Sunday, May 25, 2008

Practice (KK9); teeter and dogwalk

Meant to do some good work on outs, but instead ended up focusing more on improving teeter and dogwalk independence.

For the teeter, I can send him from a few meters behind it. He checks in with me around the tipping point, but I say nothing and stand in place with my arm up to support him, and he continues to 2o2o all by his lonesome.

For the dogwalk, working on veering off laterally and hanging back a bit. Like the teeter, he checks in with me a few times, but with an arm to support him he goes to 2o2o.

Should do some work to get his 2o2o straight at the end of the boards since if I'm hanging back he's crabbing around and risks not being in the yellow.

Neither is exactly a blazingly fast performance -- ok, it's slow as molasses actually -- nor independent as such, but it is an improvement and gives me a bit more confidence for entering gamblers this summer. He's registered for his first three MG classes this summer! Should be fun since I haven't entered a dog in any Gamblers class since last September. Still got to get those darn Outs under our belt though!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Out, out damn Spot!

(no I was not yelling and swearing at Walter to get out. just couldn't resist that post title :-D)

First time at KK9 for the season. Worked on "out obstacle". A useful setup was to put a non-takeable obstacle as the obstacle to go out around. E.g. the wrong end of the teeter, or the dogwalk with the entrance ramp blocked. Got the feeling that maybe, just maybe he's starting to catch on? But I wouldn't bet on it just yet. Also practiced for the first time a bit of layering with obstacles on the other side of the dogwalk: did curved tunnel to jump and tire. That went pretty well.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Obstacle names / layering / out

Did some work on verbal discriminations with a tunnel and jump side by side, either sending him ahead or recalling. Started with tunnel closed down, clicking for the "over". All went haywire when the tunnel was opened; clearly this sort of thing needs lots more work.

Then did a little sequence layering the teeter behind a turned-down tunnel. He kept just running along the far side of the tunnel. After some patterning he was getting the hang of it but wow do we ever need to do a lot of work on layering/out/discriminations. (no surprise.) It will be fun to work on and I look forward to the day he starts to get it!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dream Fields trial: new title but not much else!

Today's first class was at about 8am and the last one was at about 6pm so it was a bit of a long day!

First was Steeplechase. It was a nice, doable course except that Walter couldn't do the right weave entry on the second pass of the 6-weaves. Oh well. Plus he knocked a bar later on which I think was due to a really badly timed front cross.

Second, Jumpers. We were so not in sync and he got an offcourse as well as a few almost-offcourses. I had led out on him and he doesn't much like that so maybe it was his revenge! (or, more likely maybe I was just doing a really lousy job of handling!)

Snooker went alright, not the smoothest run ever although he stuck his teeter really well each of the three times. Did the teeter twice and a tunnel in the opening; in the closing he remembered how to weave (it was only 6-weaves) so he got his third Masters Snooker Q and therefore his first Masters title: the Special Masters Snooker Dog of Canada title (SMSDC). It will be soooo nice to have the pressure off now for future Snookers! (For any readers not familiar with AAC, all you need are three Masters Qs in each of the main events to get your big ATCH title.)

Walter's first try at Masters Team: The ideal team run, where both partners either go clean or goof up. In this case, we both goofed up. :-) Walter skipped a pole halfway through the 12-weaves and I didn't bother having him redo them because just the fact that he wasn't in Weaveless Walter mode was a good thing. He stuck his teeter and dogwalk very well.

Walter's first try at Masters Standard: Not a great run. It was a very doable course, but again Walter skipped a pole in the middle (and again, I didn't bother to fix it), then he almost got an offcourse at a chute/teeter trap, then he missed the tire. Oh and he did 2o2o on the dogwalk but self-released so we redid it and went into training mode.

All in all he was in a pretty slow mode today, even for the first run of the day, but overall he was a good boy, and I try to remind myself that any injury-free trial is a good trial in my books!