Thursday, December 12, 2013

Just when you're done digging your "hole",

Agility class last night was horrific. I think my pups were hungry (class is an hour past dinner time) and thus they were going crazy. Especially my Lab, who blew me off and ran over to another handler and sat at her feet for a treat. Oy.

With Baer's poor striding yesterday, I was ready to dive back into striding work. Today, I switched the third agility jump (my "stride regulator") with a flyball jump, and she was perfectly fine. She looked great. I'm glad she picked it back up so quickly, and we're going to repeating this and many different variations of this in the next few months.

Then we did a new exercise I'm calling "Over and Backs", basically it's the training of a box turn with a "hup" jump. I'm at the point where I'm using just the hup for Flash but with Baer I do the over and back without the box and with the box. The point of this is to train a good landing coming off the box- their heads need to be down when they come back, or I do not reward.

At the tournament Baer was having trouble getting her feet up. Using the "hup", she HAS to get her back feet up (the muscle memory is important). And with Flash, I don't want any foreseeable problems. 

I'm discovering, slowly, that the wall work has not been beneficial for my dog. It has not created a reliable turn for my Labrador. And my Whippet has not seemed to benefit from it much. 

Since my Labrador has been using the wall board, she has a wide turn on a box with no props. She doesn't get her back feet up. It's not a method I want to keep repeating religiously like I have been. Her head is so high when she comes off the box now that she's turning in the direction of her head- which had been adding the third stride, because she was so far from the box. So I'm excited to see how the over & backs will affect her future performance :) 

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