Monday, October 18, 2010
It's painted! (The table, or Secret?)
See that nice splotch of blue paint on Secret's foreleg? Yeah.... Still not entirely sure how she got that. I can somehow picture how Max got blue paint in his tail, primer on his back and blue paint across his side (he was the worst, obviously!), but that big splotch on Secret's leg? It kind of befuddles me.
I was OFF on Saturday -- No work, no trials, no nuthin, -- So I took advantage of it and got my table project finished. That sucker has a grand total of three coats of primer (one being the sand layer) and two coats of color. It should survive living outside for 2/3 of the year.
There was still a little sun left after the last coat of paint finished drying and I finished posing everyone for pictures, so I decided to grab the clicker and do Secret's first session of learning the automatic down on the table. It should be no surprise, but she picked it up in an instant. We'll obviously need to proof it over several more sessions, but it stuck with her enough that she remembered to do it when I asked her for the table yesterday. Not lightning fast, but she went into the down without being asked when I didn't say anything. So we're off to a great start, but we'll keep working on it. We started with the 8" table and will move up to the 12" table for our next session.
Bethany & Rascal came over for practice on Friday and I set up the Elite Regular course that I ran with the boys in Zumbro Falls. Secret was AWESOME on the course. We did all of it with the Jolly Ball, too -- No food! I broke it up at first and rewarded her in various sections (contacts & weaves, mainly), then put it all together in the end. She rocked it. The only hitch was a tunnel contact discrimination where the tunnel was to the inside. I don't recall that we ever got that one on the first try. Something more to practice, I guess! I'm guilty of not setting up that particular sequence very often because we so very rarely see it in trials.
While waiting for one of the paint layers to dry on Saturday, I set up the Chances course from Zumbro Falls. I just ran it like a regular course with Secret, but it gave us a great opportunity to work on our, "OUT Tunnel!" cue, since she tends to be such a contact-sucker. Something seemed to really click with her and she started to really sight in on the tunnel and go for it without as much body blocking as is normally required. This course layout also offered great opportunity for rear cross work (with jumps & tunnels) as well as some pretty good sending. Secret is doing so great for a baby dog in those areas.
I worked at the Humane Society yesterday, but I did still manage to get in a little bit of training. My main motivation is that the boys have a trial this weekend and Kaiser desperately needs schooling on his running dog walk -- So I figured everyone may as well work so long as the contacts are set!
I used it as an opportunity to school Secret on her contacts using her Jolly Ball. She's always more likely to break when she's jazzed up for her toy. She surprised me and totally nailed her a-frame several times, so I didn't push her on that too much. The dog walk caused more of an issue, not only in that she struggled to stop, but a couple of times she just went flying off the center plank! I slowed her down a little at that point and didn't ask for so much distance between myself and the dog walk. When I moved in a bit it seemed to take some of the pressure off her and she gave me a really nice performance.
It was nice to see some real speed with her contact performances. I've noticed she's been starting to get slower & more careful about hitting her two-on/two-off position lately.
Have I said lately how much I love the Jolly Ball company? :o) It brings so much out of Secret! Even if the handle area is just one big gaping hole now....