Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A Puzzle

Set dog up in a sit in front of entrance to U-shaped tunnel.  Stand next to dog, release verbally, say 'tunnel', take a step toward tunnel entrance, indicate tunnel entrance with inside arm, shoulders and feet are pointed to tunnel entrance, eyes are on tunnel entrance.  Dog flies across your feet and sails into opposite tunnel entrance.  Repeatedly.  This is what happened at my lesson with Joy yesterday.  Repeatedly.  Even Joy couldn't figure it out and she's pretty clever.  Has a first place trophy from the FCI World Championships.  Been teaching for a billion zillion years.  Has a pretty good eye for this stuff.

I'm an enigma.

Thinking about it, it's not the first time he's dashed across my feet to the less obvious tunnel entrance.  I do not send my dog across my feet.  Ever.  I have no video from my lesson, will have to set it up at the practice field and get some video.

I was so very happy to have a lesson with Joy, it's been years.  She's overcome a multitude of tough health issues and it's amazing to see her out there again, running her dogs and teaching.  It's the only lesson I've had all year other than the seminar last February so it was long overdue.  I split the lesson with my training partner and I'm hoping we can do it once a month or so, at least until USDAA Nationals.  I have USDAA trials the next 2 weekends and would love to finish qualifying for Nationals so the timing for a lesson was perfect.

I had a few other issues - rushing the weave pole entry, spectating at places where I should have been moving, moving at places where I should have been holding up to cue collection, using a lateral send where I really needed a wrap (ie lots of collection) and not recognizing the scenario as a wrap on the initial walk through.

I did get some good practice with rear crosses and pulled off some nice front crosses.  Got a nice blind cross in too.  Some serps, a back side of a jump/serp thingy - fun and challenging stuff.  Was so good to have a savvy eye on me.  Not that my training partner isn't savvy or incredibly helpful but it's good to have a lesson now and again.

Strum was sky as a kite, excited to see all his dog and human friends and to be practicing in a brand new place.  He was so fast, seemed even crazy faster than normal, I had to run hard and we started at 7:30 a.m. and no caffeine.  I had to miss boot camp for my lesson but I felt like it was plenty of intervals so I took the rest of the day off of training despite the trial this weekend.

Went to Hills & Drills this morning to make up for it, stair intervals then a couple of 400's on the track then went to masters swimming and swam in the fastest lane because my normal lane was too crowded.  Don't ask me how I survived that.  Lots of food and caffeine after that busy morning so I can maybe get some work done the rest of the day.


  1. Flirt does that too. It's a standing joke with my instructor.

  2. Weird. They must be cueing off of something. Strum seemed so sure he was right. Hmmm...

  3. The other thing to look out for is which tunnel opening Strummer is looking at when you give the release. A lot of dogs will lock in on the side of a tunnel they are looking at when you give the verbal and all your physical cues won't change their mind. So I try to be really certain they are facing the correct opening before I give the verbal... hope that is it!

  4. I'll keep an eye out for that. Joy was having me verbally get his attention before or after releasing him but I can't remember if that helped or not. I'll have to shoot some video to get a better idea of what's going on.