Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Class 2 08/25/09

Elizabeth Evans swapped classes with Pam today so we got to learn under another person. I think it is helpful to get input and opinions from lots of different people.

Here is the exercise we worked on today:

class 082509

Things we learned:

1. Don't lead out to much if you plan on doing a rear cross shortly -you want your dog to be AHEAD of you.

2. Handler Path: Where you do the rearcross will dictate the dogs path. In the first case we want to go from 6-7-8. The handler will run a straight line parallel to the intended path of the dog. In this case the cross will be done right after jump 6 so the handler is running a straight line to Jump 7.

Let's change things up now. Course will be 6-7 to unnumbered jump above 6. In this case the handler will run by 6 and go deep behind jump 7, pivot and do straight line to the next jump, again running parallel to the intended path of the dog.

Other tips to think about:

If you miss an obstacle in training (and sometimes in competition) don't worry about doing it-go on. Repeating tells the dog it has to be perfect. You have probably made a handler error and the dog is not understanding. It is demotivating to have to repeat endlessly (same with the weave poles-attempt if the dog comes up loop around to the obstacle BEFORE do it again and then retry).

Barking: Barking is a great stress release. If your dog learns to bark on cue it can be used as a motivating tool.

Annie's Performance: At first she didn't know what to do with the broad jump but she hadn't ever done the full jump nor had she seen one in month. Tipping the back board up helped her figure out it was a jump and after that she cleared it each time.

Here crosses were great and she performed the above pattern with ease both times. The weave poles proved to be an issue. I don't know why-yesterday she volunteered to do 12 and stayed in them. She couldn't seem to find the entry today - I don't know if it was because the poles were smaller, slimmer, spaced differently or what. We'll have to make a point of doing different poles.

She had absolutely no distraction issues -every time she was out on course with me she stayed with me even when we were jumping right toward and close to the other dogs.

Yeah another positive lesson!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Group Lesson at Best Friends

Annie and I joined a novice class with Pam Richcreek at Best Friend's Fun Farm today. I was very happy with Annie's response to a new group -she was happy and friendly and not too worried about her surrounds.

Exercises for today included: Rear Crosses. First we did jump to teeter with rear cross between jump and teeter. We did the exercise from both sides. Next was jump, teeter to tunnel in an S shape. After that jump-teeter-table.

Tips on these exercises:

The rear cross should be done in the firs 50% of the distance between the obstacles, once you're beyond the 50% you're not saving ground and are defeating the purpose, and likely to pull your dog off of the obstacle.

Table down: If the dog jumps on and sits facing you right on the edge, before asking the dog to down, do a 1/4 turn to give the dog some room to lie down.

Final exercise of the day was Jump,rear cross to A-frame, then flip back to tunnel. Pam notes that we have to be very definite when the dog gets to the bottom of the A-frame, Touch. Then release and big gesture, "Tunnel".

Annie was a really good girl today and did the exercises well!