Monday, November 28, 2011

Training break

Haven't been working on much lately except game play with the puppers, namely Frisbee. Today, we had retrieve and tug in the front yard for two sessions of 5-10 throws! That's pretty good for a dog with not a lot of retrieving drive. Baby steps.

Griff and I have a trial this weekend. We'll see. I'm sure Jackpot will be a frustration due to our lack of distance skills, and we usually crap out in colors, but we'll see if we can't get at least a few Qs.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Agility league part two, puppy class, and a bit on other stuff.

Been taking the Aussies on some urban forest hikes lately. Usually, we see 2-3 people and maybe one other dog, so it's a great chance to practice recalls and check ins while getting a little exercise for the human, and a lot of running for the dogs. I love the trails this time of year, while the leaves fall silently it's like an autumnal snow storm, but not so cold.

Zig had his third 2x2 seminar, and he is now weaving six poles reliably from both sides, including before and after a jump and with a send to the jump and poles from some distance. He also, accidentally on my part, did 12 poles twice yesterday at the barn. I did not plan to try him out since the barn and the poles are brand new to him, but he sent himself and did all 12 perfectly. You can bet he got a jackpot for that! His contacts are taking some work, because his speed is great, but he almost can't slow enough to hit two on two off. I am torn, because I don't want to slow him down in general, but he needs to hit those contacts. I don't want to do running contacts with him. I think he'll need the pause (or I will, so I can catch up!) We need to add some jump grids into our training, and slowly begin working more sequencing. Right now, I don't ask him to do more than 3-4 obstacles at a time, one sometimes if it's a difficult skill. But he's coming along. God, I wish I had my own barn/field/lawn and equipment!

Griff continues to give me trouble with distance work. Like, he has none. We've subbed for league twice, and both times, it's been a distance (fast, jackpot) style game. He just doesn't get distance work. I am so frustrated, because we never ever address it in class, and I've never trained it, so I don't know how to teach him. I slowed him down and made him too dependent on me, and it is seriously biting me in the ass. I think the best option is to find an instructor who can do some private sessions with us and show us how to train it effectively. And preferably one who doesn't pigeon hole us because he's not USDAA/AKC titled and we'll probably never get there.

Class has been frustrating because although we've worked with the same trainer for years, she consistently underestimates us and doesn't give us the opportunity to learn better skills. Yes, my timing on front crosses will often be poor, I struggle with them. But I've taught him a lot, we've worked hard, and if vet school didn't get in the way, and now my crappy work schedule, we'd be a lot further along in our titles. He's a good little worker, and I really want to become a better handler, and I feel like we are constantly being belittled and not helped to get to the next level. Sooo, I hope to find someone who can work with us one on one and give us some new skills, or at least some exercises to work on.

Too much to ask?