a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Boostie Stuff

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Boostie Stuff

The puppy baby is coming along nicely, but I'm having to relearn all over again how to work with a fast dog who's doesn't yet have the experience that Tika now has of how to work with a handler at full speed. She seems not to have a low speed, which is wonderful. She flies across jumps flat out and hits the ground running. I don't see any sign of hesitation in her jumping, which I'm hoping that my early work with Susan Salo-type jump drills helped forestall. It's frustrating to see a really fast dog, even Border Collies, have the tiniest hitch in their steps before each jump. You wonder how they'd be doing if they didn't have that hesitation.

We actually managed some serpentines successfully one day last week. This week I'm not managing it at all, so I'm backing way up to having very angled jumps.

What I found particularly intriguing was doing the same exercises with Tika: She consistently knocked the middle bar (I think) of the angled "baby serpentine" setup, over and over. I already knew from classes with Rachel that there's a certain jumping distance that falls into her can't-manage zone; I think Rachel paced it off at about 18 feet but this was much less than that. And even more interesting was that, if I straightened the jumps out into a regular serpentine (not angled to make the approaches easier), she tended to NOT knock the bar. More data to work on.

Boost's weaves are getting to be lovely but in class last week she missed the entry a couple of times and skipped poles a couple of times. Just more practice, more more more. And they're getting smoother and smoother. For quite a while she's looked as if she's rather jerking herself around the poles, not quite getting the flow, although she certainly jerks quickly!

Have been working on a very lowered teeter to run to a 2on-2 off position, barely using a target which is bad of me I know but she seems to want to do it. Hope I don't pay later. Have been working on target nose touches, too, but simultaneously. Huh, go to all those seminars and lectures and agility camps and classes and take careful notes and then go do something else anyway. Cuz I'm lazy.

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