(Disclaimer: This stuff is pretty boring and technical to read so we understand if you don't read! We're writing this down for us so we don't forget it).
Jenn was back to teach our class this week. Today was all about recalls to heel. We have not practiced this at all since mom never does a lead out with me. So it was very new for us. First we practiced a serpentine recall over one jump. Mom sat me parallel to the jump - close to the standard. Then she went to the landing side of the jump 12" from the bar (or whatever height you dog jumps) and kind of in line with the opposite standard on the other side. She turned her outside foot in the direction we were going to go and presented her inside leg and arm to me and said, "Jump" and cued me to jump with true collection and land right next to her inside hand. It's very difficult to describe - easier to see but we have no video. After you practice this (it is a learned skill for the dog), you can then use recall to heel in a serpentine - like the second jump of a serpentine - so instead of mom running to the take-off side of the second jump in a serpentine, she can stay on the landing side of the second jump and recall me over. So mom stays on the same side for all three jumps. We did well with this because I am pattern trained to do serpentines this way. Jenn told mom to be careful and try to find the tightest path for me so I don't have to cover more yardage than necessary. That is important and mom will have to try to remember that!! We also did a cool sequence where we did the first two jumps of a serpentine (with the recall to heel) and then a send into the tunnel - so the tunnel was the third obstacle in the serpentine.
Our second recall today was the foundation recall (all of this handling is based on Linda Mecklenberg's Awesome Paws handling system). I wait on the middle of the take-off side of the jump and mom goes to the middle of the landing side and faces me - again 12" from the bar - and this time she calls me over directly to her inside hand for true collection. If she stands farther back she can still do recall to heel but it would cue extension. Both are needed some times. Again all hard to explain and we hope we have it right in our minds. We did some sequences where mom did a two-jump lead out and then called to me. You can imagine that I was not super fast coming from the startline. But we were there to practice a new skill that who knows, someday we may need!
There are 6 positions of recall to heel and we are going to learn 4 of them. But Jenn says you can get super detailed about it all and she is just giving us the basic idea and then it's up for us to decide how much we want to do with them.
At the beginning of class I was very distracted by stuff that I could've swore was food on the floor! Jenn said she never realized how easily distracted I was - she told mom to try and get me to focus on her more. Well, that was great because it meant more chicken for me! The best thing about today's class though was Jenn noticing and saying I did a fast dogwalk! Hurray for me!