporting to the judge. And walk off and do a long down. Or report to the judge, and go off and heel backwards a bit or do spirals, just because.
Or, lets see, sometimes we just play with the dumbell to build drive. Sometimes I got through the formal retrieve exercises to test his ability to cap his drive and wait for the command (needs work
). Sometimes I throw the dumbell, and run away as he brings it back to me. I like to keep him guessing.
The one thing that is pretty routine is the send-out though. Usually towards the end of my on-field time. What I don't want is him to think that we are doing a send out as we would start our heeling routine in trial - and when we do the send out, I have practiced it from different start positions, with the send-out post in different places than the routine (going the other way down the field, at an angle in the corner, off the field even), and of course vary the buildup to the send out. Might throw in some other turns and stops and backsteps or sidesteps before lining myself up with the send-out post and sending him.
So far, I've only done a couple of BH's and on OB1, so not much experience to go on, but what I have done is maybe go through the complete routine with my dog two or three times total one or two weeks before trial. I agree that pattern training can get boring for the dog and is counter-productive, but I'm sure that every dog is different and needs a bit of a different approach.
Of course, you can argue that since I've been able to itemize my training approach, I DO have a pattern, since I just listed a bunch of stuff I would "usually" do - but it is a different
pattern every time from what the trial routine is, so in that sense, it is not trial-pattern training, just MY pattern for having fun, building focus and extending the attention span, and keeping the dog's interest.