Monday, March 14, 2011

Carthage weekend

What a great weekend and what a difference getting to train on a regular basis makes. Baby-D was 2 for four getting two legs in open standard. We still didn't get any legs in Open JWW but I felt like we were almost in sync for both runs. I am gaining more confidence running a fast dog and I am getting my timing down a little better. Positive points for the weekend are: GREAT weave poles all weekend. I got speed and wonderful entries every single run. I also got crosses coming off of the poles, both a front and a rear in separate runs of course. The obstacle focus is getting a little less and we are paying a little more attention to the momma and not taking what we want to take (cause it is way more fun to make up courses). Both legs were CLEAN runs YIPEE! I did a rear on a triple and he read it like a pro. I also did a turn into the weaves which he read like a pro. Those who know me know that i severely LACK rear crossing skills and defer to fronts so it is nice to know I am getting better at them. I still need work though:) I am feeling more confident on the wide open run your ass off courses. I was severly lacking confidence on them as we don't practice that sort of thing and now I feel a little better about them. Still need work on timing, off course jumps got us on both JWW courses this weekend.

Negatives for the weekend: Well the list is getting shorter finally. My timing is off, need to learn to call him sooner and get his attention sooner. I don't want to overhandle him but maybe a few more and better timed heres or his name would be better. The creepy contacts are back. Thought we had gotten over this but it seems to rear its ugly head now and then. Lots of thoughts on this one. I have always only rewarded driving to the bottom. I have used targets and other methods to get this driving, along with shaping this behavior on a plank when he was a pup. I have heard many schools of thought from I am saying "toes" to soon or he is relying on my motion as to when to stop or it is a confidence issue to he is pushing my buttons and seeing what he can get away with. Now that the weather is nicer (i think, it did afterall dump 4 inches of snow on us last night) I can start working on influencing his striding on the a-frame. I am just going to keep sticking to my guns in trials and try to drive more from behind. I like running, have had to run by butt off with Miller so I seem to always be ahead or finding ways to get ahead. Maybe I need to do more driving from behind. We shall see. I just don't want to muddy any of my criteria. It sucked getting second on both runs because of my dang contacts but again, we are in open, placements really don't matter (other than to my ego), and what I do now in the ring will impact me and impact my quest for a some day MACH.

Here is the video of the weekend. Notice it is getting longer and I am leaving in the bad stuff as it isn't near as bad as it was. Our next show is USDAA in Mckinney so need to find out what spacing their weaves are. He is having difficulty going back and forth and I finally feel like we have our 24s down pat, so here is to hoping i don't screw him up by going back to 22s for USDAA.

Monday, March 7, 2011

training on a monday

I got out to the training field between rain sprinkles. I was hoping that I could do something at the field and lucky for me, the field was pretty dry. I wanted to work the weaves with something tempting at the end like a jump or tunnel so I could attempt to copy what happened in the trial. Sure enough, put a jump at the end of the weaves and he popped out every time. I had the treat and train after another jump that I had to front cross to get him over that was the correct option. I was driving to the end to get the cross, tempting him even more. I just used a "uh-oh" when he was wrong and when he did listen, he got to get his yummy cookie out of the treat and train. The weirdest thing was after a few uh-ohs, he would get to the spot where he was popping out and just stop. I had to break it down to 8 poles (my poles break into sets of 4) and work through that to get him over that. Then after he was listening to me and going the way I wanted him to, I started changing this and going over that jump that was directly ahead. Then after a few reps of going straight, we changed back to going front cross to the other jump. He did screw up a few times but started thinking and listening and doing right and we ended on a good note. I only worked on one side so tomorrow we will switch everything to the other side and see how that goes. I love it when we can replicate something that has happened in the trial and train it. I want to also set up the two jump lead out to the close end of the tunnel that we screwed up which was also a similar lead out as the jump, jump front cross teeter we had that was sloppy. All in all, it was a great training day and even ended with some weave pole games. I am hoping the weather holds out as it was suppose to rain all day today and it didn't so hoping they are wrong about the rest of the week!

Baby-D evolution

Another two days of trialing behind us and alot to work on but alot to be proud of. Baby-D had three classes on saturday and two on sunday. We started out with Open FAST and a very fun send that involved a panel jump to one end of a curved tunnel and then back over the panel jump the opposite way. I opted to try and get all the points and really push him to see where we were at. I had a wrap on a triple planned and a threadle from the tire to a jump tunnel sequence. I also had him coming out of the send at full force back to the weaves. I am proud to say that other than a little bit of a wide wrap from the triple, he executed the course wonderfully with fast contacts (teeter and a-frame) and got all 80 points BUT was coming out of the tunnel when the buzzer sounded so had to take 4 points off to get to the finish jump. Oh well, it was a blue, it was a fun fast run and I was SUPER pleased. He hit those weaves like a pro and I was so proud of him. Then came jumpers. I am not sure what happened in jumpers but as they say, the wheels fell off. He didn't read my cue to take part of the jump in front of me and opted to jump behind me and take the wrong end of the tunnel and then proceed to take the wrong end of the tunnel again. Got him back on course, got going and coming off a straight line of jumps to a turn back, said "turn" and he ran past the jump and then turned. He opted to take the tunnel yet again when it was time to weave, but got him back, rear crossed as he was entering the poles and finished with a front to the last jump. While the majority of the run was a train wreck, I am very proud of his weaves yet again. Third run was standard and boy was he smoking. Apparently the wheels got put back on:) I was running as hard as my little legs could to keep up with him. We started off great and had a pin wheel which started out going straight at the weaves. The weaves were calling his name, which honestly, I am happy with him wanting them, so I didn't care that he passed the jump he was suppose to take looking at them. Got him back, did get a back jump but still okay one R and one W, still good to go. Was headed up the dog walk and there was the big curved tunnel around the entry to the dog walk. I tried the shape the line so that the dog walk made more sense but I must have shaped it wrong as he said, yeah, tunnel is right mom. Oh well, there goes the Q but finished great with a nice collection into the weaves poles with me front crossing to the end. Overall other than that silly jumpers run, I was very happy with him listening and responding to the cues. He was still a bit obstacle focused but it is becoming less and less, well, except for maybe jumpers:)

