a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Another Bar Knocker

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another Bar Knocker

SUMMARY: Boost lays them flat.

We've been working on basic serpentines this week at home. Boost is getting a little better about not running past a jump when approaching from a drastic angle, but she is knocking knocking knocking bars.

In class today, I don't think she had a run where she didn't knock at least one, often 2 or 3 bars (at which point we'd stop and regroup and try again).

Our instructor (Jim this time) had me pace off 12 feet, then 10 feet, back from the first jump to put her into a sit-stay. Nancy (and others) have always said that, for ideal speed over the first obstacle, you want your dog to have two full strides before that first obstacle. I've always just put Boost as far back as I could, my theory being that that would give her time to get the feel of her stride. But she was knocking the first bar today, too. At 12 paced-off feet, Boost threw in a half-stride after two full strides. At 10 feet, she did 2 full strides and didn't knock the first bar.

Now I need to remember that in competition; pace off 10 feet pretty exactly and start her from there.

That doesn't solve the midcourse bar knocking. Some of that was me giving commands over the jumps, which is so frustrating because I thought I had that timing down after working with Tika, who is pretty danged fast around a course. But there's something different in their strides that throws me off with Boost somehow, or maybe I'm too worried about her pulling off the jump, which she still does a LOT because her commitment point is so late.

Well, this weekend at the ASCA trial with (in theory) fast, wide-open courses should be interesting. I'm looking forward to it more and more, in part because work is so stressful the last couple of weeks. Nothing terrible, just deadlines and too much to do.


  1. Sounds as if (even though you are stumbling and fumbling around quite a bit), you're coming along nicely with Boost's training of you.

    Boost is being VERY patient in breaking you of the bad habits you picked up while training Tika...

    tee hee

  2. Well, Boost trained me some more this weekend on the topic of spending more time with her on (a) entering tunnels from odd angles (b) entering weaves to her left (c) the same jump-refusal problem we've been having (d) bars bars bars!

  3. Now, see??? THIS is why Boost and I get along soooo well. I, too, have a tendency to knock one, two, and sometimes, three bars...

    There's a bar over at Stevens Creek and Woodhams that I would NEVER go into, and there's a seedy little place just behind the Westgate Mall that no GOOD woman would be seen at...

    What's that? OH...I'm sorry...wrong kind of "bar knocking"...