25 August 2009

Practicing with the Team-a primer.

Maybe you've been thinking, Gee. I wish I could be just like Laura and Team Small Dog.

OK. Maybe you haven't been thinking that. But you wish that your small dogs could be as super cool as mine.

OK. Probably you haven't been thinking that either. I know. Your dogs are cooler and better trained. But you're here. I dunno why, but you're here again today, and today we're going to show you what we practiced yesterday so you can practice it tomorrow. Or next week. Or not ever. But if you do, let me know how it goes. Or went. If you did. Unless you don't.

Why does that keep happening?

Anyways. Dog show season is upon us. We have USDAA this week, the next week, then some more in September. I'm trying to look at it with no expectations these days. No pressure. Who cares about that stupid 3 gamblers Q's for Otterpop's ADCh last stupid Super Q only person I know without an ADCh. No pressure.

For real no pressure for Gustavo. He'll be making a triumphant return back to the show ring and it goes how it goes. I can say with confidence he's been smashingly super every single time he's practiced and is running like a champ. I can also say with confidence I forgot to pay my car registration and got a big fine. And that I love quesadillas from Tacos Morenos. All which prove, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Anyone could forget to register their cars every single year. Hola Officer! Nothing proven there.

And no pressure for Ruby. Because she's not running. It will be a little sad this year at Regionals, last year having Otterpop and Ruby in all the finals together was super fun. This year, she gets to just nap. It's a new era, an era where I'm sure Ruby is kicking back in her crate, having that nap, thinking, damn, we stopping at Tacos Morenos on the way home?

So in preparation for all that no pressure, we practice hard. Every week. I am actually pretty structured how I practice. And organized. Not lying. Am NOT! Where I fail in registering cars and perhaps paying other strategic bills, and perhaps simple tasks such as picking up around the house, I succeed in organizing agility training. I have some ideas, see what has been set up where I practice, and go from there.

On Monday, we worked on 6 different things. See schematic diagrams below.

1. Hard leadouts to tunnel/dogwalk discriminations.

2. A-frame to pinwheel with variable handling methods to find speediest one

3. Bad dogs do not just escape from the xpen whenever they want and have to practice crate games because Gustavo's name is not Otterpop and is not Ruby and dogs are supposed to wait for their names and not just blast out of xpen door when someone else's name is called because they are a very bad dog.

4. Running a super fun whole course!

5. Really fast tables without sliding off EVAH or leaving table to climb underneath in the shade if I am doing a far leadout far away, Gustavo.

6. Far away sending to closed tunnel and hard weavepole entrance drill

7. Dogwalk to a right tunnel practice.

6 things the same, but practiced different for everybody. Here is the part where any non dog agility friends that are still with us, now check out. Um, I know. You thought you were maybe getting stories about nutty ladies at the horse show. My neighbor or possibly your relative causing flames to come out of her truck engine. Tacos. Tattoos. Tummy tucks. But in case we go down with a spectacular CRASH this Sunday at dog agility, let the record show. I may not be able to pay bills on time, but my dogs are well practiced!

1. For instance, I have 3 dogs, each with a different dogwalk contact. Ruby has running, Otterpop has a laydown off the bottom and Gustavo has a 2o2o. Ruby's running dogwalk contact is one of my proudest achievements in all of our dog agility career. We keep it tuned up. Otterpop's dogwalk can suck, usually because JUDGES come near her on it so we keep it tuned up. Gustavo has not missed a contact yet, but has learned the joy of self release off the bottom and we hold his 2o2o every single time with lots of weird lead outs off of it in practice.

2. That a-frame pinwheel business, want Gustavo to not do his mysterious show ring runarounds at the a-frame so he has to see it with me in any possible position, which means he has to handle a pinwheel from lots of places too. Ruby gets 1-2 a-frames only per practice. Otterpop needs to keep her a-frame fast and no dawdling up there.

3. Um, number three is just sloppy dog training but can be fixed with the fun game called everybody released to the frisbee then has to run back in the xpen before frisbee again and waits til your name is called or NOBODY gets to run after the frisbee. Ruby has never sinned from this but those mayhem dogs can get sloppy then we have to do this tuneup but it's a very fun tuneup.

4. Everyone gets to run a course because that's just fun. I run it a little different with every single dog. Ruby and Otterpop usually help me test drive it for how I want to handle it with Gustavo.

5. Ruby and Gustavo both sometimes hit tables too fast and slide off. Otterpop can get manic and pop up her elbows before her count finishes. Somewhere Gustavo picked up this comedy routine called get under the table and lay down there. He also does it when it's really hot. I thought about this and decided we needed to practice some tables. Those blasted tables.

6. None of my dogs are great at chutes. Probably because we rarely practice them, but now we see one at Forest Agility so we practice it every single time we go up there. So we worked on sending to it, rewarding, a bunch of times, then tightening up a hard weave entrance when they come out of the chute fabric. It still amazes me somewhat that Gustavo has been hitting every single pole entrance. Amazement!

7. That turn to a tunnel after the dogwalk. Oh boy. I have never taught any of the dogs a right or left. They all have a Turn, which is a turn away from me. Gustavo is weak at this and he needs to practice it more often. Anything involving a tight turn, we need a lot of work on. Otterpop and Ruby practice it at far away distances.

1 comment:

vici whisner said...

I totally understand forgetting to pay bills yet being able to have structured agility practices!

Looking forward to cheering for you guys on Sunday!

Remember, no stress, fun...fun...fun!