Thursday, August 26, 2010

Taking it Easy

After all of that hard work of learning to weave in six days last week, we've been taking it pretty easy since then. Last night was actually the first bit of agility we've done since last Thursday.

Secret and the boys seem to be doing well adjusting to my schedule at the Humane Society. They have been quite spoiled by my parents, though, and that never hurts!

I left home around 7:50 a.m. on Saturday and they were only home alone until around 1:30 when my parents stopped by and took them up to their house for the rest of the day. I drove straight there after work and we did dinner for my birthday, then took Secret & Luke for a run through the woods on the quads (poor Kaiser is too little!). Boy did Secret ever have a good time! She alternated between following my quad or running between my dad & I. The dogs were definitely tuckered out after that little jaunt.

On Sunday my mom went and hung out with the dogs for a little over an hour, so again they got a nice little break during the day. This past Tuesday worked the same as the last, with them getting to hang out at the office for half the day. I have a full day of required staff training tomorrow from 10:00 - 7:30, so they'll get to chill with my mom again. I'm so thankful for this help so that they don't have to stay home alone for 10 hours at a time.

The hot & gross weather has finally broken! The last few days have been just lovely, which is why I couldn't pass up a training opportunity for the dogs last night (especially after mowing on Tuesday!). I set up an Open Regular course for the boys and worked Secret on all parts except for the 12 weaves. I substituted a teeter for a tunnel in one spot because I knew it would make her happy. :o)

In her first session I used the Wubba and only asked her to do hoops, tunnels & jumps. I even managed to throw in the teeter a couple of times while I had the toys out. In her second session, though, she really showed no interest in the Wubba from the start. I believe she had watched Kaiser getting treats in his session and had decided that was what she wanted as well. That was fine, I just started to add in contact work for her that session. My real issue with using the food rewards with Secret is that she slows down SO MUCH when she's working for food. She's easily 3x faster when we start out with the toys.

We haven't done work on contacts for a very long time -- If I had to guess, I would say she hasn't been on them since I did a video on the subject. YouTube says that was 6/29/10. Wow, really? Well, July was super hot and we really didn't do much more than jump work, so I guess that could be correct! At any rate, especially considering it's been that long, I'd say she was fantastic. Not the fastest performances she's had, but she definitely nailed her bottoms. Her teeter work was just splendid. I'd love to get her on a regulation teeter one of these days, though, to see if she handles it equally well. Mine is on the short side (hey, it was built for Kaiser!) and certainly doesn't "bang" on the grass.

When the boys were done with their drills, I pulled the weave poles apart to give Secret a quick refresher on them. She did the staked set of 2x2's perfectly the first time through. I ran her through them several times in each direction and also sent her through the solid-based set of 6 several times -- including running her into them from hoops or jumps. Considering we haven't touched the weaves for a week, I was super impressed with her.

This weekend I hope to start working her towards 12 poles. I still want/need to open up the 2x2's to try to get her single-stepping, though. Her footwork is improving, but she's still more or less hopping through the poles.

Bethany & Rascal are coming over tonight. I plan to set up the Novice equivalent of the course from last night and we'll see how they (Rascal & Secret) do on it. There are TWO discrimination spots, which both of the young ones definitely need more practice with! Secret is very much a "contact sucker" and requires quite a lot of direction to make it into the "out tunnel." Now that the weather is starting to be more bearable, we have a lot of work to get done this fall. I hate that Secret turns 18 months in the middle of winter. Hopefully some sort of indoor training opportunity falls into my lap...

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