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.