Monday, May 24, 2010

Today's Class

Class was fun today - only three of us showed up so it was almost a private lesson! We are nearing the end of this session so we did longer sequences. I was really into sniffing the floor and looking for food and swiveling my head this way and that while I was running just to make sure I didn't miss something on the floor. Jenn says mom needs to practice with me on that - putting stuff on the floor and getting me to ignore it. Great - take all the fun out of it for me!! LOL! Mom actually had to give up on the handling and run some crazy outside lines to get me to focus at all! The best news of this morning however is that I did the CHUTE every time! (Mom says why today and not all weekend?)

The class was specifically about how to turn at nonturning obstacles - weaves, contacts, curved tunnels. Lateral distance does not cue a turn and lateral motion in and of itself does not cue a turn - the handler uses deceleration or body language (like shoulder turn) and/or verbal commands including the dog's name if necessary. For instance, if the sequence is dogwalk, straight to the tire, and then left end of a curved tunnel (with the right end of the tunnel straight in line with the tire), handlers will try to just run with more lateral distance from the dog when the dog is doing the DW and tire and expect the dog to go into the left end of the tunnel. But their forward motion is cueing extension and it just propels the dog into the right end (straight in front of them after the tire). So the handler should run closer to the dog on the DW and then begin lateral motion away as the dog goes to the tire and then can use exaggerated shoulder movement to help show the dog the left end of the tunnel. We also talked about how the handler's motion should not affect the dog while they are doing a nonturning obstacle - so if the handler does move laterally away from the weaves for example, the dog should stay in the weaves and complete them before turning away. We practiced deceleration at the chute to get the dog to turn back to the handler (rather than running with complete forward motion which should suggest to the dog that the next obstacle is straight ahead).

Jenn says that my performance of obstacles has gotten faster - like my DW and weaves - but that I need to get my ground speed to be faster. Anybody have any ideas about that? I am a fast dog when I choose to be!

Dawn wanted to know how my cousin Wilson was this weekend. He was bored because he had to stay at home while we were at the trial! And then on Friday when we got home, it rained and we couldn't play outside. Plus I was tired! Other than that, I guess he was good! :)

Some thoughts from the trial though - it was our first overnight trial experience and even though we didn't stay in a hotel, mom was really happy with how I dealt with it all. I rested well at Wilson's ( usually I don't), I didn't get any stress-related IBS, and I was happy and relaxed at the trial venue - I did tricks and even tugged on my leash a little bit. Definitely Q rate is not what it's all about!! (Although we don't mind Q's at all)!

Gotta zoom!



Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

That is awesome that you did the chute in class Ricky! But why do you confuse your mom like that? LOL.

That class sounds like it is straight out of a clean run article. What a great opportunity to have a class like that nearby.

elbouwii said...

so awesome :D
privat lesson is funn
we are in a big group in our school. but great that the group is in diverent classes
we are in class C just one more and hauwii is in class D (that the competion class)

El'bow & Hauwii

Priscilla said...

Glad that you had a great fun today but made your mom run a lot too. It's fun to have just a few students too but I think you really need to focus on what you have to do. LOL.

Besides, thanks for sending your warm wishes to Rosie which made her so touched. The doctor is going to see her at 1pm.

Kathy said...

You are so lucky to have Jen, and I LOVE reading about what you learn, thanks for taking the time to post that.
I had a trial of Chloes where she was so focused on the reward at the end that she did jump, jump, jump-the last jump turned us to where she could see where she knew the treats were, so she veered....ran and ran right out of the ring, like why waste all the rest of the time with the rest of the course when you see the treats ;-), so I started putting the bait bag to the side of our course and we practiced that we did a little bit then we released and both raced to the treats and very quickly could put it right on the path and Chloe could run over it, it was amazing how fast she learned that we get the treats but not until you are released and we both get them. At first people in my class just looked at me, a couple tried to pick up the bait Kathy you dropped your bait bag, LOL...hahahah, Fun times...I think shelties are smart enough to make sure to maximize treat opportunities, LOL

Dawn said...

Oh I'm so good the overnight thing went well! You are learning new skills all the time, you just don't always get a ribbon for them! Glad Wilson was OK too, too bad about the rain! Maybe next time you can visit Wilson just to play!

Nat said...

These classes sound amazing! You must learn so much. Wish we could come take these classes!

About the ground speed, maybe try playing chase games over long distances. Your mom could leave you in a stay and lead out about 30 feet, then call you and start running, giving you an AWESOME reward at the end (throwing the reward would help too). Then, when you're racing to her as fast as you can, she can add a jump or another obstacle in between you and her, so you have to take the obstacle before getting to her. She can gradually add more and more obstacles. Just an idea! :)

Morganne said...

Loved the replay of your lesson. A good thing to remember - the closer you are to the dog when you move laterally, the more they will notice your lateral motion. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Sagira said...

Only 3 people showed up? Wow...that would be nice, you would get in lots of practice time.

Marie said...

Really cool that you got a semi-private lesson this week! As always, love the review of the class. Good reminders, though I know that when I'm running, I rarely remember things I should. LOL