Friday, March 16, 2012

Taking advantage of the nice weather

Secret is such a good sport. I didn't even have treats on me when I set her up for this picture. Of course, that could be why she looks kind of pissy... She was like, "Dude, I'm totally not barking and putting on a happy face for you without treats." Oh well. She's still cute.

After the last controversial post, I figured I'd just go back to lighthearted random crap again. :oP Seriously, I was pretty surprised by the number of hits that post got. Granted, it could be because I posted it on my Facebook wall (which prompted its own good discussion). There were many good points made, but to be honest I do think a lot of people live in la-la land and just don't realize that the habits they've developed are not in the best interest of their dogs. But whatever, if they're happy, they're happy. I just always like to think we can be BETTER.

In the interest of making ourselves better, I took advantage of the record breaking 71 degree day (and the fact that it's the only Tuesday/Thursday I didn't have to work at the shelter THIS ENTIRE MONTH) and set another drill from the Clean Run Backyard Dogs series.

I didn't put much actual thought into choosing one. Namely because I really didn't feel like setting anything at all but I figured I should. I just grabbed the last issue on my table (which happens to be January 2012 since I kind of let my subscription lapse -- no worries, I reordered yesterday AND ordered the back-issues that I missed....). The drill wasn't particularly inspiring to me, but it was better than something I would have dreamed up on my own.

I went and photomerged the three drills I picked -- go ahead and click on the picture to make the exercises actually viewable.

I think the bullet points at the top of the article said that it was designed to test weave entries as well as offer opportunities for front and rear crosses. I didn't pay much attention, but I do always try to read the little boxes for each drill to see what sort of handling they might suggest. If there's one area I suffer, it's getting stuck inside a box and not "seeing" all of the options in front of me.

We had good points and not so good points. Good points were that she totally nailed every weave entry thrown at her and she had super nice turns & wraps. Secret's trouble spots definitely stuck out. The one that was repeated over and over was her lack of drive through the poles when I'm not right there -- it doesn't help that she was weaving into the fence, which is about as demotivating as it gets for her.

Typically, I didn't want to go past the second or third pole because I wanted to stay ahead of her for the jump after. A few times she would just pop out and stare at me, wondering why I wasn't ahead of her. If she did stay in the poles they were quite a bit slower than usual -- Like, really slow. As soon as we moved past that and on to the rest of the exercise her normal speed would come back because I was running with her. Secret will do her weaves with great lateral distance, but getting her to drive independently ahead through them while I hang back has ALWAYS been a struggle point for us.

The other part that she hated was in the third drill, the continuous 360 from 6-7-8. Again we see a spot where I'm stuck in one spot expecting her to drive around me. Secret has always been pretty insistent that we both put in equal amounts of effort in this sport, which is how I find myself doing so many front crosses to stay in front of her. With that part of the exercise it was hard to do much other than shuffle my feet in place, so she put forth an equal amount of enthusiasm. I found myself wishing I would have picked a different drill, but then again, you never know when you might see that same set-up at a trial (not NADAC, obviously).

At that point she kind of just quit on me. That hasn't happened for some time, but there were several reasons. My own lackluster energy was largely to blame. The stupid neighbor kids were outside next door and I think it was a combination of the noise they were making (they NEVER play outside in the winter, so she hasn't heard anything over there for a long time) and the 360 exercise in the last drill that just sort of did her in. The warm weather seems to be hitting all of the dogs, too, in that they aren't acclimated to it just yet.

So I put Secret in the house for a bit while I worked the other dogs. I brought her out for a quick session before I put everything away to just do some simple fun things with the jumps still down at 12". I raced her through the weaves to get her happy weaves back. I did some back side of the jump work -- both pushing her around from the front and having her follow me to the backside, something I don't think we've really done much of. We finished with some fast paced easy crossing drills that made her happy.

Then we all just sat in the yard for the next hour and enjoyed the evening.

So I heard back from one of Missy's potential adopters yesterday! He said he really liked the video and would like to meet Missy in person. My schedule, of course, makes this sort of thing unfortunately difficult. At the moment we are looking at next Friday. Hopefully it works out!


  1. Yay for Missy! I'll keep my finger's crossed for you.

    I hope my comment didn't sound too pissy on your last post. I wasn't trying to come off that way, just putting my own experiences/opinions out there :)

  2. No worries, I took no offense to your post. :o) I did, however, have to sit pretty hard on my hands when Sharon's response came through the list.