Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good and needs to improve!

We've had so much rain the past week or so that outdoor training has been tough.  So, I'll just give a quick update.

Hopefully my last post wasn't too intense.  I certainly didn't want to convey arrogance or put any pressure on myself or Lexi.  I am just proud of her accomplishments and love for the sport, and want to invest in that!  If she never makes it out of Advanced, so be it, as long as we keep improving and keep enjoying ourselves.

Tonight we ran a tough course.  Jonathan ran Lexi and I ran Bentley.  Poor Jonathan and Lexi had a tough night.  I could see him getting frustrated as he was having to do portions of the course over and over again.  The course was set to practice the different sends and recalls that we've been taught over the past few classes. When we left class, I made us both make a list of 3 things that each dog did well (to remember the good!) and 2 things that they needed improved upon.  Here are the lists we came up with:

1.  Serpentine recall to heel to the weaves.  Didn't over jump either 2 or 3, and nailed the weave entry every time!

2.  Directed jumping was excellent!  She didn't cross behind between 3 and 4 but moved quickly to the next obstacle while we were able to direct her over 3 and then move to 4.
 3.  Weave entries every time, and when cued correctly, understood the behavior at the threadle.

To improve:
1.  Lexi was feeling VERY pushy this evening and broke her 2o2o regularly.  She would get into position, but then break quickly thereafter.
2.  Timing on our end--making sure that we're cuing at the right times to give Lexi the time to react (especially true at the threadle)

1.  Directed jumping (in the second sequence listed above).  The first time he took the back side of 2, but that was entirely my fault as I stood too close to 3 when cuing the directed jumping.

2.  Dogwalk contact.  Though it wasn't always quick, he got into his 2o2o position both times and waited!  He also didn't really creep, just came to the bottom and took a second to get both front feet off.  Thrilled!

3.  Connection.  Bentley and I stayed connected the entire night.  He has had a tendency to lose connection with me and cut behind me, run ahead of me, or go away from me to grab what he thinks is the next obstacle.  Tonight we were connected on the entire course!  For the directed jumping section I made sure to make eye contact and cue him to stay on my right side, and he did.  I was also a bit concerned that he would  skip the 3rd jump in the first sequence, but I said his name and made eye contact and he did really well.

To improve:
1.  270 recall to heel.  I placed Bentley on the table and then lead out to a jump and asked for him to collect over the bar (I was reaching over the bar), however he chose to come around the wrong side of the jump.
2.  A-frame when excited.  He jumped the contact (though still touched the yellow) both times in sequence.  It was good, though, since the course simulated a trial-like environment and I marked the mistake and put him back on (he got into his 2o2o position the second time).


  1. Running dogs can be so frustrating. You are trying so hard and the dog is trying but things just arent coming together. Ugh! I feel for you. It kinda makes you feel bad about yourself even thou you konw you shouldnt. But think how great its going to feel when it all comes together and you guys kick butt.

  2. Sounds like a great class - it is cool that you noted the things both dogs did well and then have some concrete things to work on too.

    About Ricky picking up a bowl - retrieving is tough for him and we had to work a long time for him to hold something and then also be able to move while holding it. He learned the concept very slowly with a dumbbell first and that eventually transferred to other objects. There are lots of videos of him with the dumbbell on YouTube.