Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yikes! Practice

My mom has started taking her dog to an obedience class at DogStar.  After her first lesson she talked about how good Molly was at class.  Then she asked if Molly could come watch Jonah's class.  I told her no because it was too crowded, but I told her about run-thrus and suggested that she could come with us then.  Well, I didn't realize that Molly would be so crazy.  The minute we walked in the door she was howling and growling and barking and whining.  It got Jonah riled up, too.  Anyway, I was super stressed about the whole situation (and I'm sure mom was too).  I'd been so excited to try these courses again, but the stress got to me and I couldn't focus as well as I would have liked to.  Here are my scattered thoughts about our runs:

I'm worried about Jonah's DW contacts.  He's just not driving down to the end like I want him to.  Either he is moving fast and can't stick the 2o2o or he slows way down and gets the position.  I'm glad we got to practice, but I'm a little stumped about a plan moving forward.  'Luckily' he has started missing sometimes at home, so at least I can practice more trial-like experiences and make sure he realizes it's a problem when he blows it (as in, I can not finish a course and give him the silent 'punishment' of not continuing).

I need to work on a more independent teeter.  When I tried to get distance, I made Jonah fly off.

I should trust our RCs more.  I often try to avoid them, but he's quite good at them and sometimes they're a great option.  We also did some on the flat that worked beautifully.  It's fun to cue the obstacle and take off in another direction while he goes and does it and then comes flying to catch up with me.  What a star.

Our backsides need more baby-sitting than I'd like. I started working on putting a "back" command on cue.  It was only one session, but Jonah was doing really well.  I'm hoping that this will help give a little more independence on those questions and allow me to move on ahead where I like to be.

Aside from the stress of having Molly and mom around, I had a great time at the run thrus.  Between rounds I got to chat a little bit with Grace, and she's just lots of fun.  I don't really get to talk agility with many people but I can with her and I value her opinions hugely.  The really great thing is that she at least makes me believe that she values my opinions, too.  I still think of myself as so new at agility, but she gives me confidence that, while I might be crazy with some of the things I try, I'm usually at least crazy in the right ways that would work if I had the dogs with the skills I'm asking for :).

Next time we'll leave the girls at home and it will be an overall great experience.

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