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Monday, February 9, 2009

Beyond Weaves - the other things

Well, Ru is just starting to come into season and so I haven't been diligent on my weave pole work.  She tends to be very needy the first few weeks and requiring a bit of distance & independent work from her during this time period is just too much for her hormonal brain to embrace.  No problem, there's so many other things to do!

Last week I had planned to start her on the chute (she's confident on tunnels and has been for a long time) and after setting up the chute up I was talking with another student - there went Ru, through the chute, checking it out as casually as possible.  OK, so much for "teaching" it to her - she's a natural.  Good dog!

I did some sequencing with her for the first time and she really caught on to that concept quickly.  I started out working 1 obstacle at a time until I could chain 3-4 together.  I've learned that she is very quick to head off to the contacts - clearly I've made those a worth while obstacle in her mind!  It's funny to watch her because she recognizes them and runs over as if to say "here it is Mom!".  I just stop where I'm at and wait for her to come back to my lead hand of course treat and praise - then go on.  It was neat to see Ru piece together the concept of multiple obstacles.

I've done quite a bit of ground work for front and rear crosses so adding those in was very easy.  of course I would work it through with her and take the time to reward those steps that were on the path to success.  I'm careful to break down each action into tiny steps to help her be successful throughout the experience.  That keeps it fun for both of us!

I just bought a large (3' high) construction cone to work on some additional send & turn work with all of our dogs.  I like this cone because it's tall enough that even the big dogs can't go over it.

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