Thursday, August 31, 2006

Boost And I Not Really Ready

SUMMARY: In class today, hooboy lots of missteps.

After last week's class, I was feeling pretty good. But today's class had me waking up and smelling the coffee (and it just wasn't brewed enough). Boost's sister (Bette)'s mom (Mary) had a great analogy: Feels like we've got the verbs and nouns and adjectives, but no punctuation, no connecting words, no grammar. So we can do an A-frame, a teeter, some weaves, a couple of jumps, but putting them all together into a smooth sequence isn't there yet. We just don't do many large sequences in class, and I don't have room for it in my yard.

Boost did a full-height USDAA Aframe just fine; slower than at home, but none-the-less did it, and fairly fast, too. Did teeter good. Did dogwalk good although the first time up she did the is-this-a-teeter slowdown on the up ramp. Did a couple of good sets of weaves, a couple with misses. Knocked some bars. Didn't do so hot on lateral lead-outs or lead-out pivots, came around jumps or else didn't turn afterwards. I seem to have no way to turn my dog smoothly--she's still blasting across any two things in a straight line full speed and either I'm calling her over a bar so she knocks it (despite THINKING that I'm calling her earlier) or she's looking back at me but still blasting straight ahead.

And, dangit, it's not like we don't practice turns here at home. In fact, the problem is that that's ALL we practice, since I have no real space for straight-aheads, and that's one big problem for us.

Also I forget that she's an inexperienced babydog, so when I get ahead of her, say, on the approach to the dogwalk, she's as likely to run by it as to go up it.

She had nice start-line stays and a reasonable down on the table.

Not doing nose touches on the contacts, but that's because (as I think I've mentioned earlier) I've been slacking off on asking for that and focusing on fast and excited at the end. So today nancy emphasized that that nose touch is the thing you want to teach the dog to be driving excitedly for, not the opportunity to get a reward from you, so you can lose that drive if you lose the nose touch. Sure, most dogs lose it over time in competition, but this is too early in their career for them to really get it yet.

For homework, we're all supposed to work on our lateral lead-outs and get hoops to put over the A-frame up to get them to run through it rather than slamming onto it to avoid future doggie wrist damage.

So much to do--and her first competition is THIS WEEKEND!

(Huh--I just looked at what I posted a couple of days before Tika's first trial: tml Sound familiar? I can only hope that the results are as good.)

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