Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Week's Lesson

Today was cold and rainy, so we didn't get to do any practice outside, but we did head up to our lesson with Joan.  As usual, it was great.  Major points:

Jonah was happy all day today and was letting me get him excited.  He would grin and bark before we'd start a sequence.

The running A-frame is looking good.  He's still a little slow coming down the ramp, but it's a lot better than when we were asking for the stopped contact.

Jonah does rear crosses obediently, but he really seems happier when I can stay out in front of him and do front crosses.

Our dogwalk contacts were very good today.  It was a huge improvement from our last lesson!

Jonah was a little hesitant on the teeter today.  It makes me a little concerned for our next trial, where it will be a strange, new teeter.  We'll keep working at home with lots of rewards, but he loves his teeter at home.  When I really work to not be ahead of him for the teeter but stay right next to him, he feels a little more comfortable.  It would also act as a little bit of a barrier from him just jumping off the side, if he were so inclined.  I'll have to be diligent about that at Gemini.  I'm hoping there's a teeter in Fullhouse (our first round) before our Standard run so I can get a sense of how he'll react.

We worked on a bunch of lines of offset jumps, and Jonah showed no signs of running by anything.  Joan thinks he probably got a little distracted by something that pulled him off the line.  Who knows.  Maybe I'll ask Dave to come video our next trial.  It would be good to have another set of footage to see how we're progressing.  Of course, I'm expecting an outdoor trial (our first time doing agility outside at all other than in our yard) plus a new location might make him fairly nervous.

For the weave poles, I worked on tapping him along a little bit.  It seemed to be working some.  I'd tap him on the butt at various points.  It's something I'm going to try at home.  Maybe we can get his weaves up to full speed.

During my spring break, I've been watching some agility videos and I'm realizing just how much room there is for improvement.  We don't really see many great teams at our CPE trials, but there are a lot of super dogs out there.  Of course, a lot of them are border collies and Jonah may just never be that fast.  I do hope I can get him more motivated, though.  He may not be as fast as a BC in an all out sprint, but I know he can go as fast as they do on a course.  The question is whether he'll ever get excited enough about agility to do that.  I hope so, but maybe that's too much about me and not enough about him just having a good time.  Really, if he can just consistently qualify in his runs, I'll be happy.

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