Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday Night XJWW Practice

Nedra called a special practice for 8:30 p.m. Wed. night, after the Advanced Beginner's class ended, to make up for the missed Monday night class and give all competitors a chance to run the XJWW course Sheryl and I had set up on Sunday.  I got there about 8 and had a chance to watch the AB dogs run -- Casey, Charlie, and a sheltie named Max. 

Right at 8:30, I had a chance to run Maxie using the distance handling techniques I've been practicing.  He got the first half right (red), made it through the box (9-13) but blew the 2nd tunnel (orange) the first time, blew the weaves the second time, and for the rest of the night (3 more runs), got it right.  Lucky was the last to run, and she pretty much ran the whole sequence at 22", with breaks for treats in between.  I mostly wanted everyone to see her jumping and note her progress, since I'm training her all on my own and so many instructors have expressed concern as to her lack of drive.  It was about 10 degrees cooler tonight, though, and she had some drive.  Not BC drive, but as much as many other D's I see out there competing.  I don't want her to ever get too fast for me to handle.

Maxie keeps smelling something in the grass, though, stops half-way thru the weaves or going along a run to sniff the grass.  I have to proof him against smell distractions.  I don't think it's a stress behavior.  He does this at home too.

Unfortunately, the course got taken down after Lucky's run.  I lost my battle to keep it up another week.  I would have liked to perfect my handling techniques behind those lines, sending Maxie far away, layering, and so forth.  I wanted us to run the course backwards, which would have presented a whole new set of challenges, such as making it from 9 to a correct weave entry.  Seems such a waste of time, energy, and opportunity, not to mention Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be nothing set up for anybody to practice on.

We meet at 8 p.m. next Saturday to set up 2 short courses.  Nedra says one will be only jumpers stuff, the other will have the contact obstacles.  We'll work 1 for half the class, then the other.

Polly surprised me by inviting me to assist her next Beginners class.  Unfortunately, that is on Monday nights and conflicts with Maxie's Competitive Handling class.  I had to decline.  Maybe after the Gulfport and Kiln trials coming up, I can switch Maxie to the Tuesday night class, but then I'll be gone from home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights!  I hate to be away from John so many evenings in a row, especially since his meetings are on Friday nights.  But then, what we mostly do is watch TV all night, except we do enjoy dinner together, and we get a few chores done during commercials or between episodes.

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