Last night both classes were set up similar to a NADAC Chances course. Distance challenges!! Hooray! Distance is something I am desperate to work more on with Carmen.
As you can see (Thanks, Katrin!), the course started with jump, dog walk. Carmie couldn’t see the dog walk at first due to the black contact. She took the space between the dogwalk and the tunnel a couple of times. Once she realized, she was fine and in fact took the dogwalk without instruction a couple of times.
The first distance challenge involved a pinwheel after the dog walk. I frequently “ride the line” instead creating an invisible line that would actually be useful to my dog. Carmen had a lot of trouble with this exercise. I am not sure what the distance was, but it was outside her comfort level. It was also in a corner – not sure if it was harder for her to see? Regardless Katrin and I talked about what I need to do in order to help set her up to succeed.
I am going through a very frustrating period of knowing what I am doing wrong – I can literally feel it as soon as I do it – but not being able to do it correctly. This is a ton better than before. Before when Katrin would ask if I knew what happened and I would guess or not have any clue. Even when she told me half the time I hadn’t felt it/realized my body did that! So, this is progress.
After the pinwheel I tried to stick a f/c bewteen 5 & 6 when I should have waited and done a r/c at the tunnel. This is a problem I have. I try to do f/c ALL the time. Ike isn’t even slow anymore and I am doing this! I essentially cut off my flying little s/p schnauzer and am lucky I didn’t fall on my @ss. Needless to say I went with the r/c before the tunnel the rest of the night.
From the tunnel we went into a distance challenge on the weaves – which we didn’t really follow the line for. And then onto a bi-directional tunnel that allowed for the opportunity of layering a jump. Carmen actually surprised me by not taking the call off jump. She didn’t get the jump she was supposed to take, but had quite some distance. We’ll get there eventually with practice.
She was much perkier than she has been the past two classes (where she was accidentally fed dinner beforehand), but she did seem to run out of steam at the end. She didn’t have the umph! she had earlier. Maybe the cold was getting to her? Not sure. Maybe it was in my head!
I am 88% decided that after the trial this weekend we are going to stick to training and skip trialing until March-April. I think she needs a breather. I am not too crazy about the indoor venues I have been to that host most of the trials locally anyway. 88% sure....
Ike’s class was a blast. He has such joi de vivre now! Amazing. He had some trouble with the distance challenges but not really THAT much – and in a different sort of way than Carmie. In the pinwheel he was able to successfully navigate – it was just U-G-L-Y! He kept reorienting to me for info. He would take the jump and re-orient to me. Obviously I wasn’t giving him enough info, fluidly enough! I did manage to stay on the “right” side of the line though. And he was super happy about the entire thing. No stressing with the repetition.
In the weaves he kept skipping the first pole, my fault. But gods was he trying. This was from the line! Yay, Ike! He did seem like he was starting to stress, so I moved in a helped him out. He handled the last portion of the course very nicely as well. First run he did the same things as Carmen - running between the jumps. The second time he nailed it. I also remembered to cue "Out" verbally which I think Ike actually has an understanding of (must remember that!).
Very fun classes. I think everyone did an excellent job with the distance challenges - and they really are challenges!
2 weeks ago