Sunday, June 21, 2009

had a private lesson yesterday (have i posted about everything else already?)...

started with berlin. worked on warming her up - we had a full ring set up, and during warm up she was awful interested in terry so we had to work on her not paying attention to others. then we worked ring entrances - the touch set up works really well for her. then we did some heeling - i need to remember not to look for her - if i cant see her she WILL come back - but if i start to slow down and stop driving, she just reacts even further to that. i need to trust her.

we started to work fig8's and it all fell apart. i need to watch my hips and make sure i drive through the entire fig8. berlin was confused because of my hips breaking parallel and it pushed her back, so we played games to get her to drive through. i also heeled quest for a bit and he's about the same height as berlin but i can still see him - i need to work on her for a bit. i saw how me breaking with my hips affects quest...

we talked a bit there, and about how i need to focus on berlin now - rah can handle changes made in his handling, but berlin is SO sensitive to my body position, and such an honest dog, that the tiniest movement from me can push her out and confuse her if i change things up. rah doesn't seem to care (probably because he's not really paying that close of attention, or he doesn't even care!)...

got out the noodle, we worked on retrieves first. well, fake retrieves - rah isn't allowed to retrieve ANYTHING for the next month or so, formally. ill continue to work on his drive building games and pushing his toys into me, but aside from that, there is no formal glove or db retrieve. we worked straight recalls with glove/db in mouth, and we worked on flexi where he does a recall but has to stop halfway to me and pick up the object (glove/db). its simply that the act of retrieving gets him SO HIGH. terry thinks that something may have happened to him before i got him that makes him so sensitive to fronting with an object in his mouth, but i also think its also that its SUCH a battle of possession for him. but he has always been sensitive to front positions, which is so dominant for him and i... odd.

we worked heeling into signals. i need to stop using anything but my muscles to lead him into turns - give him cues early and he will pop out of my way on the left turn, and i can start to tighten up very early if he starts to push ahead of me, too. but if i break with my hips, its going to ruin berlin!!!!!! did signals - first she stood literally within 2 feet of him while i left him - he was very worried but he DID perfect signals with her clapping, whooping, stomping her feet... WOOHOO! then we did another one with the monkey stick stuffed animal and he did fine for that one too - but i need to watch because when i stop him on my left foot, im taking a step to the left which pushes him out further away from me.

worked some finishes and then worked pivots - the pivots weren't half bad!!! i just have to remember to do my job.

then we discussed showing - she thinks i should pull rah from all shows for the next 4-5 months since we are essentially retraining his retrieve to some degree because he's a butthead. dont give him a chance to practice bad behaviors in the ring - he could easily finish his CDX next month, but he's just practicing bad behaviors in the ring. she thinks by nationals we should have this worked out, and in the meantime keep perfecting utility as well, and match him in both. he's doing so well in utility and once i finish his CDX he will likely be able to come out in utility pretty soon after that.

*Sigh*. i wish i was a better handler for him sometimes! and berlin. so ill sign us up for as many matches as i can, and start to practice everywhere i can. and pick out some shows in oct/nov for him to show at.

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