Friday, March 29, 2013

Remember To Breathe

In agility last night i learned an important lesson: keep breathing. But we'll get to that in a second.

First in Trophy and Pan's class, we worked on a really interesting course made up of lots of perpendicular jumps. The first half of the class was pretty straightforward but with a tricky lead out over a jump and into the weaves. Pan is still improving on her weaves, despite not having practiced them at home in a few weeks. She didn't need a food lure last night, although she's not yet fluid or controlled, and in fact sometimes i think she still has no idea what she's doing.

Green Star indicates where the turn on the flat was.  And as usual, not to any scale what-so-ever.
However, instead of shutting down today, despite me losing my own focus and showing more disappointment in her than i should, she got the zoomies on the course. She ran through the tunnel under the dogwalk twice and then took off, ignoring my direction, and bypassed the course to zoom through the tunnel in the corner a few times. My instructor and I both agreed, i would rather have the silly setter zoomies than a meltdown. At least she was having FUN.

The second half of the course involved a much trickier maneuver followed by a wild ride around the ring. First (obstacles 8 through 14) involved a 3 jump pinwheel back into a tunnel in the corner, over the last jump in the pinwheel again and to the a-frame. We spent several minutes talking about our options for running this sequence and how to take jump 11 and be in position for a good A-frame entry after 13), and i ultimately decided to (listen to my instructor) and stay on the inside of the pinwheel, do a turn on the flat after the third jump (green star) to send Trophy to the tunnel and stay on the a-frame side of the jump to call him back to me and then wrap him around my body to give him a straighter entry to the a-frame. It worked really well for Trophy, i had to try twice with Pan since she's so much faster and less methodical than Trophy.

After the a-frame was our wild ride around all of the jumps in a big 'U' shape around the ring (15-20). It was insane, but other than losing Trophy up the dogwalk instead of having him follow me to the last jump, i actually managed to keep up with him. Pan was similar, but the tunnel under the dog walk sucked her in.

All in all it was a interesting challenge tonight, and i survived day 2 of running both dogs.

Now on to Demo's class and breathing lessons.

Last week it was suggested i try teaching him a nose target behavior to teach him a more independent stop into his 2o2o. So all week we worked on that, first teaching him to touch a lid, then longer touches, then off the couch into 2o2o with nose touches, then down the stairs into 2o2o with nose touches. (It worked REALLY well for him and he picked up it right away on both the dogwalk and the a-frame!)

We once again split up the class. We were on the dog walk first, twice on leash then once off leash to practice contacts. Then we worked on a mini sequence. Double jump to the table, then to the dog walk.

This is where i need to breathe.

Demo is so fullspeedahead!! it scares me and I'm super tense and i stop breathing when i get to the line with him. I really need to take a video of him next week so i can try to convey some of my terror. Trophy trots calmly down the dog walk, Pan sometimes trots, sometimes has a slow controlled lope down the dog walk.... Demo? Demo RUNS (flyball style) down the damn thing and it freaking scares me to death. He does slow down on the descent, and he is hitting and holding his contacts, but it makes me crazy nervous. One wrong footfall and he's flying off into the wall.

When we switched, we worked on the a-frame. 2 reps on leash, one off leash, then mini sequences. This time it was jump, a-frame, tunnel and then the reverse. He doesn't scare me nearly as much on the a-frame as he does on the dog walk.

Lastly we finished up with some handling over jumps, pinwheels and pinwheel into a front cross.


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