Monday, February 25, 2008

Rhonda Carter seminar

The dogs and I participated in a Rhonda Carter seminar Friday and Saturday. Summit's session was on Friday (Advanced handling) and Sage's session was on Saturday (Master's Coursework with distance).

As usual, I learned a ton from Rhonda. She had a lot of really good insights about Summit and some great training drills to teach him collection. This also came up in the Joan Meyer seminar last month - teaching Summit to collect.

We've had a lot of snow and ice this Winter in Colorado and so I've only been able to train 1-2 jump drills and box work with Summit. Naturally, he was collected while doing these close exercises. So now we are working on jump drills and grids incorporating extension and collection.

Saturday was Sage's turn. It was a very fun class with only six participants. Rhonda showed us how much time we can save on the course by knowing where we can send our dogs out to perform independently which leaves us free to meet them at another part of the course. I wasn't sure I could just throw Sage out there to perform independently while I left for another part of the course. Sage did amazing! Rhonda said, "Trust the training and the dog." It's hard though. Since I'm a fast runner, I am used to running at Sage's head throughout most of a course. But I could see how much faster she was by my sending her out and getting ahead of her. Rhonda also helped me with setting a LOM for Sage. Since she is a uni, I don't tend to use verbal directionals since she doesn't triangulate well while we are running a course (she does have a verbal release from the startline and table). Rhonds said this will let Sage know where she is going several obstacles ahead.

No more seminars for awhile but these last two gave me a lot to work on. Our next seminar is with Susan Garrett in June.

Here is my favorite picture of Summit from last weeks CKC trial.

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