Friday, March 5, 2010

More jump girds for the Crickster, and sadly Breeze is still not as good as new...



Crickets second session with the jump grids. It is COLD, and WINDY, YUCK, but working with Crick was worth going out into the cold, have I said lately how much fun that little monkey is?

I did not watch the full Susan Salo DVD before I started and so I felt bad because we have not done a lot of grid work-but guess what-- I watched the rest of the DVD and you are only supposed to do the grids every couple of weeks-I was right on track! You are also supposed to vary the grids since puppies can pattern so easily and just do them without thinking, which is not what we want, and most of all the goal with these grids is to make it fun for the dogs.

So we did the equidistant straight line grid. I thought the biggest challenge with those was Cricket being almost 20 feet away from me and having to hold her stay. I have never worked with her that far away, and when you add in the distraction of having to throw her toy down.....YIKES, I am proud of her for being able to do that.

We also started some bend grids. They are the most difficult grids for the puppies and there is usually a favorite or easier side for the dogs. These grids you alternate which direction you go and you do not fix them or keep going on one side until it is "right". I found the most difficult thing with this grid was that you throw down the toy at the end of the jump bumps...then the dog has to go out and around to get the target, YIKE, Cricket thought that was dumb at first, why not just cut behind and grab it? If you place your target correctly these grids teach the puppy to jump a nice tight line, and use their body and judgement going around a turn. Most dogs will have a side that is easier and they do better, but in the DVD Susan says we just work it all equally and do not do a lot to try to "fix" that, just let the puppy figure it out.

It was good to be out there with the Crickster tonight and have such a fun session-I LOVE watching her work and with a puppy who is figuring out sooo many things so quickly-how could that work not be fun. I needed an afternoon like that.

Poor Breeve was at the vets on Wednesday for a recheck and another acupuncture and chiro adjustment, and it looks like her latest problem is not an acute injury, so that is good in a way....but then maybe she has had so much trouble the last few months because of the colder weather. If that is the case, then maybe she will not be able to do agility in the winter, I really hope she is going to be OK once it gets warmer. I took Breeze to class on Wednesday afternoon but she was not able to do the weaves, it was pretty bad and I was a little annoyed, but a few minutes later Breeze was limping pretty bad again, so now I am thinking the weaves were hurting and that is why she was not able to do them, ;-(, I feel horrible I kept trying to fix them. I just do not know what to do, I want to take care of her health long term and lately it has just been so hard to walk that tight rope of keeping her happy and healthy, and I do not feel like I have been doing very well lately, but I have done everything I know how to do. She just had such a long stretch where things went so well, I had thought we were on our way but everytime I turn around poor Breeze is hurt lately, I just wish there was someone who had any answers, but I just do not think there are any cut and dried things with Breeze, everything has to be played by ear.

Breeze is really good at herding and I wish I could do more herding with her-maybe that would be easier on her body?, but it is sooo expensive and three hours away so I do not think we will be able to do a lot more with that then we have been. That makes me feel bad.

9 comments:

Sam said...

It's too bad herding isn't closer to home. I know you do a lot of it with Liz, too - I can't imagine doing it with both of them, it would probably be a lot for you! Hopefully Breeze will feel better when the weather warms up.

Cricket looks great! With my next puppy, I'm definitely going to use those jump grids with the bumps.

Sara said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Breeze. I know people around hear grumble a lot during the cold weather, but start feeling better when it warms up. Hopefully, Breeze will feel a bit better when the weather improves.

Cricket looks like she is having a blast with the jump bumps!

Jules said...

Oh Kathy, I am sorry Breeze isn't feeling well. I hope the warm weather changes things. Out of curiosity what size weaves do you use? We just started using 24" weaves in class and a dog who has somewhat chronic back issues and often refuses to weave has shown a HUGE improvement. He never refuses weaves now. (He is a vizsla.) I know with Bug given the long back and the hip I am looking forward to when all the venues change to 24".

Cricket looks great!

Diana said...

Wow, Cricket looks great! she is so focused and really wants that toy. You're doing a wonderful job with her. Sorry about Breeze. Maybe she just needs a break from agility. I take Guiness hiking a lot and he really seems to like that and its really a workout. I dont know how far you are from the beach but that can be a lot of fun too. Diana

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Yes, sorry to hear about Breeze's ongoing problems - I sure hope warmer weather helps!

Cricket does look great with her jump bumps - amazing how fast she's learning!

Kathy said...

Jules I had really thought of just doing weaves that are 24 inches, but when I started classes down here in town they only have 21 in weaves, and I was really thinking about that issue esp. this week, One or two of the other instructors just trial in CPE or USDAA so they see no reason to get new weaves, but maybe I will figure out how to bring my own weaves for class, they break down pretty easily- a giant pain, but if it will help Breeze I want to try! Glad to know it really has helped the other dog with the back issues-that has been my feeling that it would help...

AC said...

Nice work, Cricket! She's doing so well. That distant stay is no easy task for a pup.

I hope breeze starts healing/you're able to figure out what's going on. There are times when it's so hard to not be able just to ask them what's going on.

Nat said...

I hope Breeze feels better soon. I'm sorry to hear about her achies. Keep us updated on how she does when you begin getting nice weather again!

I remember how hard the bend grids were for Wall-e when he was a puppy. He loved straight-line grids though, of course. Cricket looked great on the grids, and was really extending so well through the straight-line grid! She's going to be such a good jumper.

Morganne said...

Sorry to hear about Breeze. It's tough this time of year when you can't get out as often you'd like during the Winter. Perhaps not do any weaves in class? Just work them at home.

Do you have places you can hike with the dogs off leash?