Training update 6/25/09

What we’ve been working on this past week….

Miles is busy retraining again on the weave poles using channels and shortened poles.  Right now they are at shoulder height (23.5″) but I may need to make them even shorter.  He is showing great style with the channels 3″ apart using the short poles, but it might help him to lower his head even more if I take them down a few inches more.  I also need to add end caps to protect his eyes!  I will video him from the side tonight, but here are his last two sessions.  The first is with 30″ poles at 3″ space and the second is with the 23″ poles at the same spacing. 

Rue has been concentrating on weave poles as well, but we’ve also squeezed in some board sessions, and started jump grids.  Her weaves are going pretty well, but we had some confusion when I changed to the 23″ poles and closed the gap to 3″ at the same time.  I will stay at this spacing tonight to see if she can get closer to 100% before closing it even more.  Right now we’re still following Joe Canova’s system, but my instructor wants me to try revving her up and sending her to a food target or a thrown toy.  I’m hesitant to do that just yet as I’ve noticed that she does better working through something at a bit slower speed and then gets faster when she understands.  Since weaving requires SO much thought I think I’m going to finish up getting her to 6 straight poles with this system and then try opening them back up to maybe 2-3″ and work on speed.  We’ll see how it goes.  Here are a few recent sessions first with taller poles at 4″ then with short poles at 3″…the conversion quality is poor on the second video unfortunately:

Her board work continues to be stellar.  We’ve done three sessions at 32″ and she’s been 100% across all of them!  I plan to do another one tonight and if she’s 100% again, we’ll go up!  Of course this poses a little issue with my set-up, but I’ll try to make it work safely.  We get our real dogwalk in a week!!

One thing that still remains a point of frustration for me with Rue is that it is difficult to get her really excited and revved up, at least in ways that I’m familiar with.  It is almost as if it puts too much pressure on her when I try to get her to go faster that she just trots along in response to the pressure.  Either that or she just really is a thinker and needs to do things slowly first until she understands.  I need her to want to go out ahead of me more during sequences as well as extend out in a straight line.  I did a jump grid with her the other night with the spacing starting at 5′ and growing to 7-8′.  She bounced each jump (no strides) for two reps 🙂  I only did those two reps in that session, but I will continue to work on this and try to get some on video.  I also bought her this crazy pheasant pelt dummy retrieve toy for her birthday.  I used it in class on Tuesday and she was beside herself as to what to do with it.  I have to say though, she sure did drive away from me to retrieve it!

We’ve got private lessons scheduled for this Sunday to work on turns off the board and handling for Rue as well as handling for Miles, yay!

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