a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Boost's Training

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Boost's Training

SUMMARY: Just a few notes on Boost issues for the week.

From our semiprivate lesson with Nancy this weekend:
  • I can face a jump straight on towards its side (so that, drawing a line from one side of the jump to the other and extending it, that's where I'm standing), and with Boost at my side, I can back off to 20 feet or more from the jump, say "go on" with just my arm & leg moving forward on that side, and she'll go out and jump the jump. But at some point when she's on my left side, she starts crossing before the jump and taking it from the right. Odd.

  • I can face a jump right at its center (as if I'm going to run forward and go over it) and toss a toy and send Boost over the jump to get the toy, immediately sliding to the side beyond the jump (so if she's on my left side, I send her and slide right). But no matter where we start or where I toss the toy or how quickly or far I slide, she almost always turns to her left! Go figure!

  • If I try to get ahead of her in the weaves, she pops the last 2 poles. Dang, I keep thinking we've fixed this. I mean, 6 months ago I was racing ahead and doing front crosses. Back to the drawing board. Our assignment for this week is to be able to run alongside her; in our lesson, I had to stay a step behind her shoulder to keep her from popping at the end. But all her entrances were nice!

  • I need to shut up more and rely more on precise body language. Funny thing, that; seems people have been telling me that for 12 years. You'd think they'd learn!


  1. I am going to throw this out there just for the possibility that it might be relevant...

    #1 practice item. I am reading this like it is a lateral send. I hope that is correct. And Boost does okay when you do it with dog on right, but not dog on left. When she is on your left, she starts to cross to the right and then sees the jump and takes it.

    Put the toy out beyond the jump in the middle and start closer alternating sides everytime until she starts to go straight to the jump and then take a step back. Also, consider taking a step diagonally toward the jump when you send her to give her more directional information.

    #2 I think you will have better results with this if Boost is directly in the middle of the jump and not you. Since you are in the middle of the jump and she is on your left, you are only giving her the left 1/3 of the jump to take and it is easier for her to turn left off the jump than right. I would start so you opposite the standard and then you can work on crowding her. She's responding to your initial pressure on the jump since she has so little room.

    All this of course is simply speculation since I can't see what is going on. But it just some thoughts that might help.


  2. I've posted diagrams in today's post. Sunday was mostly an experiment to see how far we could go with all the various types of sends. These were the ones that surprised me. I'll go back and work on them, finding the point where it stops working the way I want it and starts being odd, and work from there. Thanks for the notes.


  3. The diagrams really helped. I think you are right that it might be her preference to turn one way. So the thing to think about is to teach her to be comfortable turning the other way. The best advice I've ever had in that regard is a traffic cone and get her turning, comfortable around it in either direction, digging in for the turn.