Thursday, April 15, 2010

Puppies and bars

Very disappointing news on the puppy front. The x-ray showed no puppies and was confirmed when the due date passed and no puppies were born. I feel so bad for the breeder as she was really excited about this cross. I feel bad for me too.


Based on advice I received on the APHS Forum from Linda, I've dropped the bars down to 20" when training Summit. I expected since I'd been jumping him at 24" during training, that he would easily keep the bars up at 20" - not necessarily. He dropped a couple of bars on Tuesday, and one bar this morning. I found that my timing was a little off as well. It is definately much easier to handle a fast dog jumping 24" than it is 20". That extra split-second of "hang time" really helps. So from now on, when I'm practicing handling, Summit will jump 20". Once in a while, I will work simple drills at 24".

Feedback from the three training sessions this week. Contributing factors to dropped bars:

1. Sudden changes in motion (mostly acceleration)
2. When cueing a Forward Send, not being patient and waiting for committment and reconnecting with my dog (this was feedback I received at the February seminar too).
3. Eye contact. Especially when executing FM FC's. Again, staying connected instead of run, spin, and run.

So thanks to the helpful comments I received from blog readers. I was able to isolate some of the things I was doing that contributed to a dropped bar. Once I smooth out my handling and learn not to rush (patience!), I think I will see fewer dropped bars in competition.

I set up the jumpers course from the April Clean Run (Annie Pyle's article). I love this course. There are so many different ways to handle it and plenty of options for practicing crosses, sends, deceleration, etc.

I also ran Sage on the same sequences. She and I are so in-sync. She of course ran them perfectly each time. Except for contacts (which we are still in the process of retraining), there is not a lot of training or practicing that Sage needs.



Diana said...

Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works for the next puppy. I saw that set up in clean run and plan to practice with it too. Diana

Kathy said...

Ugh, I'm playing the puppy waiting game as well, just not posting about it. How can it be that these well-planned litters don't pan out and all these unplanned dogs & cats do?

Christine said...

The sire of your next puppy looks, cute, handsome and sable! :-)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Sorry to hear about the puppy! It's so hard to wait. Keeping fingers crossed that the next plan works!

Glad to hear you got some good advice about the bar dropping - sure wish you lived here so you could train with us!

Kathy said...

Well, maybe this means the perfect pup is on its way, the one you were really mean to have. I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed

Great thoughts on the bars..makes a whole lot of sense.