Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fun training last night!

The heat finally broke (temporarily) and both Gracie and I got in some great practice at our training class last night. We missed last week, because Mum had to work - so we were raring to go!

You'll remember Gracie is working on focus issues. So Mum took our big bag of toys to practice. She pulled out one toy after another with no interest from Gracie. Then, she pulled out one of our new sheep skin tugs. Dog, Gracie went wild! So Mum used it as a reward at the end of her runs, and a teaser if she started to run off. Worked great!

Gracie ran really well last night - did her weaves, contacts, nice jumping. Only a couple of knocked bars. And that tug got her speed up so much that Mum couldn't keep up. So it's on to distance work with Gracie. Mum worked with me on distance using my fetch game. But Gracie doesn't play fetch, so Mum's going to have to do some research and thinking to plan out a strategy to teach Gracie distance. But that's the fun part, right?

Then it was my turn. Why do I always have to be second? Anyway, we had a new dog visiting and training with us. I was a bit taken by this dog - it had a lot of drive and I go nuts sometimes when dogs with drive are running. Needless to say I barked a lot!

Then I got to run. Mum thought she'd try out some new stuff with me. The first experiment - layer a jump. Well I did it pretty well, even though Mum got her commands out late. But my speed was good, even though I ran wide. Our trainer warned us about doing layering too much, it could ruin my great serpentines. So we'll watch that.

We ran another sequence, tire to tunnel (sending me out to find the entrance on my own), then two jumps to the dog walk, front cross into another tunnel entrance....The neat part about this sequence is that Mum could work on 'gamble' stuff with the tire and tunnel entrance. Trainer said we probably made the dog walk contact for AKC, but we better do it over and make sure we'll make it for USDAA - since the contact zones are smaller.Oops! So, we redid.

Then we experimented with a really difficult weave entrance. The first time, I missed it; but the second time, Mum lined me up better and we made it. There were several ways to handle this entrance, so experimented some more.

It may be surprising but Mum has never rear crossed the weave entrance with me. When needed, she's been killing herself getting to places to with me to avoid a rear on the weaves. So tonight we decided it would be a good idea to practice it. We did it a couple of times. First time, Mum had a brain fart and totally forgot what she was doing. But the second time, we did it great. Although I think we need more practice on that before using it in competition.

Lately Mum has been micro-managing me in the weaves again to get my speed up. Well, she forget that I HATE THAT! So she's backed off on my entrance and started sending me again - but catches up to me to treat lure me faster through them. Works for me!

Overall it was a great time at practice. I'll be missing practice next week, because we have the workshop/seminar with Jen Pinder on Thursday and then a USDAA trial on Saturday and Sunday. But Mum says Gracie gets to go to practice. Can you say jealous!!!!

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