Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday's class

Today's class started out horribly. It was mostly about rear crosses again, but we learned to differentiate between rear crosses where the handler uses lots of forward motion to cue the dog to keep going in a straight line (basically)(I think of these as extension rear crosses ) and a rear cross where the handler wants the dog to turn after the jump kind of tightly in one direction or another (I think of them as collection rear crosses).

So first thing we did was (out of the blue by itself) a rear cross at the aframe. I had to run (more like walk) to the aframe and mom was supporting me with forward motion until I committed to the aframe and then as I was going up it, mom snuck behind me to the other side (rear cross in a straight line). Well my commitment point for the aframe was so late that this didn't work very well for us. If you do rear an aframe (or dogwalk or teeter or weaves or straight tunnel), you have to make sure to indicate forward motion to the dog until commitment or you risk pulling your dog off the obstacle.

Then we tried a rear cross of the teeter with a few jumps before it - I got all sniffy and pokey slow and then I didn't want to do the teeter. Jenn had mom put me on the teeter a couple times without rear crossing to make sure I wasn't developing some teeter phobia. After that we were supposed to run a sequence and mom said "Ready, go!" and I veered off and sniffed something I was sure was food on the floor and that was it for mom. She was NOT happy. She picked me up and then tossed me over a jump and said to get going.

Things got better when there was about 20 minutes of class left and we did a couple longer sequences. Mom asked Jenn if she could start out running the outside and then get into position for the skill we were supposed to practice. And that worked. I rear crossed (at jumps and on the flat) like nobody's business. We even got a couple "beautifuls" from Jenn!

Before I forget - here are a couple things to remember when you are trying to do a rear cross with a tighter turn. If you want the turn, you use lateral motion in the direction opposite the one you want the dog to go - like if the dog is on your right, you move to the left before the jump and decel and the dog goes ahead, takes the jump and will turn to the right (putting him on your left). It's ok for the handler to start her lateral motion even if she is ahead of her dog. Another thing is consider how you use tunnels ( all the time, not just with rear crosses). But if you send your dog into a tunnel and want to rear cross the following jump with extension (like a straight line rear cross) stay back and meet your dog coming out of the tunnel so you can drive forward to the jump together. But if you need to turn your dog at the jump after the tunnel, run ahead of your dog and when he comes out of the tunnel show lateral motion and then deceleration to get him to rear and turn.

We tried to make a video to show a little bit of what we did in class (the general idea any way). Mom used just all regular jumps because she was too lazy to get anything else out. In the video we tried to describe what we were doing. Hope it all makes sense!

So even though class started off very poorly, we felt good at the end. Mom is hoping that there is a way to run the outside of the first few obstacles at our next trial - she wants to see if that will speed me up from the beginning. Only problem is that not all courses are set up to make that possible at the beginning. Guess we'll wait and see!

Gotta zoom!



Dawn said...

Boy Ricky, you think it's rough if you're slow? Katie sometimes just sits and looks at me when I start running! Now THAT'S embarrassing!

You look pretty good, especially when Mom stays on the outside. Why is that anyway Little Buddy? Why do you care which side your Mom is on?

Sara said...

We had a similar class recently, where my teacher wanted "us" to practice rear crosses on the a-frame and teeter. We tried it once, realized it wasn't really the best thing for us. My teacher said, "you really won't ever have to utilize this the way you guys run," and she let us work on our own issues. Boy do we have our own issues! LOL. It is frustrating though, when you want to try what everyone else is trying!

I'm glad your class ended on a good note. Always better to go home happy.

Diana said...

Very well done. So the second one looked like a rear cross on the flat.
Someone at the seminar had a slower dog. Carrie got the dog moving faster by using a treat and played with the dog like you would a toy. "you want it, are you gona get it". She treated every once in a while. The last time she held his collar and got him pulling toward the treat, released him into the tunnel. He got the treat at the end of the sequence. It worked really well. You could try that with Ricky and see if it works. Im not saying it would but its worth a try. Also, you may have already done this, but would Jenn let you come watch another class with Ricky. And just sit and watch and click and treat when he is relaxed or looking at the other dogs. It may help him get more comfortable in class. Diana

Sagira said...

Glad you felt better at the end of class. Always good to end on a good note. :)

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Thanks fur sharing those fun things I khan only dream about from my chair!


Marie said...

I wish there were handling classes like this closer to me. We just got back from another workshop with Stacy Peardot-Goudy, and I know my handling could really use improvement. :-P

Rear crosses have always been a real weakness for me.

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing your "notes" with us, I always love reading about your class and what you are learning, you do a great job and make me feel like I am right there!

Priscilla said...

Thanks for the notes. We'll remember them and I think I will keep them in my future agility notebook : )

Eva can't do any agility yet due to the concern of her weak hindlegs but we try to keep her busy and have some fun here and there.

Glad you all had a good ending at last.

elbouwii said...

that so good ricky
we enjoy that video :) you mom is good to :D

El'bow & Hauwii

Happy said...

Your mum handle way better rear crosses than my human do! sometimes,my human just don't know what she's doing!:P