Friday, May 22, 2009

a threefer

ive been really remiss in terms of these updates, im sorry!!!!!

wednesday - agility first. we worked on 2o/2o on the teeter, i still am using berlins target and she's doing great. to stop her from curving to either side (to look at me) i just flip in front of her and she's perfect. then we also brought the table so that they could jump on the teeter halfway and be straight and walk down (instead of just hopping on in the contact area).

then we worked some jumping again, berlin is having issues with the collection on the first jump and figuring out her spacing and how to bounce them - she's a pain in the butt :)

then we did handling!! we handled debbie's bc shane (the one that finished his CDX this past sunday in rah's class, she's who convinced me to show in open B with her with our A dogs!) - and did a short sequence that was full of front and rear crosses. that way we could see how we do and do not support the jump, give our signals early, etc. it was good to see, because sometimes if they don't take a jump there really is a fast desire to blame them, but here in a highly trained dog we could see it was US (it always is).

went out to eat quickly - then came back for open. i was feeling like poop at this point, so lydia and i shared handling for a bit. i spoke to kathy at great length about rah's performance this past weekend.

in short, rah's flying high in the ring and he can't think. he's having so much fun, and he know he shouldn't be distracted - that he isn't thinking about what his actual job is. he gets so focused, he gets so into what he thinks is coming next, that he cannot even remember what comes next when he's done with what he thinks is important.

the key is, i feed into it with him. he gets up, and i get frantic trying to control him. kathy says i need to slow down and MAKE him wait. instead of rushing through, making him sit and patiently remind him what the next step is going to be. me getting frantic and such just makes him fly even HIGHER - it happens on every exercise. he looks so flashy and he looks so animated, but he's getting virtually uncontrollable at some points because he's past the point of thinking clearly. so what i need to do is be calming for him to bring him back down to earth :)

did some work with the broad jump - im going to be using my head turned a bit and my eyes to hold him, and we worked on anticipation :) we also had to adjust where my eyes go when he's jumping and fronting, to give him clear indications of where to go. kathy also adjusted my signal - i was leaving it up a little too long and it can be scoreable.

did high jump - made him wait again (sometimesi even just threw it and then picked it back up!) and we discussed that he may need a private on how to jump to get things together because he jumps like a freak.

lydia took him for some heeling and front work and worked his drops. and then we screwed around in class for 30 minutes, during which we discovered if i SKIP or GALLOP with rah, he trots instead of pacing ;) don't ask!! we were all on a sugar high, i think...

thursday during the day lydia and i were very ambitious and loaded up my jumps and such and went to the park to do some run throughs. of course, it ended up being about 95 degrees so each dog got one run through and we were all so hot it was terribly hard to focus :)

both dogs would have q'd (i did open for rah, novice for berlin) - some parts weren't lovely, but since it was outside, in a brand new location, with the oppressive heat, not so bad. berlin's heeling was interesting - she avoided the chain link fence so didn't want to do the abouts there, and when i start the fast she lagged for just a second. on the recall she gets so excited sometimes she forgets to front. SFE was lovely! rah's heeling was soso - not paying full attention which means less bumping and forging, but he also misses some cues :) the fronts remain an issuue...

got to class a little late last night and started with berlin.
started off with heeling - we worked on heavy distraction. so three people were doing patterns and while we did it, someone else was the judge but walked close, around them, swung their hands. berlin did well - the first time the only thing the distraction caused was a crooked sit, but the rest of the time she was pretty good! then we played recall games with distraction - calling the dogs (4 at a time) with people walking in between them swinging their hands. surprisingly, berlin was PERFECT for this. go figure! then we had fun - and switched handlers!!!! all the dogs did a short heeling pattern first with us, then we traded off and took the dog in front of us - so i got hannah the corgi. who is adorable. i could do a corgi (she was a pemmy, but i want a cardi with a taaaaaaail). stays were nice - she did a 5 1/2 minute stay and a 3 1/2 minute down. we spent a lot of time talking about handling and scoreable things handlers do to screw their dogs up.

open with rahrah. did some heeling with distraction again - he was very pushy and weird and kathy was my partner (yes, my trainer from wednesday nights!) and she made me do left turns with him to back him off. did fig8's going into the high jump like how rah had it this past weekend when he wanted to take the jump. then broke it down for individuals -

it's almost like his front box is becoming a crutch for him now - he doesn't have to think of it, he can just go find the box and do the front on there. so we have to wean off it a bit - so terry said when he is coming now, remind him verbally every time to do a front (and in the ring, think it!) - and if i need to, keep backing up (with a leash pop/reminder - WITHOUT ANGER OR FRUSTRATION) to keep him fronting.

worked broad jump again and terry is adjusting where i stand to give him as much space as possible to straighten out for his front. i felt kinda sick so i didnt work drops or flat.

onto utility - so inconsistent, but he had a great utility class!
we started with articles in the same ring that sharon was working gloves with java. in fact, she was standing virtually in line with rah's path to his articles - so much so that terry had to remind her to stop sneaking forward :) he got the first (metal). second article he found quickly, got concerned he was wrong, dropped it to keep looking and picked up the one attached to the right article. i just sent him back and he found it. did a second leather and terry was right ON TOP of his pile - he turned to come back to me but turned back to his pile immediately and found it nicely. GOOD BOY.

gloves - 1 and 2 were great, my signals were pretty good there. on three, im overthinking it and its screwing us up - when i just GO DO IT, he does it perfectly. need to stop making it harder than it is. and remind him that when i break my hips across the plane, he needs to be up and moving!

then we did directed jumping with distraction. she started rolling tennis balls (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) across the floor when i indicated which jump. then she left the balls out and had a big balloon by the other jump. Rah was LOVELY AND PERFECT and didn't once try to get a ball instead, but he was missing his fronts - terry said that's precisely what happens - gets so excited, and gets so into "working, don't be distracted" that he forgets how to work!

then i did go outs while sharon did signals. rah's go outs were much improved from last week - the first one he missed his sit, so i calmly went out and told him to sit. the next three were lovely, tight, and PERFECT fast straight sits, so i called it on that!!!!

signals - not half bad. i took away the bar, but i need to remember to slow down (theme for us??) and give him a clear wait signal and pause before i leave him. moving stand he did a lovely one and locked up so we didnt do more than one - i messed up the call youur dog to heel, but oh well.

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