Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dog Daze

I'm still not feeling well enough for tri training and I've got an agility trial this weekend so I've turned my focus to the dogs. Lola's contacts, especially the dogwalk, have really degraded so that's what I've been focusing on with her. I need to speed her up on the down ramp but still have her stop at the bottom with 2 feet on, 2 feet off. Right now she stops at the top of the down ramp and barks, then walks/creeps her way down and sometimes stops in position, sometimes bails. In trials she's started bailing more and more. I've gone back to working on that 2 on, 2 off position, jackpotting her with food while she's in the position then releasing her to a tossed tennis ball. I had boiled chicken breasts for treats for the first time in ages on Monday and she really went crazy for those. She even had some decent speed on the down ramp, no pausing at all. I had to share the practice field so I couldn't really set up any good exercises. I have one good realization about handling weaves at a distance-if I'm too far ahead of her and past the entrance of the poles she runs right by and enters the poles sort of even with where I am. But if I stay behind and send her to the poles she nails the entrance no problem. She's missed 3 easy gambles in trials so far because I got too far ahead and she missed the entrance. I'll have to work on sending her to the poles while I'm ahead of her.

Today Jonny brought Cody out to me at the field after work so I could practice with both dogs. I had to share the field again but this time there were some nice jump boxes set up so I got to practice some handling. I worked both dogs on distance, especially sending out to a pinwheel. Cody has no problem with this but it took Lola a little longer to catch on. Both dogs were listening really well, very focused and attentive. They're jealous of each other so I usually get a lot of good attention when I have both of them.

I tried a tunnel/weave gamble with both dogs, hanging back and sending to the poles and it worked great. Cody missed it the first time but nailed it the second time and once he got it right he just kept doing it. He's too smart that way, sometimes it backfires. Lola was actually offering the 2 on, 2 off on the dogwalk repeatedly, very cool! Maybe by this weekend we'll have some progress over last trial. I tried handling Cody at a good distance on the dogwalk, layering the teeter, and he did great, really fast and stopped on a dime. His contacts have been great lately, even at trials. He's been near perfect. If he listens as well this weekend as he did today he'll have a great trial. That's a huge if though. If he qualifies in the Grand Prix he'll qualify for USDAA Nationals. I'm not holding my breath and I doubt I'd go but it's pretty exciting to think he could.

As far as tri training goes I've decided to give up on the idea of a June 1/2 IM. With the setback from this illness I don't feel like I'll be ready in time. I could probably be o.k. for just finishing but I don't want it to be a miserable experience so I'm going to wait until fall. I've managed a few more 2-3 mile walks but I'm still dizzy and have some congestion in my chest. Maybe I'll be able to manage a short run or run/walk tomorrow morning, fingers crossed. I don't want to go back to the pool or try riding until my dizziness is mostly gone and my chest is cleared up a bit more. Yes I'm a wimp.

No comments:

Post a Comment