Friday, September 9, 2011

Crazy Class

I was really tired last night.  School is just taking a lot out of me.  I'm ready to just get settled into a regular schedule soon.  Anyway, I didn't bring my best handling with me to class.  Unfortunately, Jonah didn't bring his most forgiving self, either.  It was an interesting day.  Thanks to all the rain, he hasn't been getting as much exercise (although we did run 5 miles on Wednesday...), and it seemed that all that energy had to expose itself in our one hour class.  As soon as he saw other dogs he just started barking his head off and being generally rude.  It took a good ten minutes for him to finally settle down.

Our class didn't even get through both of the courses because there were so many problems.  At least we weren't the only ones.  It made me realize how far we have to go, though.

The first course actually started quite nicely for us.  Jonah cruised through the first sequence of jumps and a tunnel.  His down on the table was immediate.  Every step of his dogwalk was perfect, including a great 2o2o.  Then things got harder.  We had trouble with this weave entry:

For some reason he was entering at the second pole.  I did a FC to a post turn, as it was best to handle the weaves with him on my right for what came after this section.  He was not wrapping 2 very closely but was running wide and then running at the weaves from an angle.  I had to actually stop (which I always have trouble doing) and wait for him to come back towards me before telling him to weave and driving forward.  

After the weaves, Jonah picked back up well and cruised for a while until we missed a discrimination.  Then when I fixed it he blew his A-frame contact.  I'm still not worrying about the contact, though, especially since we haven't been able to practice at all this week thanks to the rain.

Here was one question spot:

The first time through I sent him to the tunnel so that I could be on the landing side of 2 when he came out of the tunnel.  I cued the jump, pushed a little for the tunnel and then got out of there so I could be there to push to 4 (Grace wouldn't let us run with the tunnel on our left).  It worked.  The second time through, Grace suggested that I go closer to the exit of the tunnel and run with him more to give him a more motivating run.  It also worked, but the FC was messy and he came out of the tunnel before me, making the approach to 4 messy.  I liked Grace's idea, but in practice I think it's overall more motivating if I can keep things as tidy as possible.  Good skill to have both ways, though.

On our second course Jonah was good except for missing another tunnel/A-frame discrimination.  We'll have to get a tunnel out soon and work on discriminations.  The practice session we did a few weeks ago was excellent, and I know he can nail discriminations so long as the skill is sharp.

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