Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Second to Last Lesson

...before my trip anyway.  There will be plenty of agility after that :).

We had a good lesson and worked through some challenges.  Jonah and I had our cues mixed up on wraps.  There was one where Jonah was supposed to come out of a tunnel, turn to his left, wrap a jump and then run back the other way to the right.  Well, I cued him fine out of the tunnel but then got impatient when I thought he had committed and I started off in the other direction.  He stopped, put his ears down, looked at me, and pulled off the jump.  Poor guy.  I really need to be more clear to keep his confidence high.  Anyway, we tried it again, and if I waited to move until he was in the air the line flowed nicely and he kept his energy.

The other place we had to wrap was a long line of jumps.  The first few were straight, and then one was offset to the left and then the next was offset to the right.  It was a tricky line.  The offset jumps were pretty close together so that it was almost like a threadle.  I tried it with a leadout so that I would call him over the straight jumps and then wrap around the left-set jump, then pulling him around to the right jump.  It worked, but his engine cut way down and it took him a few more obstacles to pick up the pace.  Next I tried it with rear-crosses, but the jumps were so close together that, by the time he took the first and checked in with me, he was almost already past the next one.  We're going to have to work on this more in the future.

Our final challenge was discriminations.  He'd already done a course with discriminations and he did them fine, but as soon as we set up an exercise to work on them he got tunnel suck (which is quite unusual for him.  Normally he will choose contacts).  It took a few tries to get him back paying attention, but by the end he was getting the discrimination with reasonably good speed and solid confidence.

The only other problem of the day was that he was not very friendly with other dogs.  He barked at two dogs in the ring, one of whom he's met and been fine with before.  I really hope we can get through this and get our polite dog back.

The last thing is that, when I tried to get Jonah to speed up in the poles he shut down a little bit.  Joan suggested going back to a small channel to see if he can improve his footwork.  I don't know if I'll have time to do that before I leave, but I'll definitely do it when I get back.  I'd like to have weaving be a strong point for him.

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