Tuesday night Ike had class and it went really well.
The a-frame was located right near the seating, and Kathleen got some sheets from the daycare and hung them over the gating. We have discovered that Ike is very senstive to the pressure of the other students and dogs. The sheets took care of the pressure for Ike.
The first course was pretty straight forward for Ike until we got to the A-frame. We had the hoop out and Ike went right by it. We shaped the hoop some more and then ran the a-frame again. No problem, said Ike.
We also ran into some trouble with the table. I didn't utilize it well and do a lead-out with Ike, which left me scrambling to do a cross after jump 15. It was ugly. Kathleen stopped me and had me do a lead out so I was already in position past jump 15.
The other place I had trouble was 18 to 19. The first time I shaped the turn with Ike really nicely. After that though I began turning too late and sending Ike right over the dummy jump and to the table. We worked on calling Ike into me quietly rather than startling him with an abrupt "here" and slowing him down. We discovered Ike likes a soft, "Ike, Ike, Ike." It was MUCH more effective!
Tuesday night his weaves looked great. I was thinking maybe he has figured out the 24" weaves with speed, but in both courses he wasn't going at them full tilt - he was coming off a turn.
When I walked the second course I did not plan on running the whole thing with Ike. I was really struggling to figure out how I wanted to handle 14, 15, and 16 and I thought I would get lost when actually running the course. I figured I would be better off stopping and rewarding after 13 or 14.
When I talked to Kathleen about it she asked me to think about running 14, 15, 16 from behind the tunnel. and to do the same with 5, 6, 7. It was AMAZING how much easier it made running the course. I don't think I would have EVER thought of doing that by myself.
When we ran the actual course I was the only one who didn't think the course was terribly hard because Kathleen had showed me that. She asked the other students to run it the same way and not everyone wanted to. I think they thought their dogs wouldn't take the tunnel with them behind it, but those of us who tried it found it 10x easier. Ike had absolutely NO issues with taking the tunnel with me behind it - if anything I think he drove into it harder!
The only other bobble we had was taking the a-frame from the opposite direction. Ike missed the hoop going in the other direction, so we played with it on the flat once more and then put it on the a-frame. He was fine with it after a little shaping session going in the opposite direction. We plan on raising the a-frame a link every week.
All in all it was a great class. I made a concerted effort not to jabber so much at Ike and I think he appreciated it. I also really liked both courses; there was a lot of flow.
6 days ago