OK, well it is his birthday...
It finally here, our amazing pups turn one year old tomorrow. So I've been trying to give some thought to a proper training program for Sonic as we can now progress through his equipment learning stage. I have actually been referring back to a lot of stuff from Nancy Geyes articles in Clean Run magazine with her training of Sweep. Nancy uses Greg Derrett's handling system, as do I, so it's been really useful. There are some things I will be doing differently but it's been a very helpful guide. I think she is a great handler and trainer.
Over the last few weeks I've introduced Sonic to five jumps in the jump grid set at about 20cm height with 6 foot between each jump. I have still retained the Susan Salo spider on the front as I've been concerned that he was getting a bit sloppy with his style in his quest to go too fast. We've lost a couple of weeks training to crap weather though so I haven't had a chance to do anymore. I'd like to move on to the progressive grid next and the balance grid. I had a good indication that he is getting more confident with his body following a trip down the park a few weeks ago. We were coming back through the local equestrian park which has a three and a half metre wide drainage ditch running through the middle of it. All my other dogs crossed at the bridge but he picked his line and made a concious decision to jump over the ditch, which he cleared with ease. He's been to that park many times before but it was the first time he's ever done that. It would appear that the jump work has really built his confidence in body awareness.
Haven't really gone much further with any other equipment. He loves his tunnels now and is flying through both flexi's and collapsibles without any problem. I haven't back chained the dog walk any further yet cause I'm too scared to... He has started the end of the A-Frame, still doing the same level on the see saw, has gone through a tyre a couple of times and that's pretty much it! When I go to training I feel like I tend to focus more on his sit stays in front of a jump and just building reinforcement for doing the jump right now. I can't wait to get on with it though. These last couple of weeks has been killing me with the rain and ensuing flooding of the Canine grounds. With fine weather forecast for the week I'm hopeful that we can really push forward.
Happy Birthday MickSal pups.