Last night was Riot’s last Contacts & Weaves and Handling 2 Classes.
Contacts and Weaves
In contacts and weaves we practiced measuring since I (along with a few others) requested practice. Fortunately Riot should probably measure under 22 inches. We were getting between 21.5” and 22.25” depending on how wiggly and relaxed he was. He is taller than I thought he was going to be, but not as tall as I feared he was last week.
He had some nice grid work. And his weaves were pretty good. Elsie had us doing a set of 10 followed by a set of 6 and vice versa. We didn’t get a chance to do any teeter work, but we’ve been working the newly resurfaced teeter in the basement some this week.
As for his contacts, they’re getting better. They’re actually looking really nice when I’m on the left. He’s still not driving into position from the right that has everyone scratching their heads.
For handling 2, we did a novice jww course last night. It was the first full course Riot has seen. Riot didn’t do too bad. We had some issues with the lead out (I think more handler than dog related). And Riot broke his start line stay for the first time. I’m pretty please with the way he did.
We’re taking Handling 2 again next session. It’s a really fun class and we get to work on some pretty challenging sequences.
In Contacts and Weaves we spent a lot of time dissecting his contacts problem. He’s got a great dog walk and teeter when he’s on the left, but on the right, he’s stopping a few feet short of the bottom. Eventually we got him driving to the bottom. The a-frame he was more hesitant on than usual. He was pausing at the top and driving towards the edges on his way down. Overall I was very happy with our progress tonight. We also did some practice on our weaves. I layered a second set of weaves between the poles he was working and myself and he stayed in. We also did a bunch of practice on the tire while we were waiting our turn. I was getting some very nice distance on that too.
Next was our handling 2 class and the sequences were from last weekend’s open or excellent jumpers run. Riot did really well. I made a handling mistake on the end of our first sequence and then he was not trilled about repeating and things kind of fell apart. Our second sequence I had thrown the leash in a place that I thought would be out of the way, but Riot did the first two jumps and decided to bring me the leash. He was fixated on the jump with the rest of our attempts with that sequence.
The next one we did fairly well, he lost focus between two of the jumps, but I called his name and got him right back on track. I got extra tickets for doing a good job of keeping my eye on the dog and keeping moving.
Our last sequence we nailed. We did it as a distance exercise and Riot had no problems with it.
Tonight there was a double and a triple in our sequences. This was the first time he had seen either and there weren’t any problems with them.
Highlights of contacts and weaves: rockin’ 12 weave poles, fabulous grid work, and awesome table, decent dog walk. Low lights: we still need lots of work on contacts. tunnel under dog walk == scary. Introduction to the broad jump — needs some work.
Handling 2 I thought was going to be easy in comparison to past weeks. All the exercises were box exercises, but we had our fair share of issues. But we also had some moments of brilliance. This is the first week we’ve jumped 20 inches in class and he did fine with that.
Favorite moment: Elsie telling me I need to get out of the habit of using 2 commands because I’m not going to have time. He’s going to be fast. :-D
We’re having so much fun in classes. Contacts and Weaves is getting old. It’s a class I’ve taken probably 10 times with Cisco over the years and always gotten a ton out of, but with Riot, I’m not getting as much out of it as I’d like. His weaves are coming along really nicely outside of class and different environments don’t seem to be effecting his ability to weave. Because of all the additional activity, it’s hard to work entrances which is what we need the most work on. We do need more work on contacts, but I don’t think we’re getting enough time on the equipment in class. He’s weak on the right side of the a frame and is much more likely to pop off than on the left. I really need more than 3-4 times over the a-frame in a class to work on this. He has no fear of the teeter which is great. And he has a really good dog walk.
Handling 2 is becoming the class I love and hate. For being as young and inexperienced as he is, he is doing really, really well. I’m getting much better at timely corrections when he tries to switch sides on me and he’s starting to work better on the right. Serpentines are still our weakness. Looking at his start line stay, you’d think he was part border collie — he’s just raring to go! We’ve got some great looking lead-outs. He’s also teaching me a lot about handling along the way. This weeks sequences were taken from this past weekends steeplechase openings. They were pretty challenging and lots of fun.
Last night we threw bumpers since I got home late and didn’t have time for much else. Riot is doing really well, he’s got great enthusiasm for the game. I finally figured out that if I turn around and run just a few steps then I can turn around and ask him to give me the bumper and I’ll have it delivered to hand. If I stand still, he drops it 5-10 feet in front of me every time. Amazing what a difference a couple of steps can make. I know force fetch should fix this issue, but at the same time, I do want him to get used to the concept of giving them to me and not dropping. We have field training on Saturday. It’s the first one we’ve made since the Gaylan’s reunion in August. I’m hoping he’ll decide to bring a bumper back to me and that he picks up a duck instead of rolling on it.
Classes started today. This is the first time Riot has been in class since he was sick.
This dog continues to amaze me. His enthusiasm is contagious and seems to know how to do things I never remember teaching him.
First up was Contacts and Weaves. First we tackled the a-frame and dog walk. We need to work on rocking back better on the a-frame. It didn’t seem to be as much of a problem on the dog walk. I also need to find a better/different target to use. When he’s released, he picks up the target and takes off with it. We were doing tunnels to the a-frame and dog walk and he was having a blast.
Next we worked jump grids and he did really well with him.
Finally we moved to teeter and weaves. Did I mention he’s doing 6 weave poles? He’s picking up speed going through them. We worked a few different clock faces and then I sent him from a tunnel into the weaves. He did a really nice job collecting himself. We followed this up with the teeter. I think our teeter at home is too slick and he’s gotten used to sliding down it. He’s laying down about halfway down the down side. I think it’s kind of funny, but obviously not what I want. We need to re-coat the teeter at home and go back to working the bang game.
Riot was ready to go whenever it was his turn, but I still managed to have him on down stays while he was waiting his turn despite the excitement and chaos going on around him. We did have issues with tugging. I couldn’t get any tugging from him with the teeter and a-frame part. The jump grids I got a little bit out of (switching tugs) and for the weaves and teeter, I brought out the big guns — the flying squirrel.
Next class was Handling 2. I was really nervous about this class because we did okay in Handling 1, but we did have a lot of issues and was unsure we should even move up. Turns out I didn’t have that much to worry about. He did really, really well. I was able to send him over jumps and handle him better than I thought I could. He’s very enthusiastic and very fast. He responds to very subtle movements so I need to make sure I following through. He’s going to be a lot of fun!