Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feb. 6-Feb. 14, 2009 what we were doing......

Well, a little over a week ago I was doing agility in my short sleeve shirt and by last Monday we had SNOW, some monster size hail, and tons of cold and wind. I live in the So CA desert and so we get excited about weather. Most of the time the weather forecasters here could just mail in their predictions months in advance and get it right almost all the time, in the summer-hot and dry, in the fall warm and dry, in the early winter cooler and dry, most of the spring cold and very windy. So when there is any weather the tv channels have their storm watch, we all get on the computer and email each other-"are you getting snow in your area-what is happening there?", the phone lines all over load with everyone calling each other, guess living in the desert makes us all get a little dorky over weather. So this was a picture of the hail that we got on Monday.

So as you would guess we haven't got to do as much agility, due to big puddles around all my equipment, ice and the fact I am a whimp and do not enjoy going out in the cold. I did get to drop in at a class that Paw Prints has, that is the local dog club that I belong to. They have some very nice classes-five minutes from my house and dirt cheap. They still only charge $45 for an 8 week session, and each of the classes runs a couple of hours for the upper level handling classes. Deanna who is the instructor is who really started me out in agility, and who I took lesssons from the first few years. Deanna is someone who has grown into a friend and she is such a pleasant person to take lessons from or to know, when she teaches she is just so stable, you would never know anything happens in her life, she is just all about what we are doing at the moment. You just always feel like she would do ANYTHING to make you successful and she just always seems to care. Now the slant of the lessons is more toward a Gregg Darrett type of handling and I am doing a Linda M. style-or trying to, so I do have to do some thinking and try to make sure I am applying solutions that fit in my handling style.

So first off I almost froze my butt off, it was so cold during class. I got home and was sooooo sore, I dont remember ever being that sore. I think I was trying to run and tensing my muscles because it was cold which made me more sore? I thought my fingers were going to snap off. I bet it is going to be even worse tonight for the Acton classes with Alicia.

So the focus of the handling 3 class is a different skill each week and this week was FRONT CROSSES. Ok, I ONLY used to be able to do front crosses with Chloe. She would NOT drive ahead of me to make front crosses possible. Things are different today. So we had a whole course where I would probably only have used rear crosses......and I am shocked at how few of the places I saw where I could get a front cross. My first time through running the course was a real hoot. So when Deanna showed us all the places we could use lateral distance to get ahead of our dogs I felt like "ooooohhhhhh....." AM I EVER GOING TO SEE ALL THESE THINGS. Like as soon as I saw them I felt so silly for not even thinking about it because it made so much sense. So then the second course I will say in my defense I did see the way to run the course so much better and I was able to get all but one front cross, and I just made the decision to throw that one out because I really didnt want to interrupt the flow of my dog.

Another terrific thing I got in this class was I deceided to work on a lead out with Chloe. Figured she loves the class and she was in a good mood and there was no way to get those first few front crosses if I ran with Chloe. So Chloe actually did really well and I could see a lack of training with her lead out but she was comfortable. I had stopped doing lead outs with her when I was building her confidence and she was so stressed at the start line. I think the lead outs is something I want to try to carefully add back into my tool box with Chloe. Most of the time running with her is just fine and works the best but it would be nice to have some other options if I need them.

1. Chloe and Breeze will go out of their way to go around the first jump if I am doing a lead out, Breeze is getting better but I had no idea until this week Chloe is doing that too, no matter where I put her.
2. Breeze is doing remarkable at her rear crosses, but they are new...this week I experimented around with her doing them without me using my verbal directional which I always mess up because I do not know left from right....ANYWAY she was able to do her rear crosses with only my body movement so yippie!!!!
3. It has become apparent to me watching Breezes runs that I have got into this thing of not doing a whole flow to sequences, so I sort of sit around calling her back to me and trying to get her to come to me, so like when she comes out of a tunnel instead of connecting with her eyes, holding my ground and sending her on I back up and sort of collect her to me and then send her on, hummm, I need to hold my ground and let her run!
4. Cont. the work and get Breeze back on the dog walk. She was injured a year ago on the dog walk and really hasnt been on it since, who is more scared of it, Breeze or me???? that is a toss up.

So all in all there was some great stuff this week, but I saw a lot more to work on, so there are a lot of storms predicted for this weekend.....hopefully I will get some good progress this week. At least I know where I need to go.


BCxFour said...

I just found your blog! I love it, your training descriptions are awesome and the videos are a perfect accent. Your dogs are gorgeous and I am looking forward to reading more!


Diana said...

It sounds like you have been working very hard. What happen to breeze on the dogwalk? Diana

Kathy said...

THANKS so much Carolynn!
Breeze was on the dog walk a year ago, she fell and kept trying to hold onto it, so it was an ugly fall. Right afterwards she got up and had some big gait changes. We spent the next few months going to the vet and everyone just thought it was her hip dysplasia....they even talked about needing a hip replacement. Well, I finally got around to taking her to a rehab vet and her ACL was partially torn. We did a ton of exercises and rest, adequan injections, cosequin some diet changes and were able to get her looking very good now. That is one of the big reasons I feel pretty strongly about not messing around with anything that looks weird with dogs and gait changes.