What a great Thanksgiving weekend! Dinner with family on Thursday and then Friday morning we headed to the Black Forest (near Colorado Springs) for a three-day AKC trial. Great judge and great courses (its so nice to see challenges other than big circles and pinwheels). My whole goal that weekend was reminding Summit of his contact criteria. After we returned from Nationals, he's been pushing them and I've been letting him release himself. Friday we got second in Jumpers with a nice run. Standard he ran his dogwalk and A-frame (I think the teeter too ;-)
Saturday he had a nice dogwalk and teeter and when we got to the a-frame, he self-released and we left the ring. Sunday he was a good boy and held all his contacts until I released him. He ended up second place with held contacts. We had a nice jumpers run that afternoon but I called his name while he was over a jump and he dropped the bar.
I'm very happy with his contact performance on Sunday. We have the month of December off from competition so I plan on doing some drop-ins at local arenas to continue to reinforce his 20/20.
Soleil was measured by the VMO. She only measured 13.5 inches tall. So she is still under 14". She was great at tugging and playing with me ringside (while dogs were running in the ring and others walking by her on leash). She was 100 percent focused on me. I did not get the same focus when I tried some training with food. She was a bit distracted everytime a dog would pass her. So obviously, playing/tugging still remains her primary reinforcement.
I've decided to train her to jump up in my arms after an agility run. Anyone have ideas on how to train this?
Here is one of Summit's jumpers runs. I really liked how I handled the serpentine on the outside. I think only one other person handled it that way. Everyone else either front crossed the landing side of the jump after the weaves to handle from the inside or rear crossed the second jump of the serpentine and then another rear cross on the fourth jump after the weaves. I preferred not to rear cross the 4th jump and be in position to send instead. Since I could leave Summit in the weaves (you had to be able to leave your dog in the weaves in order to be ahead to serp), I found this strategy worked best for us. I was also in position to restrict his landing to create tighter turns.
I received Mary Ellen Barry's Foundation video last week. Six DVD set! So far I've viewed the first DVD and have started working with Soleil on some of the things in the video. Some of the exercises are familiar but with a different twist. Hopefully I'll make it through the entire DVD set by the weekend.
We'll be hiking every weekend until the New Years weekend holiday when we have a three-day AKC trial indoors on soccer turf. I love this venue! There is a bar/restaurant upstairs where you can sit and watch agility down below.
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