Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Private Lesson and Doxy

Monday night Carmen and Bug had a private lesson with Amanda. It went well.

With Carmen, Amanda noticed that she slows down during tight turns. She wants me to work on making tight turns more fun for her. Once suggestion she had was make large-ish cheese balls (i.e. that Carmie will be able to see) and practicing 180s tossing the cheese ball over the second jump. (She also suggested I practice my throwing using targets. As anyone that knows me knows - my throwing skills leave MUCH to be desired.)

She would also like me to see if I can't teach her to play with me in public. She said there was no need to try and get her to tug, just try to get her to respond to being goosed/pushed/revved up and to use food. Since Carmen can get REALLY riled up at home I will work on this. Given I was able to teach Ike to play in public, surely I can teach Carmie to!

We practiced flipping out of a tunnel onto the dog walk. Interestingly Carmie handled the flip very well irregardless of where I placed my FX (close or giving her more space). However, she had MUCH more overall speed when I did my front cross a bit further away from the dog walk. She went wider but was RUNNING much faster.

We REALLY need to work on the blind cross exercise. Carmie loves to come to my heels if I get ahead of her.

Bug's lesson was not as much of a success. He was revved up and more attentive than the previous week - even with the heat. We worked on 180s and he was MUCH better than last week. When we moved on to the A-frame, I discovered he is REALLY resistant to contacts without rubber. I mean, hard-core. I know this, but I can't believe how poorly he generalizes contacts.

So we will be doing ring rentals where there is no rubber and calling on friends who have contacts without rubber. The fact that he was so resistant does make me wonder if he is in alignment. We'll see when our chiropractor gets back from her working vacation.

I decided that Bug and I are going back to basics. We have all the time in the world. Our relationship needs to be stronger and we need to go back to working on the plank and making the see saw a HAPPY-HAPPY-JOY-JOY sort of place.

In other news, Bug finished his doxy yesterday. Today he received his first dose of ABC Lyme Support. I am going to post on Tick-L and see if there is anything else I could be doing now that he is done with the doxy. Tick-L seems to be heavy on the allopathic medicine and not so much on the holistic/homeopathic, but it is worth asking about.

It looks like it will be a quiet week training-wise. John and I are headed to Block Island on Friday for a wedding. Ike and the birds will be staying with the in-laws, Bug will be staying with Katrin, and the g-pigs will be staying at Coolens. Hopefully we all have nice weather and a good time!


Diana said...

I wish everyone would change to rubber contacts. It seems so much easier on the dogs. I havent been to one trial yet with rubber contacts. I do think that it is the direction agility is going. I wonder how long before everyone changes over. Diana

Katrin said...

Sheesh, the short dogs will out number the big dogs this weekend as I've got Paulie here too! They can all race around and wear each other out as much as they want. I'll be sure to send him home tired for you :)

Jules said...

Diana, me too! it is SO much better for the dogs. We are lucky that there are quite a few clubs up her who have rubber contacts.

Katrin, How RARE for short dogs to out number the big boys at your house! Bug will probably sleep for days when he comes home!

Nancy said...

I don't blame you Bug, I like the rubber contacts a lot more too.
Stewie JRT

Jenn said...

Any time you want to come down and practice on non rubber contacts feel free to come down .... :-) I have a dog walk and see saw that are both wood.

Blue said...

Carolyn's equipment does not have rubber, and Iris did not want to do the a-frame at first. It's the only time I've ever seen her flat out refuse a contact obstacle! I agree with the dogs, the rubber seems so much easier.

Have fun at Block Island!

Jules said...

Jenn, I would LOVE that!!

Sara said...

I found a wildcard sequence in one of your posts, and now it is clear as day! I just needed a visual. Thanks!

We've never used rubber contacts, but they do seem to be the safest way to go.

Jules said...

Sara, That's great! Good luck. I will be thinking positive thoughts for you.

101mutts said...

Julie, maybe you need someone to TAGteach you how to throw better. I wonder what the steps are in throwing accurately. Maybe a baseball or softball coach could help.

Have you read Karen Pryor's new book "Reaching the Animal Mind"?

Jules said...

I seriously think that TAGTeach would help agility handlers tremendously. There are so many times when you've completed a sequence and your instructor says "you dropped your shoulder perfectly" but you have NO idea when you did or how it feels different than what you normally do.

I haven't read her new book yet. Have you? Did you enjoy it?

101mutts said...

Yeah, I thought Reaching the Animal Mind was really really good. Some of the beginning is a repeat if you've read Lads Before the Wind and Don't Shoot the Dog recently. But she has a really great description on TAGteaching. I'd never had a clear idea on how it worked exactly, but now I do. Lots of great stories throughout the book and a chapter on why CT works neurologically. Definitely a worthwhile read.

It must be harder for the agility instructor having to watch both the dog and the handler than with other sports. It could definitely be helpful. I wonder if the clicks would confuse the dog.