Sunday, August 23, 2009

this is going to be a big one - im leaving in 20-30 minutes for another match today, so we shall see how far i get!

wednesday first - agility class was good. berlin is finally out of panties, so we were running free! started with some more teeter work (she needs to slow down!!!), then moved to finding weave entrances. we even added a jump into the weaves, and she did well!

then we moved to 180s - doing them as pulls and as front crosses - and then we did pinwheels! i have to be conscious of how much my body and attitude affects berlin.

went to open class, and i was getting quickly frustrated with rah and his front issues - all the progress we had made with the clicker and the ball in front of me was lost last night, as he was all over the place.

kathy grabbed him, and worked him for 30 minutes straight. it was good because she can correct him unemotionally, and praise him that way too. he did really really well - and when he started going out with the tightest pickups and coming in and fixing himself to be completely straight, she said he ABSOLUTELY knows his job, he just cant calm himself down and focus enough to do it.

we were joking that because he was working so hard (thank god this dog will retrieve for hours on end!!!!), everyone else just stopped working to watch kathy deal with him - shane even laid down on the ground for 30 minutes without moving! kathy stole all the flags in the room!

the end result was that night i realized i had to change a lot of things. first, i need to stop letting my frustration go to the dogs and affect them, because its not helping us at all. whatever we have and have not accomplished, if they aren't understanding or performing, i need to break it down and not get angry. especially for berlin - because she's much more sensitive to this than rah is.

i also need to stop all my body movement - on fronts, finishes, set ups. terry said its a big thing when i can admit these things, because NOW i can start fixing them. she said thats why i got a time out last week at training - i was too frustrated and neither of us were learning or working.

so, i had my zen.

class thursday - i brought berlin out and we had fun. she did AWESOME - better than she has in months. recalls and set up games were amazing, she was obnoxious and crazy. we went and did some retrieves as well, and she was great. terry said accept whatever she gives - if she's out of her shell and working and trying, that is what i want. after 30 minutes she was getting tired (part of our issue is also her stamina), so i put her away and kathy was getting ready to take rah out. and rah had another session with her -25 minutes of straight retrieving on the flexi. he was much better and getting it right very quickly - his focus was still there and its a testament to him that he can take those corrections and still be shaking and quivering to go retrieve, and still work for her without issue. its how i have to be for him.

he laid down for a bit and we went to utility - i wasnt sure after training he would have anything left, but he did! started with go outs - his "look" is really what is killing us now - he's finding go out, but he's not as intent as he once was and he's not "border collie-ing" it. articles were perfect - i had him on flexi and popped him out and in, and he RAN out there but still managed to think through it and work the pile. worked pivots separately and i need to be careful what legs i am leaning on because its pushing him out. integrating it with gloves he still needed pops out to get the glove (he's trying to figure out how to be right and isn't sure its not a set up!). signals were better - he's not anticipating as much as he has been, as long as i dont make eye contact. still moved more feet than normal, same for moving stand.

we matched yesterday - i worked the match too, so needless to say im exhausted.
rah had a utility run through first - signals were ok, but he moved a bit on the first stand - i went back and rewarded him and heeled back into it. oh i forgot - his heeling was ridiculously crazy and everyone was laughing at him, including my little idol anne paul (of malinois dune and river fame) - she said he's such a dork! articles we had an issue with - because he's flying so high, he cannot actually think enough to slow down and get his article - the first one he took as a straight retrieve, ran out and got the first article he found and fronted it. terry says i really need to work on calming him DOWN in the ring so he can think - he gets in his own way!

gloves - pivot wasnt perfect, but he did a nice job getting the glove. pivots are harsh for us when he's crazy, he never wants to sit.
moving stand wasnt bad.

go outs - he got there, but again lacked intensity. so we had two more utility entries we took from others, and we did strict go outs for 20 minutes later on -kathy wants more of a "look" from him, and more intensity. it worked well, we shall see how it progresses. i got a lot of attention from kathy, it was a little weird!

berlin had a novice run - we didnt do the full thing, i just played with ring entraces and set ups, and short brief spurts of heeling, she was awesome. fronts we need to work on, im losing her attention when i go away.

rah's open run wasnt bad but he was crazy. kathy also did some front work with him with the db and he did pretty well - she said he's getting it much quicker now, needs a lot less correction.

so i feel hopeful and happy with them. but rah is thinking and berlin is having fun.

today we're matching in PA, so i have to leave soon...

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