That was my handling style last night in class. Not sure why. The course was not particularly difficult but I handled it terribly with both dogs. My biggest issue appeared to be consistency and just forgetting what I planned on doing and then trying to cross too late or forcing an ugly rear cross. As far as reasons why this might be – I woke up feeling really sick – so maybe I am coming down with something!
Seriously though, I am trying to adjust to running two fast(ish) dogs and it appears my adjustment period will be lengthy. I love having a fast and happy Ike but boy does it make my head spin!
We practiced a tunnel, jump, wrap, dogwalk combo that was really fun. We don’t do a lot of wraps and it took me a minute and some coaching to understand how to make Ike turn faster. The sooner I start my f/c, i.e. the further I can send him from and then make my turn (f/c) the tighter he will turn into the wrap. Very cool to witness that mechanics of it.
I also had a class where every single time I took my eyes off of my dog I lost them. It is not usually so pronounced, or I do not usually take make eyes off them so frequently, or Katrin was just really calling it out. Any-which-way it was a lesson drilled home – the second I took my eyes off of my dog they listed behind me. Lesson learned – do NOT take your eyes off your dog.
The good news is that I collected myself for the final run with Ike. It was quite nice. So, it’s possible….when I am consistent and calm!
Oh, and Ikey was blowing his down dog walk contacts. Katrin asked if I care. I know why he was blowing them – he was moving faster on the dog walk than I have ever seen *him* move. He isn’t used to that and doesn’t have the control to do the down contact at that speed. In a sense I do not care because I will probably not be trialing Ike ever again and a trialing Ike is different than class Ike. But at the same time I do care.
So, I am going to work on asking him to decelerate on the down contact. I am not sure if I will ask for a wait or just slow him with my body language. I will have to futz around. He is so different now than he was. Before asking him to wait would stress him out, but he has more developed control of his rear and isn’t that stressed by me asking him to repeat exercises (over and over). He no longer thinks that asking him to do something again means he is wrong (hooray!). So, I will have to think on it. Since I know the cause of the contact blowing I am fairly certain I can fix it easily. Or train him to take contacts while moving FAST!
8 hours ago