Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Six years

Our class was cancelled this week so we went to our favorite park this morning instead. It was already hot but we enjoyed it. We went to the prairie area which is gorgeous right now - cup flower, wild bergamot, echinacea, cardinal flower, queen of the prairie, coneflower, etc. All blooming up a storm. To get there we had to walk on the bikepath for a little stretch.

Ricky heeled off leash with me while a bicyclist rode by!

Six years in the making!

Never give up!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Straight tunnels

Class this week - straight tunnels. They are turning obstacles so you need to show your dog which way to turn coming out of the tunnel before they go in! I like them. We also did straight tunnels as part of a serpentine. Some dogs did not like that at all. Serpentines of any kind are a trained skill. So if your dog has trouble with them, there is no solution other than practicing them! :)

SUPER humid in the training building. Running the outside path is NOT fun when it is so hot. Thank you Ricky for making me work so hard! But he almost outran me and that was fun!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tool box

That is what you need to be a successful handler - lots of tools to chose from and the ability to pull them out on the fly. Class today was about comparing rear crosses vs. front crosses. It is interesting to see each dog and handler and what works best for them. Some never use rears and some never fronts. But a problem could present itself on a course that might force you into doing something you are not as comfortable with and that's where the tool box comes in. That's why we practice all the different skills.

With Ricky, I do mostly fronts or run the long way around or blinds. We know rear crosses and he reads them pretty well, and if he is moving, I can throw one in. Today I tried to handle a simple jump sequence by running the short path and he wasn't moving so I took him back and ran the long path. My teacher pointed out a place I could've changed to the outside without stopping him and to get him motivated. True. You can't stop at a trial.

Another thing I want to work on is supporting the obstacle and using eye contact. By now I sometimes assume Ricky will take an obstacle because it is the next one. Not if I don't make a point of supporting it. Also, he likes to do his own thing ( yay! ). I have to make an effort to look him in the eye and say his name even, to pull him off a path to an obstacle that he has chosen! Gotta fight the "Sheltie knows best" syndrome! :)