18 June 2008

Get out all your weapons and you can build this course too.

All right. We have been really and truly practicing again. Like organized, sequence setting, thinking about, practicing. Actual Planning! With something for everyone, and trying to leave Timmy earlier in the morning so I'm not freaking out about how late I'm going to be to work. Because the dog shows are coming! Crack of dawn everyone. Sort of. Not really. Early enough!

OK. This one. Every time I start muttering about what am I doing training a squirrel to do agility, he makes some kind of breakthrough and he did that this week. I'm not showing you. I can't take pictures and run him is what I'm learning. Like not even a second can I lose focus to go fiddle with a camera button. I know. You thought my reality tv production crew takes these stunning photos. Is just me and my dad's camera and my greasy fingers, my friends. Plus, he didn't do these grown up dog sequences. Although he did little parts of them. He is still on the little yellow bus doing his own special poles with channels open at the entrances/exits, and a lower a-frame, and a lower teeter and the dogwalk with targets out.

And sometimes running around big black buckets because he likes that and considers running around a bucket an agility obstacle. When someday the gamble includes trash cans or buckets out there a million miles from the tape line, he's my main man. But I gotta tell you, his little sequences are getting confident and coming together and as they get more consistent, SO FAST, and I am glad I'm taking it so slow because I see these glimmers of greatness in him. Before he dashes in that tunnel again. Or goes looking for a hole in the fence. His training mantra is Repeat, Rinse, Repeat.

So here's an exercise you might like. My course map maybe not really to scale. Who's ever seen a bullet bigger than the gun? Make a figure 8 with some jumps off on one side, poles down the middle, and a dogwalk to jumps and a chute barrel off the other side. So there are a gazillion ways to come into the middle pole section off the jumps part, and you can change up your turns to the dogwalk each time. Like I would go Gun-Knife-Bullet-Poles-Dogwalk-Cup-Knife-Bullet-Knife-Poles again. Or you go in reverse order. Or Gustavo can do it without the Grown Up Poles but still do all the knives and bullets and the gun.

So you could front cross between the bullet and the poles, which was Ruby's preferable way for me in there. She likes me to RACE her through those poles. So I try to beat her. She's actually been looking pretty good, and now I sort of wish I had decided to do a DAM team with her in July. But I think she doesn't need long days of a lot of runs. So I'm just going to keep her workload light and see if she holds up.

Sometimes just let her wrap the bullet and either rear cross the poles to dogwalk, or just handle them on the left and rear cross the dogwalk. A lot of ways to get onto that dogwalk and work on those contacts which are looking smashing! Making actual concerted effort to place delicate little dog paws on that yellow paint.

Otterpop hates that front cross to the poles. So picky. She likes me far away from her going into the poles. Needs her privacy. Which is fine when she's super speedy and practicing, but not so fine at a trial and she's slower. Problem being, I can't get her to practice slow. She attacks poles with a vigor that I believe she would like to try out on cattle. You can't see but there are actual cattle off camera here, across a couple fences. Boy does she give them the stink eye. A new thing to watch on the new field. They don't notice her, tiniest cattle type chihuahua in town. They seem to sleep a lot.

She prefers I hang back and let her into the poles from way back and rear cross or stay on that side and rear cross her dogwalk. Ruby hates that. Otterpop loves that. I have been trying to teach Gustavo every possible way I can think of to get him in the poles so he is not so damn picky as these two.

So typical of Otterpop. Just likes to do it her own damn way. Of course wants me to be around desperately, but always gotta look like she's the one running the show.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The violence is inherent in the [handling] system!