Thursday, November 15, 2012

We've Been Busy

Are we going somewhere fun?
Yes, we've been busy.  And no, not with fun dog stuff!

I think I've mentioned before that this time of year is crazy at work (holiday time!).  I've been working late pretty much every night, and since I work 45 minutes from home, it doesn't leave a ton of time for dog training.  The fact that it gets dark at 6pm makes training at home impossible.

It's also hard because we're supposed to do Lexi's exercises every day.  It's about 30-45 minutes of exercises and a lot of them require two people.  By the time we get home, feed the dogs, cook dinner and walk the dogs, it's usually close to 9pm.  I'm still hoping to win the lottery soon and train the dogs all day long! :)
Nope, to the chiropractor!

Her chiro adjustments have been going well, and now we're hoping to go to only once a month (we'll see what the vet has to say at the end of this month).  When we go to the chiro at the vet's office, Lexi is miserable.  She's so sad!

Lexi's still doing really well.  She had her first class last week and was awesome.  She was high as a kite (can you blame her?  It's been 4 months!) but she didn't limp, balk, or even slow down one instant!  It made me very, very nervous with all of her spinning and break neck speed, but she did great.  I was so happy to be out there with her!

We rented the building for some practice this week (class was canceled), and really had fun.  Bentley's contacts have improved (hooray) but it's clear that he mostly just keys off of our motion.  If we decelerate too soon or slow down too early, so does he, whether he's reached the bottom of the contact or not.  Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it's not one of my training priorities for him.  It's rare that there's an occasion when we can't show motion at the end of an obstacle, so I'm okay with his performance.

Lexi was kind of a mess, but she is really out of practice.  And again, she had fun and was healthy, so all in all it went well.  Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut...if I'm going to treat her like a normal dog (which she is) I have to say that she has forgotten all of the work we've done on collection.  She collects really well (for her at least) in the yard, but when we get to the building she is extension & flat jumping all the way!  I could not get her to collect even by standing still.  I'm hoping that with more practice she won't be quite as excited at the building (and trials) and she'll remember all the things we worked on.

One of my major problems is timing.  I tend to run in a very chaotic way.  I usually end a run and don't remember everything that happened!  So I know that doesn't help our timing.  Lexi's running like a bat out of hell, and I'm running around panicked!  No wonder everything feels so chaotic.

Here's Lex doing a bit of work in the yard.  Her discriminations are quite nice...

And here's a video from the building.
You can see Bentley's great collection and serpentine recall to heel.  But then you see his poor discrimination skills.  He's always preferred every obstacle to the tunnel, but with a constant reward at the contacts, you can't blame him for taking the dogwalk (despite Jonathan's motion).

Then there's Lex.  Firstly you'll notice my poor handling getting her over the jump, and then her poor collection heading towards the weaves.  After the video I worked and worked and worked on collection over the jump and could only get it with a backy uppy with me right on top of her.  More work to be done!

1 comment:

  1. Some dogs need a lot of collection cues. Like Miley. I need to decelerate, turn shoulders, off arm cue and name. Java, just a turn of shoulders. Its hard on us to run two different dogs. Maybe try running Lexi first to make it easier on you. Then try cuing really , really early. If she pulls off the jump, just tell her jump. It will feel really weird cuing the jumps that early but I bet she reads it just fine. I bet she is locked on to where she is going two jumps ahead.
    Im so happy that everything is going well with Lexi. Thats wonderful!!