It's a shocker, I know. I took off from the shelter this weekend because we were supposed to go to the Zumbro Falls NADAC trial. As you know, I opted to skip that trial to rest up (and save $$) for Champs, wanting to go in on the high note of our last (highly successful) trial.
This resulted in spending two whole days at home with no plans. I totally fail at having weekends. It's been so long since I've had one that I kind of just implode and become a hermit. Ah well, hermit weekends aren't that bad. The dogs would tend to disagree, though. They were thoroughly disgusted with me on Saturday. Eventually they just make their own fun -- This was one of their tamer indoor play sessions this weekend. Makes me wonder what they do when I'm gone all day at the shelter....
I was thankfully a far more productive human being on Sunday. In addition to four loads of laundry, cleaning (don't worry, I didn't go overboard) and grocery shopping, I actually managed to work the dogs! I figured I'd be a failure as a human being if I let the whole weekend pass by without taking advantage of the beautiful weather -- It would have been a lovely weekend to trial outdoors in Zumbro Falls, that's for sure.
I feel like I brought out this course a week early, but I set the Finals round from 2010 NADAC Championships. Oh yes, the Finals. :o) It is my goal to get at least one dog into the finals -- It might be a lofty goal, but gosh darn it there you have it. Anyhow, this is the course:
It was a wee bit of a squeeze in my yard, but we managed. The start hoop was simply about a foot away from the fence, that's all. :o) And the 8-9 hoop sequence ran directly next to the deck, which Kaiser didn't really care for (Mr. Space Bubble-n-all), but Secret didn't give a rip. In my course, the number 12 tunnel was replaced with two hoops to simulate the entrance & exit to the tunnel -- I figured if I had to omit a tunnel, that was a better option than #4/14. And lest you think it dampens the tunnel sucking effect one might see in the original course, Kaiser & Luke were fully capable of blowing off my turn signal and running through the off course hoop. ;o)
But Secret? Secret says, "I got this, no worries!"
I played with a few different handling options, such as rear crossing into tunnel #4 vs. a front cross between 3 & 4. That didn't make much of a difference to Secret. In a moment of brilliantly stupid handling I found myself behind her in the line going to the tunnel under the a-frame. Not that I would ever recommend it, but I started to cross behind her and gave her the verbal "tunnel" command -- and she took it! I suppose it's nice to know if we get in a pinch that we have options... After that I handled the turn from 4 to 5 from much further back and took off running as soon as she came out of the tunnel.
I was quite impressed with her switch turn from 13 to 14. She apparently thinks switching into tunnels is super fun because she would really dig in and push through that turn. I handled the closing sequence with a rear cross from 17 to 18 which, leading into the dog walk, was also apparently highly motivating to Secret. Nice to see that the front cross queen is having more fun with rear crosses these days.
It should come as no surprise to me that Secret's stopped contacts were officially *gone* in this session. I've been asking for it. We ended our first session with a couple of stopped contacts with the toy reward. I skipped doing any course work with Secret on her second turn and opted to instead put some deposits in the contact bank with food rewards. It's been quite a while since we've done any of that -- Secret thought it was pretty awesome.
In addition, I asked for some dog walks with HUGE distance. She is so used to me babysitting her end performance, so I wanted to focus on getting some distance. She did great, even when I ran laterally halfway across the yard -- AND she sent out to the jump after the dog walk, even! That's pretty good for the velcro baby dog.
I figure we have one more night of course work prior to Champs. I haven't decided what course we will do -- The remainder of the 2010 Champs courses are quite tunnel-heavy and I don't feel I can do them justice replacing them with hoops, but I might try. It might not hurt to plan one more discrimination session into our training schedule as well. Tick-tock, it's getting close!!