Friday, July 27, 2012

ARFF and Personal Qs

I went to ARFF this week.  I realized I'd been nervous to go.  When we got there, while Jonah was still in the car he barked at another dog.  Then I was nervous to take him out.  I spent some time helping with setup, which helped me relax.  As long as I'm doing something, I'm good.  Then Sue got there, and she's a friend, so that helped, too.

Soon enough it was time to get Jonah.  He never barked at another dog.  Good boy.  The second obstacle of the course was a slice right towards the dogs that were waiting, and they were probably only 15 feet away, with no divider in between.  Jonah ran past it the first time--I think he was just distracted byt the dogs and people.

Other than that, the course ran pretty well.  He was a little slow.  I don't know if it was because he was a little nervous, because I was a little nervous, or because it was hot and muggy out.  Maybe a little of each.  I know I was way more out of breath than usual when I finished, so he was probably feeling the same.  It was good practice because it was similar to how he often runs in trials--he does his job but he's not super drivey.

Perhaps the biggest success, though, was that I get a personal Q for not letting him know he screwed up with that second jump.  We just went on.  When I went back to rerun that sequence afterwards, he missed it one more time, and I just went sprinting off playfully before trying one more time.  He got rewarded--I knew he was missing it because he was wary of the other dogs and I wasn't handling assertively enough.  It wasn't his fault, and there was no reason to make him think he'd made a mistake. The third time we nailed it.

Then, in class yesterday, when I once again just didn't handle something assertively enough and he missed a jump, I ran him around a mini speed circle to return to that line and run it again.  It took me half a second to decide where to go when he missed it, but I recovered quickly enough and responded by running fast enough that he thought it was great.  When we came back to the area we'd 'screwed up' the first time, he ran it beautifully.

I didn't think much of this but when I finished the course my classmates complimented me on how I'd recovered well.  That compliment felt really good, as this is something I've had to work on.  Thanks, class!  Small victory for me :).

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