Thursday, May 13, 2010

Done growing?

I had to stop by the vet's office yesterday to pick up Luke's medication, so I took Secret in to get a weight on her. I looked back and see that the last time I weighed her was April 15 and she was 38 lbs on the nose. Last night she was 37.7 lbs!

She had a little bit of chunk to lose and it looks like all of her recent activity has helped to take that off. Secret is quite lean at the moment with her ribs very easily felt. I don't think I'd want to run her any skinnier than this.

So with "negative growth" experienced over the last month, is it possible we have topped out? I'm hoping so, as I think she's quite a nice size at the moment. Her height is hovering around 21", more or less. It sounds like her brother is very similar in size, at 21" tall and 38.7 lbs.

We had another agility night using the clicker & treats (cheese, mmmmm) last night. The results confirmed my earlier decision to go ahead and stick with this route until her drive and enthusiasm are a bit more set.

I set up a jump sequence that offered a lot of options -- A straight line of four jumps that ended with a box into a pinwheel to the right. I started with single jump wraps (everything is 8") and turned that into figure 8's. After that we worked on driving down the straight line and she is starting to get so much faster! (Not blazing fast yet, mind you, but she's at least putting some effort into it and not trotting and going around jumps.) I was even able to leave her at the start of the line and go all the way down to the last jump (@ 70' away) to do a recall -- the little stinker only went around one jump, but oddly, it was the same jump that Kaiser went around when I did the same exercise with him. Huh. Odd coincidence.

The tire was part of the box, so we worked on that as a single obstacle and connecting it to the jumps around it. We also worked on sending through the pinwheel, but learning to stay on her line through a curve is going to take a bit more time, I think, to build up her confidence and speed. Basically, she's moving out nicely when I run with her, but when I move less, so does she. Understandable!

She really is doing ever so much better since I caved and started using food. She remained so engaged that she actually started to get amped up and barked at me when I revved her up with, "reaaaaaaddddyyyyy?????" She's doing awesome with recalls and turns into me, but now we have to work on more obstacle focus and driving forward. I also started to introduce the switch/rear cross. Yeah, that's going to take some work.... It's easy to forget that my boys were once at this same stage! I have to keep reminding myself that she'll get it in time. :o)

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