Had a wonderful, if not small, flyball practice today. We have been overrun with new people on our team (which is great!) but it makes working MY new dog (and the height dog I'm training) difficult since there usually aren't enough people there to help everyone else, let alone me.
Today I got some good time working with Demo on his full runs. I haven't been really working on teaching him his box turn. Primarily because I'm short on time, and also because I'm short on wall space on which to set up a jump board (I know, excuses, excuses). So today we worked on a two jump sequence, ball on floor, two jumps (all gated jumps) and return to tug. He was marvelous! He dropped the ball for my tug! He didn't eat a new dog who ran up to him and got in his way of his tug, even though he was clearly stressed by it! He was driving so hard for his tug that he bit me. Hard. Twice! Need to invest in some gloves to run that boy in!! All of this was new. He's never exchanged a ball for a tug - usually balls are his primary motivator. Not today! I am so proud of him!
So we started adding jumps (without adding gates) until he was running down two jumps with no gates into two jumps with gates, picking the ball off the floor and running back over the 4 jumps. yay! Now his boxturn is going to be my primary focus in life. I'm really hoping to have him ready for a team debut in the July tournament in Sandusky. I'm not going to push him, but that is the goal at the back of my mind. His debut exactly one year after Trophy's debut. It's going to be awesome.
No videos of his run as we had a room full of new, young dogs with the zoomies today and I didn't want my camera to be a casualty.
As for Trophy and Pan, I'm continuing my plan of not over running them and drilling picture perfect box turns into their heads. Trophy is doing EXCELLENT. If you would refer back to our boxturn problem video taken back in August:
We no longer have the all-forward-motion-stop issue. He is getting his butt up high on the box and really digging into his turn, even with the prop removed. However, he doesn't run anywhere near full speed in practice. Part of this is due to our building being so short, and part because the atmosphere is much more relaxed than at tournament. We will see if his turn sticks at a tournament.... that will be the true test.
Here is Trophy's video from today:
Oh, and my voice didn't suddenly change, a team mate was running him for the last several runs :)
Pan, on the other hand, I have given up on getting a pretty little boxturn out of. She is still planting her left rear foot on the ground and using it as a pivot point. The problem with Pan is that she will crash through low props to plant that foot. She needs a HIGH prop to force her to jump, but as soon as that prop is gone or low again, she is back to planting her foot.
I guess at this point, knowing her freight train tendencies with props, as long as she remains SAFE in all other aspects of her run/turn I'm not going to be wasting time on fixing it, but rather drilling it in farther with the prop so as to not lose it in tournament. She continues to amaze me with how much she lives to run that flyball course. She woke me up at 6:30am because she was ready to play.... what a stinker.
Any suggestions on Pan's box turn welcome. I'm open to suggestions!!