Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wagging Wednesday

This morning I took Jonah out and had him try the 90 degree weave poles (see yesterday's post--it's two sets of 6 poles set at a 90 degree angle from each other, about 8 feet apart).  He had no trouble at all.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Then, this afternoon we had another lesson with Grace.  It was great!  We did a lot in half an hour.  Here's a bit of a recap:

-Revisiting the line from last week's course of a 180 to the A-frame (see the videos and map from earlier posts).  We didn't have the A-frame set up, so it was just the 180, but I got a good set of practice with timing my blind crosses.  It was rather eye opening, really.  I tend to wait for him, but if I gave a verbal "jump," he would go take it, I could get out of his way, and his line was greatly improved since I wasn't in his way.  It was super cool and a big improvement.

-Adding a tunnel to the 180 blind cross.  The setup looked like this:

Now if I were just looking at that map I'd say I'd just handle the whole thing with him on my right, but the whole point of the exercise was to do a blind on the landing side of 2 and then pull into 3.  The first time Jonah took the far tunnel entry, but after that we got it.  It was a good challenge.

-Threadles!  This is what took the bulk of our time and it was hard!  I worked on three techniques.
     The first was just single sided--sending him to a wrap, hanging back and then sending him back out to the next jump.  It worked, but was sometimes awkward.
     The second method was to get in a front cross between the two jumps.  This was the smoothest method...when it was just one threadle.  Then Grace added another, so there were three jumps, and at that point it was harder to send to the backside and then boogie enough ahead to get there for another FC.  We got it done a few times, but it wasn't pretty.
     The third method, which I call the "Grace" method, has potential but we need lots of practice.  It involves picking up the dog on the landing side, bringing the dog through the gap with you, and then opening up your arms and shoulders to the jump once you're on the correct take-off side of the next jump.  Here's my attempt at a diagram:

So I would pick Jonah up on my left, run through the gap with him, and then turn my shoulders towards him, opening up the second jump as we got to the correct take-off side.  Even though the diagram shows 2 crosses, he's really always on my left and I'm just rotating towards him as he takes the second jump.  Then we're also ready to do it again if we had to.  Needless to say, we need practice on threadles.

-DW proofing.  I did a few runs over the dogwalk and Jonah's contacts were excellent.  I threw in a bunch of rear and blind crosses and he didn't blink an eye.  Great!

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