Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Strummer Rock Star

Strum was an awesome boy at his second ever group class last night, such a huge improvement over his first class. He made it a whole hour and 10 minutes without losing it then after his last turn he was a bit wound up and the next dog was a super fast BC and the noise of that dog flying through the tunnel was too much for him and he had his first fit of the night. This was the tail end of class though and he'd been so good up until then that I couldn't get too upset about it. He required a lot of treats and management but at least I was able to keep him occupied and under control, no screaming or barking or up on his hind legs lunging expcept for that one little fit at the end of the night. He had a few little lunges where he either stopped himself or I called his name and he snapped out of it before he got crazy.

He also rocked most of the exercises but this was because they happened to be stuff that played to his strengths and things I've been working on with Joy, in particular cues for front crosses and collecting for turns. We had a bit of trouble with the serpentines and it was an exercise I'd worked on with Joy before and had worked on on my own for homework over the summer. Strum was not collecting as he should and as we've practiced but this was a newish place with big time distractions and by the time we got to the serpentines it was the end of the night so he was a combination of fried and sky as kite. He got it in the end though I know if Joy had been there she'd have insisted on it being better and broken it down until he was collecting properly. Something for me to continue to work on at the practice field.

Only one bar down the whole night at class and not a single bar down at our practice session yesterday. I've not been doing jump drills either. I think he's finally settling down a bit and thinking more about what he's doing.

His weave poles are coming along nicely. I finally have him easily weaving 12 poles in practice and he's starting to understand how to collect for entries. He missed his weave entry in class though several times and in the end I had to guide him in with more assistance than I would have liked. In retrospect I should have let it go, I'd rather work on this away from class and not use my body language to help him find entries. I want independence in the weaves right from the start rather than having to fade my body cues later.

He was rock solid on his start line stays and never even thought about leaving me to join the dogs running a standard course in the big ring adjacent to our class. Overall lots of nice progress, hopefully he'll keep it up next week.


  1. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Yay, Strummer! It's great that e's dong so well. Sounds like your instructor knows her stuff.


  2. Joy is awesome. Unfortunately she's recently had knee surgery then sometime in the winter she goes down to Florida until Spring so no lessons with her for a good long while. Our current class teacher is good though. Still, those privates with Joy over this summer have made a huge difference in my handling.

  3. I miss taking real classes (especially with joy). I'm so jealous. Three cheers for Strummer!

  4. Woo hoo, that's great! Congrats on all the hard work that's obviously paying off.

  5. Well, gee, thanks. He's been a project that's for sure.

  6. Aren't border collies just supposed to Get It?? (Boost, are you listening?)

  7. Chyeah, right. Somebody better explain that to Strummer.