Sunday, September 14, 2008

a little privacy?

rah had a private today - good thing we train inside, since it was about 100000 degrees (read: actually 96) out today. hello, isn't it fall yet?

we started out ready to heel - but i brought up that rah is starting to anticipate when i set up and i say ready, and the judge says forward - he will get up and start heeling before i say "fuss". so we worked on that - i am to mix it up - if hes paying attention, sometimes i just reward him for looking, if he tries to break we go backwards in a circle, and sometimes we actually heel! he was thinking abut this so hard it was hilarious - he couldnt figure out which way i was going to go!

we also worked a lot of set ups - come ups, side steps and back ups - rah has gotten lazy with the setups (at least this week) and whats more important, my body language is confusing for him - i rock back and i lean forward, and he doesnt know WHERE heel position really is - so i need to lock my body. i also tend to stare at him and it pushes him back - which is odd that all of a sudden for this ONE thing he is so intimidated by me, but it would make sense - this is his least favorite thing aside from fronting with the db, so he doesnt want to do it. me staring at him just pushes him away further.

finally got to heeling and we did more knee up and when he got pushy i automatically did left turns and u-turns and circles to the left. we discovered that my damned dog speaks english now - when the judge says about turn, he starts it before i get there! BAD DOG! :)

we then analyzed my showing and rah's heeling - clearly rah stresses up, but terry thinks in the ring i am stressing up with him too - when i spazz on him, im just amping him up even further. and i need to STOP RACING HIM. its so hard, when hes pushing me and trying to go so fast, to not just try to heel FAST THAN HIM so hes not forging, rather than just locking up and being in control. terry told me to chant in my head "i am in control, i am in control" - but it worked today. i also locked my right arm more when heeling, and lo and behold rah was in a different position, not pushing (so much), and respecting my space. did a lot of turns (need to work more footwork again - im slowing on the turns!!!!) and halts again, and not bad if i do say so myself. we also worked some drifting to the left to get him off of me - she said i can do this a bit in the ring if he gets too much, and no one should really mark it in the novice ring.

the biggest thing is that i need to stay in control of him when we are working - that i cant let my stress, frustration etc come out - and i cant let him push me around.

worked fig 8's - mostly my footwork, and lo and behold it clicked for him. but not to be pessimistic, it seems to click for him multiple times and i screw it up. i do realize now that my biggest issue is that when i speed up, i tend to lengthen my stride rather than just taking shorter, quicker ones - i need to stop that.

ended the class with a 45 minute talking session, which i find very therapeutic. i really do like these trainers so much. terry seems to think that if i start matching rah in open this winter, i can have him out in open by jan/feb shows, and that having him debut in utility at nationals next year isn't that far of a stretch!

i think thats it. my ankles are KILLING ME. took the dogs to the dog park afterwards for 20 minutes, but it was too hot for much more than a few jaunts.

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