Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Been a Rough Three Weeks...

This weekend I finally got my Soleil back. Where did she go? Physically - nowhere. Mentally - Hormoneville, USA.

We've done very little training the last two weeks. Short two-minute sessions was all I got out of her. This is my first experience with a bitch in season and I certainly have a lot of respect for those who keep their girls intact. Not me - Soleil will be spayed sometime this year.

This weekend we progressed through the single set of 2x2's proofing entries with varying locations of handler and dog. Then added a second set on Saturday and started closing up the gap. This morning I closed the gap completely between the two sets of poles and she is now weaving 4 poles. I moved the set from the sunroom (where I could throw food on the floor) to outside and will begin to use a toy for the proofing stage.

We've progressed to Part 5 in DJS (jumping for breakfast was about the only training we did do while she was in season). She is very confident jumping 16" now and I no longer begin each training session at a lower height. She understands my motion and location cues for extension and collection/turning. She also understands the verbal "jump". This week I will introduce spreads (at 12" and work up) and the tire. I plan to do all her training at 16". There is a good chance she may end up measuring into the 12" class in AKC but I plan to jump her at 16" until she's older. I've carefully observed her jumping form at 12" and she is flat. She engages her rear more and has a much rounder form when jumping 16" vs. 12".

She is doing the full height teeter with speed and confidence. I've incorporated a jump before the teeter now. Mostly sending to the jump in order to get ahead of her to the teeter. Also doing a FC on the flat landing side of jump and then sending her ahead to perform the teeter. Still proofing her stop when I'm behind her - she's not a very patient girl.

The table has become a fun place to play and she's readily offering to jump up for a game of tug. It is time to add the down position. Someone asked me last weekend (at the trial), why I started training the table so early (since she was 9 weeks old) and why I spent so much time on it. I explained that I didn't really train the table, I just spent a lot of time playing tug games on the obstacle with all my puppies. Only after a year of table games do I begin to ask for a specific position and a stay. But by that time, my puppy is happily driving with speed to get to the table. I also like to end a training session on the table since right now I am only using food as a reward for jump work, plank work, and the teeter and I like ending each training session with a wild game of tug on the table.

I've started training a 20/20 on a travel plank. Again, haven't done much with this for the last several weeks. The 20/20 will be for the dogwalk.

I won't do any jump sequences with her until she's completed her jump training. I am confident she'll progress quickly once we begin to sequence as she knows all of the turns on the flat and responds quickly to my turning cues when we do flatwork.

This weekend Summit and I have a USDAA trial outdoors and Soliel will get to go. Now that Summit is all qualified for USDAA Nationals and has a bye for the Regional GP Finals in Texas, we'll be hoping to get another bye for the Rocky Mtn. Regional in July.

10 comments:

Lindsay said...

Yes, having intact bitches is its own special kind of fun. Especially when they go into season the day before a trial! The lack of brains is the most frustrating.

Kathy said...

I was so suprised after just doing jump basics how much Cricket understood sequences, I think just from our foundation work ....it was so cool and bet Soleil will be the same. Having intact girls is a pain, esp because it lasts so long, I have not noticed spaciness with my girls but it is just a pain not being able to go to trials or classes.

Priscilla said...

I can still remember vividly when Eva had her first season. She is a good and fussy girl so she spent a lot of time cleaning up herself and even the floor too. However, we have her spayed lately and she is doing well with it.

Diana said...

Great idea for the table. I should have done that. LOL Live and learn, huh. Good luck this weekend. Im glad Soleil is back!!

LiveWiredAG said...

Sorry if I missed it, but what foundation jump work are you doing? DJS??

Morganne said...

Yes Kim, I am following DJS.

LiveWiredAG said...

Morganne, sorry I'm wondering what DJS stands for?? sorry I didn't make that clearer, and it looked like you had a lovely running DW with the baby, what made you change to a 2o2o??

Morganne said...

Kim,
DJS stands for Developing Jumping Skills. It's a book written by Linda Mecklenburg and outlines her jumping program.

Running dogwalk:
I do run all my puppies on a low dogwalk at first to build confidence and speed so I knew I would have time to decide whether to continue with a running contact with Soleil. I decided not to for several reasons. Mainly because I found I was just not enjoying training it and it sucked up a LOT of my limited training time. I also strive for 100 percent accuracy on obstacle performance and I don't think a running contact will give me that. And then although I could easily create extension on the down plank in order to make her successful, I was not confident that Soleil was really learning a specific behavior. Just too much grey area. I do plan on having her run the a-frame.

LiveWiredAG said...

Ohhhkay, here I was thinking it was a snazzy new jumping system. Didn't connect the dots with Linda's book. LOL Love watching the vids of Soleil! such a smarty pants!

Christine said...

Hormoneville - luv it - been there with my Rivi and left it and wont be visiting again!

p.s the poles looking great as is the tug game