05 March 2012

BOGO day

I did 2 brief dogwalk sessions today with Strafe. I should note that we do zero jumping so there's less impact, I just send him around jump standards and then take off running. In the first session this morning we played with some stride regulator placements, and in the 2nd session this afternoon I left it in the same place for 10 reps with varying results. It's not a place I've used a regulator much in the past, but Strafe really wants to use a 4-stride pattern across the dogwalk so I'm attempting to break up the 4th stride to keep him in a rotary gallop down the ramp instead of doing a one-hit downramp which usually results in a missed contact at the trial (not at home). I actually did start to see some different striding as he thought about it during the 2nd session, so I will definitely give this some time to see if it works out for us. I haven't had a dog be super successful with a 4-stride pattern long-term. Drifter has done 5 strides almost all the time. But Strafe is bigger and longer...

Also, I pulled off the EO team for this year. Makes me sad, but I just don't think I can afford it. I am still tentatively planning to attend USDAA in Denver in September but I'm not 100% on that either - it may depend on how quickly my dogs qualify. Because I want to make sure Strafe qualifies for AKC Nationals and Tryouts, I will need to devote most of my trial weekends to that venue rather than USDAA, so if he doesn't get the required USDAA Tournament Q's out of the way quickly, I may just scratch that too. Belgium should be fun and will be enough "big event" for me for the year, if necessary.

If USDAA was inside, I would definitely be more interested in devoting time to qualifying. But it's not. So I'm not. Frost, dew, sun glare, and possible precipitation, after a 28 hour drive (or all day flight/car rental) is not really making me salivate with anticipation...

Today the dogs are mostly resting, Kiba and Strafe in their Back on Track coats. However, we did start our "Operation Better Jumping Kiba" conditioning program. She spent 3 minutes on the peanut, another 2 minutes on the large disc, and then we spent a bit of time doing some calm LM-style "static jumping" as I call it. (I sat on the couch and asked her to calmly lift back and forth over a leash strung up to form a chest-high jump). I want to work on those lift muscles and her ability to bend while doing it, as that should help us some with the bar knocking on front crosses and certain lateral sends. Tomorrow we are back to swimming in the morning, and I may start leaving Drifter home again in order to swim them a little longer - I am always afraid to go too long with him as it's very difficult to monitor his heart rate when he's swimming. Also, Drifter inhales half the pool and then pees for 6 hours afterwards....
I want to build them up to a full 20min swim, probably 10min, a 2min break, then 5min, break, 5min. The breaks help keep them from inhaling too much water at once and give them a chance to catch their breath. It's not really possible to pant while swimming, and the water is usually around 80F for therapeutic reasons.

Time to go walk the puppy!


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