Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finally some agility training

Training outside has been an impossibility due to snow and crazy single digit arctic cold that finally broke last week.  Since we were all going stir crazy I decided to drive the 45 minutes to Golden yesterday for morning course run-throughs at an indoor arena that we sometimes trial at.  I seldom train indoors and it's nice for a change.  Lola has a USDAA trial coming up so I wanted to work on her table issues and Strummer's crazy issues.  Joy says he needs more practice in trial type environments and she's right.

Lola has had ongoing problems with the table and last January I started a retraining program with her.  Her next USDAA trial was in April and since that trial she's had 100% table success until October where she started having issues again.  I was unsure if she'd do the table at all at the run-thru or if we were back to square one but I brought sardines and she did all her tables with no problem.  The first run-thru I rewarded her on the table and had her redo it several times.  Second run-thru she tore away from me towards the table as soon as we got near it on course.  I was thrilled to see her sucking to the table but she's not allowed to make up her own course so I didn't reward that and called her off it.  I got her back on course and she did the table again with no problem but this time I didn't reward right away.  I had her do it another time or two with some jumps in between, finished the course and gave her a huge jackpot of sardines outside the ring.  Hopefully this will be a sufficient tune-up for the trial in a few weeks and of course I'll try to get in some practice sessions in the yard.  One of these days I'll write up a post about her table retrain.  I was hoping to see more long term success before posting about it but I have the time now so maybe I'll do it anyway.

Strum did great overall.  2/2 on the A-frame, 4/5 on the dogwalk, though his teeters have gone right out the window.  He was not nearly as amped up as at a regular trial but he was more amped up than at regular practice but not so much that he completely lost his head.  It was the perfect atmosphere for him to learn to keep his head and focus while being excited.  I have to get off my butt and get him to more of these things.  We also need to work on his teeters some more and rear crosses at a chute.

I'm guessing the practice field will be melted by tomorrow so hopefully I can get some more training in.  It's probably o.k. today but I've got a cold or something and my head and ears are blocked up and I'm tired and wah wah wah.  I think I'll take it easy today just because I can.

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