Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last Week's Class

I was a bit under the weather last week and didn’t manage to write a post about class. Ike and I enjoyed the course and the Flying Schnauzer made multiple appearances. Woo-hoo for speed, although boo for leaping contacts.

Kathleen let Ike and I stay after class and we shaped going through a hoop – then we put it to work on a lowered a-frame. The thing I found most amazing was Ike's performance totally changed. Previously he would scrabble on the down side and then leap off. I think because he was accelerating and driving for the hoop there was no scrabbling – it was a much smoother performance. Very cool!

A-frame - 1

A-frame - 2

Last week was not a great handler week. Not only do I have a tendency to yell out commands (with all my dogs), but I have a tendency to fall into chatter with Ike. Not with Bug, but with Ike. I think I spent so much time cheerleading him in earlier years (to no effect so you’d think I would stop) that it is my default. Ike tunes out the chatter (or slows down – eek) and I habitually start chattering words that I am trying to build value for, like “go.” BAD handler.

In re-watching the videos I feel somewhat better. While I was chattering too much Ike did really well with the repetition. Previously the repetition could have easily caused him to check out on me.

Course 1

In the second course I set the tone in the first run – my body VERY clearly said to take the far entrance to the green tunnel. Poor Ike. The two runs that followed Ike was sure I wanted him to take that entrance.
Course 2

There are more videos of our runs from that class on youtube, but these were probably the best in most respects.


Diana said...

I was just wondering. Do you think it would help Ike if you threw the whole bait bag intead of just a little piece of food. It would be easier for him to see and drive after to increase speed. You could throw it several jumps back. But maybe you alredy tried that and he didnt like it.

You guys look really good out there. He is nice and focused. Diana

Jules said...

Hi Diana,

In the past when I tried throwing a bait bag it seemed to startle him. He does not have a ton of chase drive unless he gets instant gratification. The cheese and the way it often bounces seems to kick his prey drive into high gear. However, he has changed a lot in the past few months and it is probably worth revisiting to see if he will. I'll have to give it a try next week. Thanks!

Sara said...

Ike looked great! The hoop is a great idea, and I see more & more people using it.

Kathy said...

Wow, the hoops seemed to work really well, and that looked terrific, you guys look really great together

Sam said...

I feel like this is the first time I've seen Ike on a full-length course. Cool little dog! I'm glad your class went well. The hoop was really good when I considered teaching Marge a running contact and seems like it's working for you, too.

Blue said...

Good job Ike!