Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weaving, running and jumping

Miss Fuzzy Bear - aka Crazy Ears
As Cassie approaches fourteen months of age things are starting to heat up on the training front.  We are finally starting to get to the “big” dog stuff.  The 2 x 2’s have been dusted off and put out in my training area and after a bit of searching through the bookshelves I’ve relocated Susan Garrett's DVD on how to teach them.  The double box jump grid has been resurrected something I haven’t done in a long time and of course I probably need to re-watch “Great Dog Shame About the Handler” so I can remember more than the one front cross exercise…

Mostly August has been all about obsessing over running contacts.  Today I feel good about them because Cassie and I have just worked through a bit of a “training struggle” however last week I wasn’t feeling so warm and fuzzy.  After I train her tonight I may again feel differently!  But we are getting there which is the main thing even with the ups and downs.  The thing that probably annoys me most is the amount of time I’m spending doing them when I could be doing other things.  And to think that all I’m really trying to achieve is my dog running on a plank of wood!  She has progressed further in a week learning 2 x 2’s than the last six weeks on running contacts.  Anyway I’m determined to see this mission out.

My Miss Personality- aka Cassie
2 x 2’s as always are a joy to teach.  Cassie is learning just as quickly as any of my border collies have and we’re already starting to straighten the poles after only six sessions.  But then she really gets the whole shaping thing so I didn’t really expect any less from her.  Thanks to the time sucking nature of running contacts we are only doing a session every two days but I guess at least it breaks things up a bit.

Although I can currently only remember one jumping exercise on the double box grid that one exercise is going well.  I'm jumping her on a mixture of 200 & 250 heights.  I will do some 300 later but I don't want to do too much on 300 until I know for sure if she will measure in to that height.  She only has to jump 250 for ADAA thank goodness.  Although she'll be able to jump 300 when you see how little she is compared to some of the shelties in 300 I really hope that doesn't happen as it will be a huge disadvantage.  I bit like all the poor shelties who end up in 400 height and having to compete against border collies that although small for bc's are substantially bigger than they are.

Probably our biggest training issue is Cassie down at the Canine grounds.  Through no ones fault but my own I'm way down the list of fun things to do when she's down there.  There are lots of bonus's to having Miss Personality but when she wants to personally say hello to every man, woman, child and dog on the Canine grounds it can be a little frustrating.  So we'll be spending some time over the next few months working on how much fun it is to be with me.  Otherwise it won't matter how quickly she learns to weave because she'll never be allowed off lead...

Fizz still isn't doing a great deal of anything, other than growing.  She's really starting to enjoy going to training and getting cuddles from everyone.  She's pretty blase about other dogs.  She really just doesn't seem to care.  Not a bad thing as long as she's indifferent as opposed to worried.  We did our first restrained recalls at training which was fun.  She is so unco.  Cassie is doing her best to teach Fizz to become more nimble during their games of "you can't catch me".  As Fizzy still can't catch her obviously there is a lot of room for improvement!