Monday, June 10, 2013
Use it or Lose it
So yeah... We have a NADAC trial this weekend. It's our first NADAC trial since April and the last time we practiced any sort of distance/Chances/NADAC-y type exercises was... The April trial. Secret wasn't even entered in that NADAC trial, so for her it's been since March!
Inspired by the 76 degree day with no rain (holy cow, no rain?!), I decided to make up a drill to work the dogs on a few distance skills. Anybody who has been reading this blog for any length of time will surely be impressed that my Paint skills continue to improve. Maybe it's all of the computer work at my job? hahaha Some day I'll invest in Course Designer...
This nice little set-up offered the opportunity to practice many skills! You have your basic turn-away into a pinwheel up at the top left -- A NADAC favorite for sure! Good thing I set this up to practice because (aside from Luke, who rocks), you'd think my dogs had never done this before. Kaiser took like four or five tries before he locked off the weaves and remembered what "switch" means. Secret was better and got it on the second or third try. Really dogs...
I doubt you'd ever see a push from the second jump to the jump on the left, but what the hey, we did it anyhow! My brain wasn't sure if that was a switch or an out. Because lord knows I'm always consistent, Kaiser seemed to need a switch, Secret would go for either if timed correctly and Luke required an out. That's so handy that I've trained them all differently, it would seem...
Coming at it from the other direction gave us the chance to practice hitting weaves at a distance after coming out of a tunnel -- a classic spot where you see dogs turn in to the handler. Kaiser, my little weaving machine, struggled with staying out and finding the weave entry at first tonight. Too much rewarding for up close/tight work lately, I'm sure. After that we had the opportunity to pull in or push out to the far jump -- layering, another fun NADAC skill!
And finally you'll see that yes, I incorporated that stupid barrel into the drill as well (for the record, it will forever be referred to as "that stupid barrel," or TSB). To start with we just did a basic send "out" around the far side of TSB. Later on everyone got a turn at working slightly more complex maneuvers with TSB. We started with the tunnel and would switch it up between pushing out and wrapping back to run to the tunnel versus calling into me then doing a "switch" to turn around TSB and driving for the tunnel again.
I have to say, considering this is the "future of NADAC," I'm rather glad that I consented to actually practicing TSB. The dogs are taking to it remarkably well, but it's not as "easy" when you try to throw distance into the mix. And Kaiser being Kaiser spent a little time going past TSB, turning tight and then running the same side he just ran (hmm, kind of like our wraps!).
Secret had no problem with TSB when I was doing the simple "out" in our distance work, but the first time I brought her out to do the "fun" tunnel, hoop, TSB exercise she stood and barked at me until I restarted and tried again. She got it -- and much like our earlier drills she seems to like the switch turn the best.
Kaiser is running nearly the full weekend package with four runs on Friday, six runs on Saturday and five runs on Sunday (for whatever reason I decided not to bother running him in Weavers that day -- probably because I figure he'll have horrible diarrhea by then from all the treats he'll get). He should finish up his V-NATCH on Saturday, so cross your fingers that I didn't totally jinx myself by getting his bar already!
Luke gets to run Chances on Friday, his four core classes on Saturday and then three runs on Sunday (don't ask me why, but they are running one round of Regular that day...).
Secret is going to think this is a pretty sucky trial because she is entered in -- Chances. Boy, that's motivating. Chances Friday, Chances Saturday and Chances Sunday. My reasoning is simply that A) I'm broke, B) she's running a boatload of other classes between her USDAA and AKC trials, and C) she already has NATCH 2 points in Regular and Jumpers, so why bother? I did, for experimentation sake, enter her in Tunnelers on Saturday. It's been quite a while since we've played in that class and I'm curious to see what she does. They didn't have Tunnelers on Friday or I would have entered her then since the first day is (obviously) always her best.
The pictures from our open call audition with Barbara O'Brien in March were just posted. There are some great ones of both Kaiser & Secret. I'll put those up later this week.