Saturday, February 2, 2008

Stage One Distance Workshop with Jane Newman-Ralph

Jane is a 65 year old woman based out of Kingston, Ontario or thereabouts who runs agility with a very fast border collie and relies extensively on working at a distance. While I like the running part of agility, it never hurts to have some nice distance skills, so I signed up for a working spot with Lucy. I chose Lucy over Walter to accompany me for this workshop because the prerequisite is a dog with a good start-line stay, which Walter most certainly does not have.

I must say, it was an excellent workshop. It was limited to six working spots, and we sure got our money's worth since everyone was working practically the whole time. I really liked how the exercises were broken down into their most basic components, and we had lots of time to work through each one. A really nice feature was that we received an extensive handout including all of the layouts and exercises we had worked on plus more, so no need to try to work your dog and take notes at the same time.

Tried a new toy today: a food tube! Actually it's a Viewtainer, available from your local hardware supply store. It was a great tool, being easy to throw accurately and, being fabric-free, it didn't get all grungy from the dirt floor. The down side is it broke after two hours of Lucy pouncing on it in subzero temperatures, but at $3.67 I think I can afford another.

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