Sunday didn't have fast but he was in the crate from 7 until 1 waiting to run. I got him out several times and just played with him running and tugging and also some warm up jump stuff. We had standard first this time and he started out in bit in obstacle focus, focusing on the table, which was not the correct next obstacle which made our front cross a little sloppy. Next was teeter and then a straight line two jumps to the chute and then back to the dog walk. So far so good, great contacts on both the teeter and the dog walk. Then we had an interesting line involving a jump, through a box that had sides consisting of another jump and a-frame to the double. Boy did he ever look at the a-frame but was a good boy although a bit wide so I had to turn him back to the table. Still clean so having to choke down the oh shits. Jump to the a-frame with a super contact, jump tunnel weaves with me front crossing him out of the tunnel into the weaves. NAILED the entry, but hearin lies the problem. There was a panel jump at the end of the weaves which he was NOT suppose to take but it was calling his name something powerful so about weave pole 9 or so he decided he couldn't hold back, he had to go take it and he did. No biggie, just one W, still okay, got him back redid the weaves and the little joker did it again. I had one more chance to redo but what if he did it wrong again? Three obstacles from the end we did the walk of shame. What a great run to end in him having to leave the course:( He knows his job, didn't have to say anything to him and I think it worked because in jumpers, he nailed his entry and stayed in the poles, even with me running ahead of him. GOOD BOY!!!! Jumpers again was an off course issue but it is just a timing issue that I have to get over. It is so me, I am use to a dog reading my body language and just doing instead of me constantly having to be verbal so I just have to learn to be more verbal till he gets it. You can hear me on the video tape say "here, here" WAY too late. The funny thing was, he got his turn this time beautifully and we were heading to the end and I said "here" to pull him a little and he came all the way to my hand which left out two jumps. I was proud, I said "here" and he came "here" which is what I wanted and I got it. GOOD BOY! I finished the course and was so happy with him for being so responsive on that course. The off course was so my fault that I didn't even care about it. Overall, other than being a little miffed at him for taking that jump and not staying in the poles, I was very happy with how well he did. I am starting to see more maturity and starting to see him put together a total run. I still wish we could train more wide open run , run, run, turn but I can always set that up in my field. Of course it is raining today so probably no training today and it is suppose to rain all week pretty much so hope it dries out a smidge so I can set up the poles with a wrong course jump at the end to practice. That is totally a training issue and I can build more value in staying in the poles versus taking the jump. We have another show this weekend which will be the last one for the month of march but hoping to do at least one day of NADAC and lots of training/class before Mckinney. Deuce gets to see Heidi and I can't wait for her to see how well her baby is doing!

Here is the link to my best of video:

Friday, March 4, 2011

going mental

This blog is going to be quick because I need to clean the house and the van before we leave for Wichita. Barb and I are heading up for two days of agility and I am excited. Was planning on working today but didn't have much to do and a ton to do here so opted to take a day off and just get stuff done. Had class last night again FINALLY thanks to mother nature gracing us with some decent weather. I don't know what is wrong with me but I really mentally struggled with some of the exercises. I am not sure what is going on with me lately (no i am not preggers) but my mental game is really starting to corrode. I am slowly loosing confidence in myself and I am not sure why. I am having a really hard time with left and right, always have and probably always will. I am sure a big part of this is that Miller has baby sat my ass for so long and now I am actually having to handle and do it correctly but not sure. I need to really delve deep and see what is going on. I don't like feeling helpless or getting frustrated at myself. Deuce is very sensitive to this and thinks I am mad at him but i am mad at ME. Why can't i get through some things? Don't get me wrong, I love being pushed but at one point last night I just had to respectfully say I just didn't feel comfortable moving on as I didn't feel like I had successful gotten through what we had just done. I love that Lori listens to us and let me feel comfortable with what I was working on before moving on. It is nice to feel supported yet pushed at the right time. I know what we are working on is pretty hard and the chances of us seeing alot of this in the ring is slim but it does make us better handlers. I will be very interested to see how Deuce does this weekend. He is entered in three classes tomorrow and two on sunday. He had been training very well, hitting some very hard weave entries and staying in, even if I work lateral distance to get some cross or a threadle in. I am very happy with how he has trained so let's see if I can get that in the ring!!!!!