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:
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!