Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quiet Class

Jonah and I headed up to All Dogs Gym today for what may be our last class there in a while, thanks to my new school schedule.  There were only 5 dogs there, so it seemed very quiet. 

Jonah was really good, with only minor things to work on.  His speed was a little better, too.  He let me rough him up before starting, and he got really excited and happy, which was good to see.

In our first sequence, there was a little pinwheel in the corner of the arena, where the first jump was only about 6 feet from the wall.  It was a very easy question if I front crossed before the pinwheel (coming off the dogwalk), but I wanted to push a little bit, so I tried to rear cross instead.  Well, apparently jumping into a wall is not something Jonah especially likes, and coming off the stopped contact he didn't really want to drive ahead.  I would have liked to practice this a few times, because I know we could have gotten it, but Laura told us to front cross it.  When we did that, it was easy and he did it great.

In our second sequence, there was a tough weave entry which Jonah missed at first.  I used to think weaves were one of his strengths (well, considering only one other dog in our class can do them without guides, I suppose they still are a strength for where he's at).  After our failure to get the entry from distance at the trial, and two classes in a row where we didn't nail entries, I think it's time to get back to work on weaves.  Again, it's tough given the weather conditions (and we're supposed to get another 6 inches of snow tomorrow), but I've gotten to work painting our weave bases.  I'm thinking that just putting out a set of 6 poles and working on different entries should be good for us.  I know he can do 12, and I'd like to work on speeding him up on the new set, but that might have to wait for some thawing...or until I do some more shoveling.

Jonah flew through the last sequence without any trouble, but Laura pointed out that his contacts are dependent on me stopping with him.  We worked a little on me going ahead while he stops until I release him.  I definitely agree that he should be more independent with his contacts, and we were working on that with our dogwalk before the snow came, but it's a little tougher now.  I think I'll work some more on our mini-ramp in the coming weeks. 

At one point Laura said he was looking really good and we should think about competing if we hadn't already.  Of course, we went to our first trial last weekend, but it was nice to get an official nod that he deserves to be out there.  She also does the tougher venues (AKC, USDAA), so her standards are higher than CPE. 

I found out that, actually, all but one of the dogs in our class have trialed at this point.  The one dog who hasn't is the one other dog who can weave.  I have to say I was surprised that one of the other dogs had trialed--she doesn't seem to be able to do any of the sequences we do in class.  Oh well, I guess that's up to her owner to decide.  Not surprisingly, that dog hadn't Q'd at her trial.  I'm glad I got Jonah a little farther along before I put him in the ring.

Exciting other news:  The professional photographer posted pictures from this weekend, and there are a few great shots of Jonah.  I bought digital copies of a few of them, and as soon as I get the files I'll upload them here!

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