Friday, August 28, 2009

trying to be better...

so classes this week -
unfortunately no agility - it was cancelled last minute this week because debbie had to take her elderly terv to the e-vet last minute because he had a foreign body. if everyone could keep zach-man in their thoughts that would be great - at 13.5 he made it through surgery but now he doesn't want to eat!

open - it was just two of us in class so we broke things down. mulder started with the retrieves and a few other exercises, and i started with chaining heeling to fig8 to DOR. did a few of them - need to stay in control of rah and make sure he doesn't bully me along the way, especially on the slows where he starts jumping up into my face. not bad.

trauma drama struck next - we were going to switch off, but before i started retrieving kathy wanted to work a few retrieves with rah. she got him out and was working him in half the room while mulder had the other half of the room (remember there's only two of us for now), and at one point he got stuck in the flexi and she tore a muscle in her back/arm when it pulled and he came back and smacked her in the foot (she has a huge bruise from it)

then, two retrieves later, real disaster struck. rah knows now (on some level) that the retrieve is no longer the fun "rah runs out and gets his lala's on" game, but its get out, get the db, and get your ass BACK TO MOM AS FAST AS YOU CAN and get to front position. unfortunately, we had to knock him down from six flags to two flags (have you guys seen those commercials?) to get it through to him that this is his job - not some optional game that i sometimes take part in.

so on one of the retrieves, the other trainers daughter had their puppy out on a loose leash, and when rah was coming back with a fumbled retrieve, he was so focused on turning and coming fast, he didnt see the puppy walk out into his path because he was focused on holding the db- the puppy got stuck in the flexi and it swept her up - she started crying and it literally picked the puppy up INTO rah (since rah is faster than the flexi,it takes time for the flexi to catch up) - since he knew he had a job to do and the puppy was preventing him from doing it - similar to any retrieve of a beloved object he turned and gave the object hitting him a what-for. he never saw the puppy or knew it was a puppy - kathy immediately yelled at him and ran at him - she didn't want to drop him because it was a retrieve and the entire point is he needs to come in fast and close - and she didnt want him dropping ON the puppy! he didnt make contact with the puppy at all, but made many scary noises that scared the puppy even more - but kathy never expected rah to actually stop when she said stop, so she was not prepared for him to be in front of her when she ran at him and she tripped and fell ON TOP OF HIM...

by the time i got there, we had a baby lab, a rah, and a kathy all wrapped up in the flexi... kathy was the only one hurt (she skinned her hand and her elbow)... and then we all started laughing at the hilarity of the situation while poor rah wondered why he got sat on :)

one retrieve later, and he had forgotten the entire thing (thank god and its a testament to this dog that he can literally have a person AND a dog land on him while retrieving and he will still go back with the same fervor the next throw!!!) - we worked some retrieves and the bj and that was it for the night!

thursday night next...

started with berlin in open. started with heeling and berlin did group heeling again!! and she was great!!!!! i remembered where to look and she was awesome - at one point she was a little put off by imposing jumps but i didnt let her feel it and she just kicked right back in!!!! im very proud of that!! didnt push it with fig8's though - i did those alone and terry said if i can heel WITH her like i do alone, we will be golden. if it were only that easy.

worked on recall games - setting them up and having distractors come up while we set up, roo didnt even care when terry came up talking her eyes were glued to me, and not even when terry grabbed her collar. then we did restrained recalls (i didnt drop her) and she did nice. the first front she missed and instead jumped up on me - too excited- but the second one i reminded her and she came in for a perfect close front. terry said its ironic - my one dog we cant bribe to get close and the other we cant get off of me :)

broke down to individuals - put her away at this point and talked to kathy and elsie about classes for a bit (more on that later). brought her out and did some retrieves on the flat - restrained mostly and she was pretty good. then moved to the high - did some cookie marks and retrieves and two db retrieves and she was fast and PERFECT fronts, i love it. did some drop games in the middle, and then played broad jump games, she did great there as well. that was it and enough for her! she loved all the games!!!!

utility with rah - started with plain heeling - and we did lots of turns and u-turns to get rah back (the new golden lady was enamoured with rah's left u-turns... if only he was that good on regular heeling - i think im harder on him than i need to be!)

then we split up - we did articles with partners - rah didnt do too badly. his first time out he got caught in his flexi and he did a turn in the middle of his send to the pile (what a weirdo), picked up the wrong article immediately and came back. i took it and sent him again and he worked the pile and found the right one - did two more articles right so not bad!

went to gloves - he's doing better there, pivots could use some work but they are getting there. fronts are always a work in progress, but its his finishes that are killing us - between the glove and the flexi in hand im all discombobulated!

go outs were good - getting him to focus on the ball. we noticed that the minute someone says send your dog he loses focus as he waits for his go out command, so we're refocusing him rather than sending him.

didnt do signals proper or moving stand yesterday.

trying to figure out how things are going to work in the upcoming sessions. wed and thurs night dont coincide, unfortunately - and rah is being moved up (!!!!) to wed night utility classes - BIG TIME! kathy doesnt think he needs two nights of open, so he will just have one night of open and utility - i dont want to stop open until he has his CDX< but one i have it, ill focus on utility for a little while. berlin may be my only thursday night dog!

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