Monday, July 9, 2012

Big Dog School

This week we timed it well so Nika stayed home while Jonah and I went to class.  It was the day after the 4th of July, so there were only 3 of us in class.  It was quite nice (I like seeing everyone, of course, but it's nice to get to run more when there are fewer people).  Jonah was good.  Not as stupendous as he'd been the week before, but still very good.

The first course had a dw with a 180 degree turn right back to a jump.  I was worried about it, but he nailed it.  I just gave a "left" cue and he added half a stride on his dw contact and turned nicely.

Later in the course there was a section like this:

Easy, right?  Yes.  But I wanted to put a blind in after the straight tunnel at 3, so I didn't want to get too close to 2.  I got ahead of him in the tunnel at 2, and when he came out he saw me give him mixed signals:  I was standing still, with my arm out for the jump, but my body was already turning so I could accelerate in the opposite direction.  He started coming towards me, and I was able to correct (we wouldn't have been called for a refusal, I'm pretty sure), but it was a mess.  Doh.  I did get the blind cross in, though :).

Jonah was sticky on the teeter in this course and every course we ran.  I think we need to do some confidence building with that.  It was right next to all the other dogs, but still no excuse.

The first course ended coming back through the section in the map above, but this time going from the jump at 2 to the tunnel at 3 and then back to the tunnel at 1.  We were coming in from above that map, so I pushed to the backside and then put a FC on the landing side of 2.  Then he came flying out of 3 and made a really wide turn.  No off course or anything, but an inefficient line.  The second time we ran the course I just did a RC at 3 and he turned nicely at the end of it.

The second time we ran the course Grace had us wrap one jump in the other direction, and it caused us some trouble.  It looked like this:

The first time I put in a blind between 2 and 3 (he'd been on my left in the tunnel), and he turned left over 3.  It worked quite well.  Everyone else did a rear over 3, which also worked, but I like to be ahead.  I got the blind done early enough that he knew to turn when he took off--it wasn't cueing too much forward motion, I don't think.  Anyway, the second time Grace wanted us to wrap to the right over 3.  I set a really tight line for Jonah and I guess it was too much for him, because he back jumped 3.  We should work on our wraps more, too.

I practiced rear crossing the poles a bunch this lesson.  Jonah was good but it definitely slowed him down at first.  Another thing to work on.

The second course was lots of running.  It was pretty easy.  The first time through we didn't have any trouble, so the second time I did lots of gamble challenges.  He was awesome, and was working at significant distance.  His poles at distance definitely slow down, though.  That was my only real issue.  

So, we've got a lot to work on:  teeter confidence, wraps, rear crossing weaves and weave speed at distance.  We'll see what we get to.  It's nice to not feel any pressure right now, though.  We'll do what we want to do when we want to do it.  No rush, just fun.

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