Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pikes Peak Obedience Club AKC trial

It was a good weekend and I learned two very important things.

1. Because of her hearing impairment, Sage is hyper-sensitive to my motion. A handling move that may work well with Summit does not always work well with Sage.

2. I really need to work more on cueing collection when I'm behind Summit. I work a lot on cueing collection when I'm in front of him since that is how I like to handle and I prefer to be in front of my dogs. I'm not comfortable steering from behind. But sometimes there is no other option and I need to practice asking for collection and tighter turns with Summit when I am stuck behind him.

Summit had a nice run in Jumpers but dropped one bar. That afternoon he took second place in Standard. So one bar short of a double Q. I was thrilled to see our consistency as both were nice runs.

Sage's run in Jumpers was clean and a third place. I handled the course the same for both dogs. However, she had a wrong course in Standard. Again, I handled it the same for both dogs. I ran it with Summit first and he read the line of motion to the teeter correctly, Sage did not. The dog came out of the tunnel faced with a wrong course jump in their path, the handler had to get the dog's attention as they came out of the tunnel and handle them through a jump box to the teeter. With Summit, I did not hang back but called his name before he exited the tunnel, turned and ran towards the teeter. With Sage, I had to hang back and clap as she came out of the tunnel so she would see me. Then I turned to set the line to the teeter but I was not quick enough and my shoulders were still slightly rotated in towards her and I had not straightened my path yet and she responded to that slight pressure and took the left side jump in the box. In this situation, with Sage, it would have been a wiser choice to front cross at the tunnel exit, and run on the other side towards the teeter. I walked it that way initially but did not like the line and was afraid with Summit, that I would get stuck behind the wing of the double. But I think the FC would have been a better choice with Sage.

Below is each dog's Standard run. I'm curious if anyone else can see any difference in my body position or motion in Sage's run compared to Summit. When I pause both videos at the same spot, it looks like I have more lateral distance and running a straighter line with Summit than with Sage.

Here is Summit's Jumpers run on Saturday.

On Sunday Summit had a nice Standard run and Jumpers but with a refusal in each. The Standard run included a tunnel to a tight 270 with a wrong course tunnel on the landing side of the first jump in the 270. Again, I ran Summit first and chose to stay behind and cue collection and the turn (and rear cross the 2nd jump of the 270). He responded to my lateral motion well for the turn but did not collect and jumped fully extended which caused him land just past the plane of the second jump.

In Jumpers, it was a two-jump leadout (second jump offset), I did not set him up correctly for a LOPush and he ran by the second jump. So something I need to train better.

Sage had a beautiful Standard run but was called for a teeter flyoff (hmmm... that would be the very first teeter fault in her entire 3-year career of competing). I had many people come up to me later and tell me it was an incorrect call (one of them is a judge). Oh well, I remember last year when I KNEW Sage missed her DW contact and the judge didn't call it - I guess I just paid it back:-)

That afternoon Sage had a beautiful run in Jumpers for a fourth place. It was one of those runs where you are in the zone - not even thinking about handling - just letting it flow.

This Friday Beth and I are headed to Durango, Colorado for another two-day AKC trial. The elevation in Durango is at 6,512 feet and the town is nestled between red sandstone bluffs in the vast Animas River Valley and lies just South of the peaks of the San Juan Mountains (10,500 feet elevation). It's a beautiful area and the trial is outdoors in a park. I think I will bring my camera.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is really interesting. Watching the vids Summit came out the tunnel much tigher and was on line to the see-saw. Sage was already going directionaly to the other jump prior to take off at the first jump out of the tunnel. Hope that makes sense. Also it seems some dogs take the head cue, i.e the head facing position overrides forward motion in a different direction. So doing the same handling can still mean different things. With Rivi I have taught her a 'pull in towards me' arm signal. As it is visual it may be useful?

Morganne said...

Thanks Christine, you have good eyes! I see what you mean by her being committed to that line before she even took the double. In this case, instead of taking off, it might have been better to have waited (no motion)until I had her head before taking off for the teeter.
Summit also has had much better foundation training (being my second agility dog to train:-) and he has a much better understanding of lines of motion.

I am intrigued by the "pull towards me arm signal". What do you use? Is it in any of your videos on your blog?

Jackie said...

The runs I saw were gorgeous. You and Summit always give me goose bumps. I'm really interested in the collection cues too. I learn a lot from your blog. Good luck this weekend.

Christine said...

Hi, sorry, not got this particular signal on vid, but find it really useful. It is similar to a pull thru' signal. Think of that dance on Saturday Night Fever where the arm goes diagionally across the body downwards! So the hand ends up pointing towards the hip. Hope that makes sense. If I'm brave enough I will do a little vid to demonstrate it at the weekend depending on the weather :-) The line of motion theory is great and fab. Just not sure if Rivi agrees, as she prefers a signal to pull in.

Diana said...

Plus( to me) your shoulders are over rotated to the left because you are trying to let her see you clapping instead of being forward. Not sure what you could do about that.

Your runs are beautiful! Lovely jumpers. Diana

Morganne said...

Christine, I think I know the signal you are referring to. I took a seminar with Swiss handler Marco Mowen and he showed me how to use an offside arm to cue convergence or to get Sage's attention. I use it on course except when she is coming out blind (tunnel or chute) I will clap instead.

Morganne said...

Thanks Diane, I agree, my shoulders were facing the wrong course jump and not straight ahead towards the teeter.

Something to really watch for next time I need to handle her through a box.

Christine said...

That is interesting, why the different signals?

Morganne said...

Good question! :-)
I use the hand clapping for tunnels and the chute because she can't see me until she exits either obstacle(with Summit, I can use his name while he is still in the tunnel or chute). She responds very well to the clapping. I trained a hand clap as a conditioned recall when she was a puppy. I also think she can feel the vibrations of a clap (works better indoors than outside) and responds quicker than if I waited for her to look at me to give her a hand signal.

Morganne said...

Good video showing the pull into me cue. I think that will be very useful for Sage.

Christine said...

Thank you, glad it was of use. My first rescue dog Inca was deaf, so appreciate the difference.