We got together this weekend on Saturday to set up a little course and work on some handling. Sort of like a fun run, we were all on our own to train what we needed-so that was a lot of fun. Cherry is finally starting to sequence and she has an awesome understanding of some things. Once you get Cherry to understand what you want once...she is just on it. What an amazing dog. For anyone who doesn't know about Cherry-she is from Contact Point Border Collies and most likely will be heading back there soon to have puppies. So she isn't my dog but she is a honorary family member and has been here since last summer. Well, she is such a fun dog to work with, but I put her on the start line and tried a little lead out with her on Saturday. She is just starting to get ready for such things, but she came running toward me-slicing over two jumps then read an awesome rear cross and another rear cross into the weaves. She really isnt reading rear crosses yet but the drive to the weaves keep her on the right line. The thing about her is that standing there thinking about what I needed to do to tell her where we were going-it was the most awesome, wild feeling seeing her coming at me-the exact thought was "oooh CRAP, I have to get moving". My other borders are very fast but Cherry's speed and power are just thrilling. It just felt so different and a little intimidating, because everything happens so fast and timing is everything, that girl has a lot going on. She just has so much talent. So please don't tell Liz or Breeze that I think Cherry is faster....I would hate to discourage them because they are pretty darn awesome and they are no slacks in the speed department, it is just that Cherry is just freaky fast. I am working on her jumping skills-Cherry had an FHO when she was young and it takes a long time to get her ready to jump a few inches more. We have sort of gone through this with each jump height and she is now jumping 16 wonderfully in a course, and 18 really nice popping over and she has done ok most of the time with that when I add a little speed, but she definately isnt doing 20 with any speed at all yet. It was like this with the 16 and the 18 so it will be interesting to see with more work and time if she is able to do 20 or 22-I personally think it is all a matter of developing more muscle and being able to pick those back feet up more, but guess we will see.
WELL, what a week. I am finding myself a little overwhelmed at times trying to keep up with the training needs of four dogs. Not to mention my little back yard hero sheltie Skyler who is always like any dog needing a little tweaking here and there. I have been working a lot with the dogs on a really irritating behavior where when anyone comes to the house they just go nuts, and they have been going nuts in their crates at class. So we have been working on Susan Garretts Crate Games. Liz is getting pretty good when the door bell rings or someone comes to the house I tell her go crate and she runs to her crate, sits in there looking out until I tell her she is released. I have only been able to keep her in there for a short time but we are building up and it is going to take a lot of work to get all the dogs doing this at the same time, but it is just too wild right now so it is going to have to be done. I am finding when you have five dogs -each with a lot of energy who are roaming the house all the time it just is more important that they all understand what you want. So anyway, a lot of words to say I have not done so good working on the contact behaviors. Actually I just have to get out with the lowered Aframe and then slowly raise it so the dogs all understand how to collect themselves at fast speeds. It has just been too windy and rainy the last week. There is ALWAYS more to train and I always feel like I am behind in something.....such is my life.