Friday, August 22, 2008

5 Directions and Jump Class # 2

Yesterday was Bug’s second 5 Directions class. We worked on switch and tight. Bug is doing awesome!! When we had our first class, Bug was VERY leery of the orange cone Katrin has us practice with. I don’t know what he thought it would do to him!

This week he started out leery, but I clicked and treated him for touching the cone and fed him a bunch of cheeses off of it. Bug thinks cheese is THE answer. Phew. So first we practiced switch and tight alone. I need to practice the “corgi knee bend” – standing up straight when you have a wee short dog. I am getting better about remembering it, but most of the time I am hunched over. Bad Julie. Bug is making very nice turns, but he is not driving into the turn, so we need to work on that at home. Part of that is he still thinks the cones are weird!! He seems to do better with Tight versus Switch – as did Carmen. So I think *I* must be more comfortable with Tight. I must be giving off some subtle clue that I am much more confident about Tight versus Switch. I’ll have to think about this.

Then we did the gate, cone, gate exercise. Click here and scroll down to get a visual. ; D

Bug thought the Gates were odd at first. I had to remind him he thought that last week and that I had cheese. Ah, all better. So we did out, here, switch, get out. Bug’s Get Outs are GREAT!! He has lots of confidence and his little legs eat up the ground. Then we did the same exercise with Tight.

I am beyond happy with his performance yesterday. He was so happy and all about playing the game with me. This is a big change from his first class where he was definitely stressed. He can still be leery but he gets over it SO much faster.

Then it was on to Carmen’s Jump class. Katrin set up a nice fast course that has a serpentine in it and the first time I ran Carmen I totally thought I was running Ike. Ha! Compared to Ike, Carmen just blazes. And she has SOOOO much fun. She actually woo-woo’d at me a couple of times, a huge compliment, since that is how she expresses excitement!

I had a HUGE amount of difficulty getting my front crosses in with her because she is so fast and I do that funny double-step. At one point I “cheated” and did a blind cross when she was coming out of the tunnel. Later I intentionally did a blind cross there. At this point, I am not physically capable of getting that front cross in. Perhaps with practice and a knee brace, but at the moment…. Nope. With Ike I had plenty of time to do my funny double-step. Carmen is so much faster!

I mentioned to Katrin that Colleen had suggested I practice without dog. Apparently she had back surgery years ago and did a ton of practice “dry” to re-teach her body how to move correctly. I have been doing front crosses with my funny step for a long time, so it is going to take some concerted effort on my part to change it. And I am definitely going to have to change it!!

I had a BLAST running Carmen last night. She was so fast and obviously having SUCH a good time. She doesn’t get freaked out if I try new things! Amazing. I can’t believe the progress she has made in such a relatively short time.


Blue said...

Horray Bug and Carmen! That's awesome that Bug was doing better around the cone. It sounds like he's trusting you more about scary new things.

When I got Iris, someone told me that it usually takes 3 weeks for a dog to feel comfortable in a new house and 3 months to feel comfortable with a new person. Looking back, I think that was pretty accurate for Iris. You must be around 3 months with Bug, right?

Jules said...

4 months at the beginning of August - so roughly that sounds about right (and makes sense). The changes are amazing!