Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stellar Ike

Perhaps he was not perfect, but Ike and I had a super Rally-O class today. He was happy and engaged.


1. Start
2. 360 Right
3. Halt/Down/Walk Around
4. Halt/Right Turn/ Call to Heel/ Halt
5. Off-Set Figure 8
6. Right About Turn
7. Left Turn
8. Weave Twice
9. Halt/Stand/Down
10. 270 Right
11. Left Turn
12. Send Over Jump
13. Finish

Ike nailed his Halt/Down/Walk Around the second time. He almost had it the first time too. When I got back into heel position he popped up. I eh-eh'd and back down he went. We are getting there! Thank you, Katrin and your cookie dropping recommendation!

I was very pleased with Ike's Halt/Right Turn/ Call to Heel/ Halt - I think maybe we have seen this once before and he was not phased by it at all today.

Had some difficulty with the off set Figure 8 with distractions. The distractions were clear plastic lids, which we play touch with. OOPS!!

Ike does not have a Stand on cue. For Halt/Stand/Down we did Halt/Down. Ike was great about his down and not popping up.

Jenny spoke at length to us before we walked the course about getting our dog's "ready" to work in the ring at a trial. It was more or less a reminder to be observant and mindful - note how your dog reacts when you change a piece of the routine, etc. Should you change a piece of the routine to make your dog more desperate to play with you?

She also spoke to me about Ike and said while I had displayed a super amount of patience in the ring with Ike it might be to my benefit long-term to be willing to have an NQ from the second we walk in the ring. If Ike is slow to respond, walk him in a circle and try again. Repeat if he is slow to respond. Kind of cleaning the slate and starting over - like a re-try, but do not limit myself to the two allotted. I think I will have to be willing to NQ if I want to do this because Ike at a trial is a different beast than class. Granted if he hates outdoor trials too, I am not pushing this.

Also talked about NRM and using one with Ike - agreed with Katrin. Ike has gotten MUCH better about being wrong, so I think used wisely this will be hugely beneficial to us.

When Ike and I entered the ring I walked him over to the start which was on the opposite side of the ring. Jenny had me walk out and walk back in - she stressed, especially with Ike, I need to be connected with him every step of the way - and happy. She's right.

During our run through she commented a couple of times when I was getting close to a tight leash and commented on how I held my leash with two hands at the trial. This is because when we practice, either at home or with Katrin we are NEVER on leash. Jenny said, "oh so you need leash handling skills." Basically. When Ike is on a leash I do not know what to do with the leash!

She thought that might be why Ike lagged at times and recommend I get a show lead with a very small clip. While my leather leash is not overly thick it does have a honkin' big clasp on it.

So, a very educational class! And Ike was a little super star for me. He really was SO good and having such a great time.


Diana said...

Thats great. Do you think you stress to much when you are in the ring because you are worried about him and how he is stressing? I did that with Guiness but I didnt realize that I was doing it. I used to feel sick to my stomach when getting ready to run. I thought I had ring nerves. But then, when I started running Miley, that didnt happen to me. It was then that I realized that I was so worried about what Guiness was going to do, like run out of the ring. That I was stress and Im sure caused him even more stress. It definitly feels different if you really, truly dont care if you dont "Q". Its much more fun but its hard to do that when that is really why you are there. LOL Diana

Nancy said...

Sounds like a great time!Good for you both. It is hard to NQ a run, I have trouble with that too :)
Nancy and Stewie

Blue said...

Good boy Ike! Sounds like a great class. :)

Jules said...

I really don't know re stress. Last weekend in the ring, I had no nerves at all. They had all left the previous week when I was having random "on-no, we're not ready" moments.

I get what you are saying about not realizing you were stressing. Running Carmen in agility, I now realize how little fun Ike and I were having together.

Yes, being willing to take an NQ is easy to accept intellectually but then you find yourself in the ring striving anyway! ;-)