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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Class Course - Aug 18 & 19, 2009

This was last week's class course. I'll admit, I threw out the numbered cones and when I came back to practice with my own young dog, was VERY surprised by the challenge I had created in #1 - #6. Actually, I liked it!

Before introducing this course to class, I worked on the beginning sequences with my young and inexperienced dog, Ru. Working with a young dog on a tough sequence really forces me to break the challenge down into manageable parts and I feel makes me a better trainer when it comes to teaching my students.

When I initially started this sequence, I considered keeping Ru on my left and doing a R/C at #4 and another at #5. Seriously, this wasn't so smooth or natural feeling, which surprised me! What I did come up with is marked on the course in both a red path and boxes to outline the steps at each phase.

First, I lead out to #2. After releasing my dog, I faced her path and pushed her out to the take off side of #2 and then F/C to ensure she would take the jump. Next, I found that with practice, she was very reliable on the push out and so I was able to leave a bit earlier to ensure I was ahead of her as she landed after the #3 jump, which put me in a great spot to cue #4 and ultimately #5 - which included a R/C so the dog landed going to the right of the jump. By staying still for just a moment, it allowed my dog to curl in tightly over the right side of the #5 stanchion which set up an amazing line for the weave poles.

Numbers 7 - 20 were much easier and were practiced with both front crosses and rear crosses to keep our skills fresh.

Practice the opening sequence, you may find the subtle body language between #1 & 2, very interesting : )


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