Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tues. Night Class

Last night Carmen had class and - oh joy - there were discrimination issues and front crosses! Hooray! Discrimination issues continue to be a pesky problem for me and Carmen - although last night she nailed it. Front crosses it is all me - I am perpetually late. I think *I* need to start doing plyometrics so I can turn on the speed when needed!

Course started 10' tunnel, jump, teeter. I led out to the jump and Carmie broke her stay. Huh? What is going on? Carmie rarely breaks her stay. I didn't even say anything - just made a horrified face and brought her back. I think she broke because her sight was limited due to the tunnel? But not sure. She broke a second time later in the evening. It is odd, because her startline is typically very nice. Very nice teeter performance, curved red tunnel and a discrimination issue!

You needed to FC while your dog was in the red tunnel to be in the correct position to direct them to the green tunnel, not the A-Frame which was RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. The first run Carmen stopped with her paws just in front of the A-Frame - said, "Oh you're over there?" and came to me. What a good girl. After that I tried to get my FC in sooner and give her more direction. Whether that helped or she was just pattern trained she handled it really well for the rest of her runs.

The A-frame was located at the back of the barn and sort of toward the corner. It was kind of a difficult angled ascent (off a jump). For Carmen I was concerned because I don't feel like the corners in the barn tend to have the best lighting, and the contact area (I don't believe Katrin's are painted anyway) was covered with sand so it appeared to be the same color as the floor. She handled it without an issue - no bone-jarring ascent, no blow-by (her typical stress response).

Then red tunnel, series of 5 jumps where you had the opportunity to add some distance, A-frame, red tunnel, jump, jump, jump, chute.

The distance issue is me. I need to trust my dog more. When I remember to give her distance and move consistently she handles it well. When I crowd her she handles that fine too. However, I would rather have her used to me giving her distance. Katrin had to ask me at one point why I was on top of the jumps and I had no good answer!

I would REALLY like to purchase a chute. Every single time we do the chute it is like it is the first time and Carmen commando crawls through it. Slowly. Given Carmie's sight and the unknown amount of time we have left doing agility, I feel like sticking with NADAC and CPE as our venues of choice is in our best interest. In terms of $$, the economy, the amount of runs you get on a daily basis, and the people. We have (IMO) a ridiculous amount of NADAC trials locally (20 minutes away). NADAC does not use the chute. You do occasionally see the chute in CPE (in two years I have seen it once, KOW). And while Bug has no issues with the chute, there is the possibility we will be doing AKC at some point and guess what you see a lot of?! The chute. So, I'd like to buy a chute, but I don't think it is the most pressing thing I need to purchase. See how I talked myself out of that purchase with logic?

I felt really good about class last night. It was also an absolute pleasure to watch our classmates run. Everyone and their dogs have come so far!!! It is really exciting to watch progress being made. That is definitely one of the benefits of being in class versus training alone or in privates. It also reminds you that if everyone else has made such tremendous progress you have probably made some too and just haven't noticed!


Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

FWIW, I bought one of those cheap AKC toy chutes and it served Strata quite well! I believe it ran about $35. Just a thought. Came with flimsy stakes that work well enough but you could swith to tent/ez-up stakes too.

Blue said...

I completely agree that it a pleasure to watch everyone in class run! Everyone had a great night on Tues.