Saturday, March 24, 2012

Balls to the Wall

I forgot my tripod today, so no videos of my dogs at practice today.

Since Trophy was so off at agility Tuesday, I did just a few (maybe 10) boxturns down and back over one jump with him and one boxturn down over one jump with a full run back.  He felt off when i was restraining/revving him, but he didn't look tweaked.

I did full runs with Pan with a few other dogs in the team.  First full run she blows out the last jump and runs completely though the tunnel in the corner of the room.  Um, wtf?  That's a first...  Then she continued to blow out the last jump unless I ran her in anchor...  very weird behavior for her, but our junior handler was helping run a dog so our already small runback was very crowded.  I'm going to chalk it up to that and hope she does better at our next practice since it'll be the last one before our next tournament.

Then my Demo, my awesome Demo flyball prodigy.  We worked on running over jumps past stationary experienced dogs with everyone on leash.  He was very good despite the other two new dogs constantly trying to run up into his face.  I need to do a lot more desensitizing with him.  He's very good at focusing on me, but I'm really afraid that if we have a dog cross over on him there's going to be bloodshed.  He's very uncomfortable with strange dogs crowding him.

Since that's my worry, next I worked on the exact same drill we did with him last week, two ungated jumps, two gated jumps to a ball on the floor and back.  This week he refused to stay in the jumps, so we need to work on that.  I think I've relied too much on gates in his limited practices, so next week I'm going to work only on his boxturn and recalls over ungated jumps until he understands he has to go through the jumps always.  I digress, so I'm sending him to a ball, as soon as he gets the ball i'm having a teammate recall Trophy over four jumps in an ungated lane.  Demo chased him twice, the first time I barely got his attention.  The second time I screamed UH-UH just as he blew out the ungated jump to chase Trophy (his favorite game) and he dropped to the floor like i shot him.  He didn't chase Trophy again, he stayed in our lane even though he still blew out the ungated jumps.  yay!

So we put Trophy up and I worked on his boxturn.  No fear transferring from the jump board to the box.  No fear of the noise or motion of the box, then we introduced a ball and his turn went to crap.  Ok, have to work on retrieving a stationary ball from the board.  Next week we will work more on the box.

Overall I am very happy with his progress!  He is driving SO well down for his ball it's almost hard to hold him back and he is driving equally hard for his tug back to me (as in I need to invest in gloves, like, now).

I wish we had practice twice a week because I'm so ready to get him running full runs!! :)

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