Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Night - "Short Course Challenges"

Class took place after all.  No rain, though the grass was sopping wet and tall, and Max got soaked, as did my new Tom's shoes.  Got there about 7:55 for the 8 p.m. class, and everyone was already there, walking the course.  All these gung-ho competitors get cracking a.s.a.p.  I need to arrive by 7:30, and when the weather gets cooler, by 7 to work Lucky before classes start.

Nedra had set up 2 short courses from a book called Clean Run – Exercise Sourcebook #2.  Each had about 8 obstacles, in challenging configurations.  Short enough courses for each student to practice each challenge several times, with a variety of handling methods.  Yeah man, this is how I yearn to learn!  It's just what we need right now.  With the course set up for a week or so, I can take Lucky out and work on each challenge separately.

Maxie did very well, minus a few rough spots at first.  He was enthusiastic about everything, ran fast, and it wasn't too hot.  We practiced on his see-saw issues toward the end, which I blog about in my next post.  He ran the 12 weaves just as well as our home practice this morning, from every angle and with me hanging back, diverging, or not moving.

I've posted one of the courses here to show that one little course can contain many interesting challenges.

TUNNEL/CHUTE TIP:  Nedra shared that to get an obstacle-focused fast dog to slow down through the tunnel or chute, they need to collect.  If the tunnel is at the start line, either place them right at the opening or angled off of it.  Within the course, H needs to slow down, lean back, stop running, maybe even backtrack, just before D enters.  Then call "here" before they exit so D will look for H rather than take the next obstacle they see.  I got to thinking after I got home, I bet the noise in that chute is very loud to D as he runs through.  If H is going to say "here", they might better shout.

The harder the courses get, the more the judges place obstacles that will tempt the dog to go off course.  Naturally, this is what makes Dog Agility endlessly fascinating and consumately frustrating, and necessitates gobs and gobs of practice as a team if you ever intend to Q.

Not having any string cheese, I resorted to Kraft Singles Slices, which sort of melted in their rapper in my pocket.  Still, it stayed wrapped, Maxie went crazy for it, and little pieces could be rolled up in a ball and stuck to the end of the see-saw.   It's hard to find "sticky treats".

That's it for tonight.

No comments: