Last night Katrin's class focused on the game Gamblers (or Jackpot as it is known in CPE). Fun, fun, fun!
Because I am lazy, you can either visit Katrin's post for a description of the game Gamblers or scroll back and read this post about the trial at All Dogs Gym which explains Jackpot! Essentially, obstacles are worth a certain amount of points. Each level has to accrue a certain amount of points in the "opening." Novice must accrue 15 points in ASCA (NADAC no longer has Gamblers). Then the handler/dog team must complete the "closing" (a series of obstacles) with a distance challenge.
We started class by practicing the Closing sequence.
Yay for Ike and his MUCH more confident teeter performance. Woo-hoo. Our practicing this summer really paid off. He does not hesitate to take the teeter at a 4+ foot distance and in general he is doing the teeter a lot quicker. No more creeping up to the tip point. Yay!
The closing last night was jump, tunnel, teeter, jump. The distance challenge increased with each obstacle so that the final jump was at least 5 feet away (if not more?). Ike has a very funny thing he does - he thinks the tape is what he is jumping! He did this last year when we started practicing Chances. So strange! So I kept moving too far forward and then trying to get him to take the jump. To which Sir Ike would then repeatedly cross the tape. "Mum, I'm doing it. Isn't this what you want?"
Thinking about it last night at home what I should have done was gone and got his ball. If I was able to stop myself from moving and stayed near the base/end of the teeter I could have sent him to the jump after the ball, reinforcing what I want. Argh! Next time.
Then I ran the closing with Mr. Niche. Hah! I have a lot to get used to with a long strided dog. He took the dogwalk on me three times because that was the direction MY BODY was facing and I let him blow his contacts at least twice. Now I know why Katrin enforces a strict WAIT - otherwise you might just miss the entire contact area. Finally Katrin commented on my body position, I corrected it, and Niche gladly did jump, tunnel, teeter, jump. Fun stuff.
Then we did the Opening sequence. I completely forget what I had Ike do. Needless to say, I didn't REALLY have a plan. With NADAC because of the wide distances in the course, it is tough on a slow dog. I have learned in new situations to avoid the dog walk depending on Ike's mental state because he can be SLOW AS MOLASSES on it and eat up our precious seconds. I wanted to have him do the dog walk regardless for the practice regardless of the effect on our time.
Last night Ike accrued 26 points and I was super well positioned if we were actually going to complete the closing. I was right at the first jump. One thing that didn't come up last night is if you end the opening with the first obstacle of the closing in CPE you need to do that obstacle again. I assume it is the same with Gamblers?
Nancy (Remy's mum) had arrived and I asked her to hold Ike so I could run Niche. Very fun. He is so responsive. I was out of breath when I finished though. I am going to have to take up running for my next dog!
When I came back to get Ike he was sitting under the bench SHAKING. I am not clear why. I don't know if he was nervous about Nancy or about me running Niche. He was fine when I did the Closing sequence with Niche, I think. Katrin? I pretty much forced Ike to do the opening again just so he could shake the scaredy dog out of his system.
It is interesting, when Ike is scared he will still work for me, but is much slower. It makes sense. Of course, some dogs that were scared would start zooming or sniff and not work at all. So once more, yay Ike!
3 weeks ago