Thursday, March 13, 2008

ABC Class # 10 (sniffle, only 2 more!)

Hip-Hip-Hooray for Carmen!!

Last night was week 10 of the ABC class and Carmie is really coming along. I am SOOO proud of her.

Last night we worked on a jump chute (4 jumps spaced about 20’ apart with gates running alongside so the dog is not given the option of skipping the jumps), pinwheel (3 jumps at 90 degree angles to each other) with some distance, teeter followed by a jump, and the dogwalk.

At the beginning of the class while Katrin was explaining the night’s festivities, I practiced a lot of eye contact with Carmen. Carmie can get terrier-like and stare a bit much.

First we worked on teeter followed by a jump. Carmen drives up the teeter really nicely. Katrin suggested I better start working on my wait with her because she is such a fast little bugger (YAY!!). Katrin also told me to continue running after the jump. I was stopping pretty quickly after the jump and Katrin said that is a sure fire way to start dropping bars. So far Carmen has a very nice teeter performance and if I firm up her wait I think it will evolve really well.

While Makin (Vizsla) and Opal (GreyHound) were working on the teeter Carmen and I did the jump chute. Carmen flies, and I love it! She had no issues running the jump chute with me running and some distance. Yay, Carmen!!

Then I worked on some waits with Carmen. She doesn’t have the most solid understanding of wait (and she’s fast), so I thought it would be a good idea to work on it and reinforce it in the highly exciting environment of the barn. I did some waits and sent her over a jump and some waits while I walked away. She handled them very well, especially considering other dogs were practicing the jump chute and board nearby.

Working the pinwheel with Carmen was a revelation for me. This dog, who has had 9 one-hour classes of agility, has more distance and speed than Ike ever will. I actually had the pleasure of seeing Carmen almost go OUTSIDE the pinwheel on the second jump because I was running the invisible line pretty tightly and she correctly thought I wanted her out. She made the right decision and took the jump but she was also correctly reading my body language. Eeeek! So exciting, I can barely contain myself.

Last obstacle of the night we worked on was the dog walk. Carmen flew over it really nicely. I am VERY much going to have to work on our waits or she will be blowing contacts left and right. It will also give me an opportunity to catch up with her as I anticipate she will be leaving me in the dust by the time we are ready to start trialing.

I still can’t believe she took the dogwalk so easily. It took us about a month to get Ike to take the dog walk and that was with working a plank nightly at home. Different dogs are a blast!!

I thought our classmates all had a great class too. It seems we are all starting to gel with our dogs and develop nice working relationships and that is very exciting!


Diana said...

Yea Carmen, Yea Jules!!! Diana

John Heffernan said...

Sounds like a great practice!!!

Thanks for having a link to my Good Whippet blog too. I get a lot of visitors via your blog.

Turbo the Sibe said...

I like being on top the A frame because I like being at the highest point!

Katrin said...

As I've said, I would love it if I could manage to make ABC an 18wk course. But alas, have yet to figure out how to manage that one.

Blue said...

Wow, I can't believe we're almost done. Horray for everyone having a good class!