Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Class of Highs and Lows

Jonah and I had a great time today at class.  It included some really great moments...and some epic fails (by me!), but every minute of it was fun-fun-fun!

The first course we ran started with a jump to the dogwalk, with a 180 degree flip to the left to a tunnel (see map below).  To start, I wanted him to slice the jump, but he was so excited to start that he was more handler focused and he didn't see the jump in time.  He crashed right through it!  Oops.  What a start :).  Anyway, we put the jump back together and tried a straighter line.  This time he got it and flew across the dogwalk with a lovely contact...but he completely ignored my shouting "left! left! tunnel!" and ran straight ahead to take two extra jumps before coming back and continuing on with the course.  Goof ball.  He was just *really* excited!

Later on the course there was a wrap of a jump and a turn back to a tunnel/A-frame discrimination (numbers 4-6 on the map).  Well, the jump was that same jump that pointed towards the dogwalk.  He took the jump and ducked behind my back to do the dogwalk again, with that off course jump again, too.  I don't think we were really together.  He got back on track, though, and did a lovely threadle, fast weaves and a nice fast down on the table at the end (other side of the course, not on the map).

The second time through the course, considering how much we screwed up the first time you would think I would have tried to handle normally again to get things right.  Nope.  Gambles were staring me in the face everywhere I looked.  I peaked at one spot and Grace told me I was crazy (the tire at 11).  So, this was my plan (I started with a lead out from 1...sending to the backside might be beyond us still):

He was AWESOME!  He never blinked, and stayed full speed through the whole thing, which he did flawlessly.  Everyone laughed and said I'd been trying to make things too easy in the first round by actually being close to my dog.

By the time we got to the second course Jonah was pretty focused, but I totally floundered in a line of two threadles in a row.  It was like this:

The first time we got it done, but it was really messy.  I stayed on the tunnel side, and had him turn right after 3.  The second time I turned had him left for the longer line, but it was much smoother.  Then I played with that line again from the other side so I could push, but then he took the off course after 3, taking the 2 jump on the way to the tunnel.  He did that a few times, actually.  I guess it just got programmed in his head and he was oblivious to my name calling and body position.  As I said earlier, it wasn't his most focused of all days.  The last time we did it was really nice, though (I went back to handling on the tunnel side), so we are in fact capable of doing this line.  I think I'll set it up at home soon and practice since it stumped us a little bit.

Nika came along with us and she did pretty well.  She barked while we were running, but otherwise she was a good girl.  She got to meet some dogs and she walked one of the courses with me.  She even tied Grace in a knot!  

In other news, Nika met the tunnel for the first time yesterday!  She thinks it is pretty excellent.  Video to come soon.

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