Sunday, January 25, 2009

Group practice: gambles

At today's group practice we set up a few gambles from a previous Nationals. After spending much of last year's practice time working on distance stuff, Walter's at a point now where I no longer panic upon seeing every single gamble course map. He now has a nice little (though not complete) repertoire of skills that come in useful for distance.

The first gamble was a series of jumps, basically a two-jump go, then come back over a couple of angled jumps. I don't have the course map for it. Anyway, it went well.

In the other part of the building was a teeter and jump, set up for additional practice opportunities. First we did a go-teeter / here-jump, which went fine. Then I tried a go-jump / here-teeter, which went not so fine. What was I thinking. Poor Walter hasn't been taught to independently find and take a straight approach to the contacts, so he stepped on the teeter from an angle, slipped up his footing, and got a scare. Accompanied him to the teeter a few times and he seemed to be ok.

Then we worked on the main gamble (1-2-3-4) from the 2008 Nationals. Walter surprised me by taking the correct tunnel entrance every time, but I think it's because he's a big dog and by the time he landed from the jump, he never even saw the wrong tunnel entrance. What I was REALLY happy to see is that he read my push/"get out" from 2 to 3 really well. Previously he didn't really respond to that kind of thing.

Finally we worked on the other main gamble (1-2-3-4-5) from the 2008 Nationals, but replaced the frame with the teeter and space didn't allow for the #5 jump. Walter did this one at a practice last summer so it wasn't completely new to us. Anyway, he read the turn away from 2 to 3 well, but refused the teeter by running past it with a worried look on his face. After accompanying him for a few passes on the teeter, he felt better about it and did a good job with the gamble.


Nat said...

Sounds great! And you've been tagged! See my blog for details :)

luisa said...

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Elf said...

Getting the gamble because the dog carries out so far is something that many handlers forget. You really have to walk the course in the dog's path many times to get a really good idea of where the dog is looking before & after an obstacle, where they're landing, and so on. That's sometimes what makes a "big dog gamble" vs a "small dog gamble". Anyway, sounding good!