a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Addendums

Monday, July 16, 2012


SUMMARY: Stretching, more results, Grand Prix challenge

Stretching: For years, first thing in the morning when I'm in the bathroom doing my morning ablutions, I've rewarded the dogs for stretching and attempted to put names to it--"Stretch" for stretching out the front, "Other legs" for stretching out the back. Tika always leaves the room to stretch out her back legs just out of my sight, so I haven't been able to reward that for her. I started this after a Susan Garrett seminar back when Boost was a puppy, I think.

They don't always understand it when out of context--and, really, they're not particularly useful commands when they'll already do it in that particular location on their own, which is why it's a good place to shape the behavior. Therefore, recently I've been trying the commands in other locations, such as at the last two agility trials. Yesterday I opened Boost's crate, said "Stretch," which she did nicely out through the crate door; then I said "Other legs," and she did! (She doesn't typically stretch when coming out of the crate, so this was clearly progress.) We apparently impressed a nearby friend whom I didn't know was there.

Friday Snooker:
I just now looked at the results--despite having only 24 points (you need at least 37 to Q), Tika placed 2nd of 6 dogs for 3 Top Ten points! How funny is that?! Apparently everyone was having some trouble with that Snooker course.

Grand Prix: Sunday's Grand Prix offered a huge challenge in the final box that the dogs had to get through (formed by 17, 18, Aframe, and 5). It was so tempting for the dog to go across adjacent sides (17 to 5), but I thought that if I was far enough ahead and yelling, they'd come with me. Worked for Tika, didn't work for Boost. Even if you got the front cross in there, dogs would knock bars or take the wrong jump anyway.

It was about a 20% Q rate, which isn't the worst I've ever seen, but sure not the best. Thought it would be worth posting.

Here's a video of a nonqualifying but really nice, fast run (Fireball Pryse) with a front cross and a bar down there.

P.S. Watch the weave entry--that's the one that Boost ran past on the far side because it was apparently too difficult for her to make that entry. Reallllllyyyy?!

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