Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The above photo is the course map for our exercises last night. The boys were due for some distance training and I figured this set-up also gave me several things to work on with Secret!

Most notable was the layering drill at the start of the course. The distance line on this course map is for the Elite level, but even the Novice dogs on this course had to stay to the left of the double jumps. Talk about an evil test for Novice dogs & handlers!!

I don't believe I've done even a hint of layer work with Secret yet, so my expectations weren't terribly high for this exercise. Imagine my surprise, then, when she nailed it -- repeatedly! She really sighted in on her line and stuck to it. She never encroached on my space to come in to the inside jumps. Wow, what a good girl! I guess I'm installing a space bubble on her similar to the one Kaiser has -- Which can be a good thing and a bad thing....

We played with distance on the top portion of the course as well. It was fun to see Secret come blasting out of the tunnel and zooming through the hoops -- She had some speed last night! I was able to successfully get a good 10'-15' of lateral distance through that section, which allowed me to front cross at the bottom of the number 9 jump. I was also able to hang out by the number 9 jump while she sent to the tunnel and recalled through the hoops, so I was very impressed with her last night.

Space got a little tight at the bottom of the course, so I left the a-frame out and substituted the tire jump & a hoop for the finish. One of these days I'll stop being lazy and put contacts into more of our course work...

We also ran the course backwards, which involved a rear cross from jump 9 to the hoop at the top -- The angle was a little funky, but Secret didn't have any issue with it. I think I need to be a little more prompt with my cues, however, because several times I catch her looking back at me for direction and as soon as I tell her where to go she's off and sighting into the obstacle.

I didn't attempt the "out" line of jumps in the backwards course. I had done that with Luke and it was just nasty hard, so I kept things simple & happy by having her just run the inside line. She drove forward very nicely to finish up the last jump a good 20' ahead of me.

All of our work in the first session was done with the bumper. I tossed her into the rotation when I brought the boys out to work -- But then she'd seen Kaiser getting treats and was no longer interested in toys. The surprising news is that we did a couple of runs after Bethany & Rascal left (using food) and she was speedy & accurate.

Also of note, I bumped all of the jumps up to 20" for the stuff we did while Rascal was there & after -- This is the first time we've really put together several jumps at that height. Secret seemed a little unsure of this at first, but by the end of the night she was sailing through the sequences with ease. We'll stay at 20" for a while before bumping up any higher, I think. I want to be sure she's confident at this height before going up again. Ultimately, we'll have to get to 26" if we plan to run in the Championship classes in USDAA. She will be a 24" dog in AKC. Speaking of, I still haven't sent in for her PAL....

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