a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tika Runs at Placerville; Training Updates

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Tika Runs at Placerville; Training Updates

Tika's jumpers run was kinda fun this last weekend, and a little frustrating, too. She didn't stay at the start line--I was trying to lead out beyond the 2nd jump, and I was 5 steps away from my spot when someone yelled "she's up!" and I turned and there was a gray bolt of lightning aimed straight at me, sharp brown eyes focused on me. That's the first time *that's* happened. Back to practicing sit/stay/release combos...

I called her off of the wrong #3 obstacle but I was still in the wrong position and when I tried to turn her, she took the wrong obstacle after all for the big E. But at least it gave me a moment to get into position. ;-) Then we ran the rest of the course with only a couple of rough hitches. Got wild applause from the large crowd watching. She was definitely among the faster dogs, although this is USDAA so there were some great dogs, and most much smoother than our run, at least of the ones I saw. I loved the way she stayed focused on me, although we need to get some of that focus onto the next obstacle (that's still where our rough spots come--not carrying well to the next jump).

Her weaves are getting SOOOO good. She's the first of my dogs where I'll really have to *move* to keep up with her going through the weaves. I think she's actually slowed down some now that she's working independently all the time--I'm wondering whether I should jsut occasionally hold her tab lead while she goes through to keep up her confidence. Hmm. I've been working on getting her to get the weave entrance after going full speed over a couple of preceding obstacles and from different angles. Getting better all the time...

Tika got the idea about staying on the table very quickly; now I need to combine the down with the jumping onto the table, and I think we'll have a pretty good table pretty quickly. IF I practice, that is--

Still a lonnnng way to go on contacts. I'm just not really practicing them much. I just don't see now how I'm ever going to get a novice title on her by Feb. 15. There aren't any competitions in December or January, even assuming we're ready by then! And the way Rem & Jake went this weekend (this is the 3rd agility event in just over a year where I've pulled jake because of a minor injury), I don't know whether it's practical to expect to do them at Camp again. Arrrrrgh

But she's going to be SUCH a blast to run! Fred Brattain was quite excited about seeing her run, for what that's worth.

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