Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Quiet Weekend

I spent the weekend at home, having failed to get into the Sportsmen's trial today that I entered. Dratted mail!

I did hear that Raissa Hinman and Aura finished their CDX today, Mary Kuhns and Caitlin won the Novice A class with an impressive 196 and earned their first Excellent Rally leg, and Nancy Stein and Reuben earned their 2nd Novice leg today.

Earlier this week, I started teaching Joker a stand signal for Utility. This is harder than with the other dogs I've taught one to, since I never taught him a solid kick-back stand for Novice or Rally. He does seem to be catching on already. The part that confuses him is he thinks any hand presented needs to be nose-touched. Using the leash to hold him back seems to be helping. Another Utility exercise we are working on his Directed Jumping. I'm really not sure when he learned how to do such nice go-outs, but with a visible target and two sticks to make a chute at the end, he's doing full-length go-outs with a great sit at the end. I've even started combining a go-out with some jumps. We did a two-target marking game today. I think that's the first time he's ever done marking with two targets. He seems to have the concept pretty well. And he's done several sit stays (after failing both at last weekend trials).

With Ty, I've been working on her drop on recall. She's finally understanding dropping at the bar from a sit stay with us 50 feet apart. I figure I'll go to 2 bars the next time we train it. She's also doing pretty decent Directed Jumping. Her sit at the end is loopier than I like, so I narrowed her chute to try to tighten it up. She used to have a very loopy sit out in the field, so it isn't that surprising. We also drilled some finishes. Her left finish via a signal is still the most consistent.

Gryffin is also in sit-stay boot camp. He doesn't really seem to have the concept that front foot movement is BAD, so that's what I'm working to help him understand. I am seeing some improvement, though I haven't gone out of sight much this week. We've also done some go-out sit proofing, with toys to either side of the go-out spot. Today, we worked some DOR with a bar, just to remind him about stopping promptly.

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