what we’re working on

I don't look impressed, hey? Must have been a slow one.

I don’t look impressed, hey? Must have been a slow one.

Welcome to this week’s what-we’re-working-on

Bit of a special one this week – I’ve actually got a video for most of it! So if you feel lazy and can’t be bothered reading, you could just watch the video!

I was actually really happy with her drive in the video, into cik/cap (or cik/tok as it is now – easier to hear the difference for her) – granted, I had to be running with her to then kind of lure her around a bit, but she wasn’t looking at me, she was driving ahead. I don’t know, if at this stage, whether she’ll drive forward with speed from me standing still. But the more people I talk to and hear from, the more it seems as though really fast speed will come- it just takes time and confidence. I was speaking to my agility instructor last night and she told me that she’d been talking to these other competitors who are at the top of Victoria’s agility scene at the moment – super fast border collies – but they’d been talking about their dogs and how when they were younger, they didn’t think they’d ever be fast agility dogs, and look at them now. That gave me a lot of hope, and I can see in that video that Lumen is finally starting to run into the wrap, even if it takes me running with her a bit, that’s ok for now. Silvia Trkman said she definitely looks like she’s getting faster and I should keep doing exactly what I’m doing there. So, this morning at least, I’m feeling optimistic.

We’re working on our ST Foundation assignments, which includes the above, but also starting to do some more turns out of tunnels (also in the video). I started with her blasting through straight tunnels, then curving it a bit. On Monday I  got Mallei out of the car to help proof Lumen’s stays but then decided to help her with the tunnel I would put Mal through first, then have her chase him through. This worked a charm as I could see the intensity that she was putting into her run through. Mal of course thought it was great fun – all I have to do for treats is a stupid tunnel!! Little did he know he’s helping mentor the pup! Looking at her tunnels on the video I definitely think she’s putting speed through, which is awesome and opens up heaps more training opportunities if we can have curved tunnels. I think I’ll keep starting with straight tunnels to make it fun and speedy, then curve them up.

We’re also trying to do tricks for strength, balance and/or coordination every other day at the moment, which means lots of tricks on big sofa cushions and the fit-ball, lifting legs, sitting pretty to down, to pretty again, hopping up on things (instead of scrabbling up with hind legs – lazy!), and getting confident with being on things.

We’re also starting to do a bit of hill walking while I have time off school, and of course plenty of visits to the dog-park for socialisation. I must remember to keep taking her to more busy, people-filled places like main-streets and such, but it’s difficult to fit everything in all the time.

I also plan to get some tape or material and measure out the distance between weave-poles and set up an open channel to begin teaching her how to go through independently! How exciting! I would LOVE to have a dog I can trust absolutely to weave from anywhere, without fault, no matter what I was doing. I taught Mal to weave on 10 poles, and, funnily enough, he popped out on the 10th pole about 25% of the time – I always had to babysit him as he weaved, and his entries were very limited. I’m looking forward to taking it nice and slow with Lu, showing her all the entrances, and teaching her completely independent weaving behaviour. Yay!

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