03 August 2011

Had a fun training session with my friend Dudley Fontaine on Sunday. she came up to see Ria and get a GP Q at a trial nearby, and stopped on the way back to train and see our new place. It was a lot of fun to work through a super challenging course - of course I deliberately made a very difficult weave entry that I knew I would have trouble doing with Kiba, but the rest of the course was no cake walk either. We were both sweaty and out of breath after working multiple dogs through it! Kiba actually looked great at 20". I don't think I'll be putting her back up to 22" in USDAA, ever, because that extra 2" makes a difference, and is just a bit too much for her. I think that 20" or so is about the limit of what she can comfortably do. I do believe that the 525mm 20.6" jump height should be fine though. She is running at 20" in a few AKC trials coming up in August against a fairly large selection of dogs, so it will be fun to see how she stacks up as far as placements on good runs. She is a wee little thing, after all. But she's got some ground speed!

Strafe continues to do VERY well. He just "gets" things right away. I can't believe he's not even 11 months yet. He will jump anything in front of him - I've tossed him over a few jumps at 20", 22" or even 24" just to see what he did with it, and he just popped over them like it was no big deal. Mostly we jump 12" and work on handling exercises, or practice our dogwalk and basic see-saw behaviors. (run up and lie down, not doing it full speed unassisted yet!). We've done the first step of my variation on 2by2's as well, but I am not going to progress much until he's over a year old. Traditionally my dogs have learned 2by2 weaves very quickly, so I don't want to train them too much or it will be tempting to go too fast. He is still a puppy, so he has 4 pretty open poles, just to teach him the concept of "go through the poles".

Seri is doing OK. I decided I would do a little bit of agility training with her at home to keep her behaviors sharp. She is less reckless at home, although still pretty bad. I am not doing weaves for a while, and only doing aframes in the context of trying to train her not to slam into them at full speed. So we are working on recalling to me standing in front of hte frame to get her to shift her weight back into a sit, then go up it. And we are also working on the aframe with a stride regulator on the 2nd slat from the ground on the upside to get her to back off a little and shift her weight before going up. Unlike most all aframe slamming dogs, Seri's problem is NOT taking off early. Seri's problem is not taking off at all. She doesn't shift her weight back and just runs full speed into the frame, allowing her front end (and sometimes her face) to take the impact before climbing upwards. I am worried that no matter what I do at home, she may never learn to be cautious at trials without me babysitting the upside. We'll see, I guess.

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