We’re right in the middle of a 10 day vacation, so not much time to post. Of course, I did bring some agility equipment with me (6 jumps, lightweight tunnel, lightweight chute, and 6 weave poles) because I’m obsessed and couldn’t take that much time off from working the pups.
Mostly we’ve been working on all kinds of weave entries with Rue as well as what can I do while she’s in the poles (run fast, run slow, push/pull, front cross before/after, rear before, blind after, etc.). Her understanding of weaving has really increased and I think she’s only missed 2 entries this whole time. I’ve kept the channel open to 1″ to continue to emphasize speed and foot work for both dogs and we’re still using our “baby poles” at 20″ tall. I also put out jump chutes yesterday to work on speed and extension over jumps. She is now comfortably bouncing 5 jumps set alternately at 12″ and 16″ and spaced at increasing intervals from 8-14′ 🙂 We’ve done a bunch of walk handling followed by running the same sequence which she finds really fun. I tackled teaching her a threadle last week and she’s now a pro. One thing that I’m having a “problem” with is she will sometimes take stuff behind my back. I *think* it’s if I take my eyes off of her and if I’m standing closest to the thing behind my back than I am to another obstacle. I need to set up some video to see if that’s true. She’s been highly rewarded for interacting with whatever it is that I’m located near, but I don’t want to make a habit out of her taking things behind my back! Perhaps this will resolve itself as she gets more experience with sequencing, but I do need to be aware of it.
Miles is kind of in a holding pattern. I’m doing most of the same things with him that I am with Rue. I have been doing more walk handling with him which is quite interesting. Since he had such a different introduction to agility, he does NOT just willingly go out and grab stuff that I’m near and more often waits for me to give a command. Once we get going, he’s great and he’s a pro at shaping, so I know this will all come along soon. I think it will be good for him to have the confidence to take what I am indicating with my body/motion without relying on a command.
Impressively, neither place we’ve been staying has had a fenced in area and both are riddled with baby bunnies….and Rue has been the epitome of focus! I’m really really proud of her and I think we’re starting to really communicate well 🙂 Our nextdoor neighbor at our rental house is also the owner and has an enormous Great Dane (ehh when are they not enormous). She and her sister as well as the GD came out to watch us practice yesterday. I knew this wouldn’t be an issue with Miles so I worked him first and then braved it with Rue. She was a superstar! Even with them talking and applauding, she stayed right with me until we were done, her leash was on, and I released her to go visit them 😀
It’s pouring rain today, so it looks like they’ll have a day off from agility practice….