Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dogz fun match

Lucy's first fun match at this great venue since last spring because last year most of the dates coincided with K9 Kup.

There were a few attention lapses and sniffy moments, one of which was rewarded by her finding a treat on the ground - d'oh! Her sniffy moments felt like ages at the time but actually they were pretty short. Ah, the benefit of video. Thanks again L.L.!

An unfortunate moment in her second Standard run of the day where she stung her toes on the second jump which was right before the a-frame. By the time I heard her crying, she was already on the frame. She was fine after a few seconds, but sheesh, this is not exactly the kind of thing we need given the a-frame issues we've been working through. Oh well, not the end of the world.

She had no weaves to speak of today. She kept flying past the first six poles. This is something Walter sometimes does, but out of character for Lucy. When I switched to offside she did a lot better but popped. Actually come to think of it, she hasn't practiced weaves lately since the ones at our practice field are all wonky.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun match!

Today's fun match at Red Gate was Lucy's first agility event since last September, and her first fun match since way too long (July).

For the most part I broke the runs down into segments with lots of food rewards.

I couldn't have asked for more: She was focused and engaged and stuck all of her contacts, including an a-frame which she naughtily snuck over and did when we were supposed to run past it since we're not done with the re-train yet. Still I'll happily take that over her refusing the frame which she started doing last year in conjunction with our a-frame criteria chaos.

A few off courses where I had failed to provide her with a road map, but it was no big deal and she got a treat for being so innovative. Weaves were good, just one last-pole pop which I didn't bother fixing. She wasn't particularly fast today, but looked pretty happy.

We did just three of the four runs since she had done so well and I didn't want to push it.

Rather than bore you with the full runs on video, I'll just bore you with this compressed version:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Club practice

At tonight's club practice we ran one of the Standards from the 2006 Nationals. Broke it into chunks for Ms. Starters Lucy, and didn't do the frame since it was at full height. She seemed happy. Several off-courses at a couple of tricky spots, but only one brief episode of running off. Good dog!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A-frame practice #2

Quick practice today, second session back on the a-frame:
- first time asking for a full a-frame since last fall. not yet at full height - currently on link 25. happy 2o2o. threw in a few short sequences: tunnel to frame, frame to tunnel. (tunnel in front of a-frame, not snaked underneath)
- practiced some lead-out pushes. how nice to have a dog who calmly holds a sit-stay.
- tried some rear crosses but she wasn't driving ahead so it was awkward. need a new viewtainer as our old one broke today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The verdict is in

2o2o it is for Lucy's a-frame retrain which officially began today!

After much thought and flip-flopping, I decided on 2o2o because Lucy adores knowing exactly what her job is and I'm just not convinced that our main alternative, the a-frame box method, would be as clear for her. And, it should require many fewer reps since she already knows the behaviour from the dogwalk and teeter, so the down side of it maybe being more uncomfortable to perform than a running contact is countered by the up side of not having to do a lot of frames. Lucy will be in specials from now on, so the frame will be lower which should hopefully make 2o2o more comfortable.

Today was Day 1 of the retrain. We started by putting the table next to the dogwalk and having her hop onto the table then go down the ramp into 2o2o since she already knows 2o2o on that obstacle though we never did this table backchain thing before. Then we did the same thing with the table next to the a-frame. She does it in Princess Mode, certainly not diving into 2o2o with any speed but then I don't think I want her charging down into position due to the physical aspect of it, so basically, whatever speed she chooses is fine by me, like Walter on the dogwalk. She seemed happy enough doing this today, though not overjoyed. Too bad due to her allergy diet she still can't have any treats, but I tried to make up for it with jackpots.

We also worked on rear crosses (one of our weak spots for sure) at the teeter and jumps. She surprised me by reading them pretty well!