Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blogging Catchup

Sorry...I've been really bad about posting.  Here's my effort to catch up with a post about Jonah's class at DogStar on Thursday.

We left the puppy at home and it was lovely to have time alone with my big dog.  He's so great.

[Here is the point in my post where I get to exercise my memory capacity and remember the course from almost a week ago.  I usually do remember, it just takes me a minute...

...ok, now I've got it :)]

The first course went alright.  He started well and was the only dog to read a tough turn correctly through a tough section.  He just wasn't especially snappy--kind of dull.  Maybe I was making it up.  I commented on it and Grace kind of rolled her eyes like, "Really?  You just got through that tough spot and you're complaining?!"  Anyway, the course continued and he made some nice tight lines.  His table was good.  There was a tricky weave entry where he jumped a jump and had to turn 180 into the weaves.  I didn't help him at all to see if he would get it.  He didn't.  Next time with a little support he flew in with no problem.  Then, for the closing line of the course I wanted to send him into a tunnel and then book it across the ring to get in position to push to the back side for a threadle.  Well, I was so worried about getting there that I didn't support the tunnel enough.  Oops.  Needless to say, without that tunnel the threadle ended up pretty messy.  We did get it done, but not pretty.  Our second time it worked nicely.

The second time we ran the course I also handled the opening as a big gamble.  It had some layering and then a 180 degree rear cross that had caused trouble for other dogs (they read it as a slice).  Jonah was a little slow again, but he got it.  He sometimes surprises me with his distance skills.  What a good boy.

With Jonah a little on the less enthusiastic side, I tried to over handle the opening line in extension.  The result was a big wide turn that I should have expected.  Oh well.  He was running fast.  The middle of the course didn't pose any real challenges.  Good boy.  Then the end looked like this:

The first time I handled the whole thing with him on my right.  The 180 felt so good.  We came at it with a lot of speed.  I don't know why, but the deceleration of chopping my feet, shifting my weight, and accelerating in the other direction with him following effortlessly just felt magical.  He was pretty amped at this point, and he came rocketing out of the tunnel at 3.  It was not the most efficient line, even though I called him in the tunnel and he knew to turn left (Grace laughed.  She watched the dogs coming out of the tunnel.  The other dogs turned right, not knowing their handlers were on the other side.  She said Jonah definitely knew he was turning left, since from the moment she saw him he was looking left.  She surmised that it would probably be faster for him to look where he was going, but at least he knew which way to turn :) ).  

The second time I did a landing side front cross after 2 and then picked him up as a serp on my left after 3, pushing him ahead to 4.  This worked much better and we got an excellent line.  Cool.

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