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A few different things this week though training has been somewhat hampered by my massive flu/bronchitis/subsequent asthma issues I’ve had since last week, not helped by, y’know, taking Lumen to the park in the rain for an hour on my sick day on Friday, or running around training her on Saturday, or by going to the beach for 2 hours on a blustery wintery Melbourne day on Sunday. So I said ‘enough is enough’ and took Monday off. Good thing, too, as I’d lost my voice and running around while not being able to breathe (I have some wonderfully strong medications now to help the asthma) or yell ‘cik cik cik!’ probably wouldn’t have yielded the best results. Plus the fact that I certainly can’t reward enthusiastically if I can’t breathe means Lu has a pretty ‘meh’ approach to training as well.
So Monday was off. I thought this would be good and on Tuesday, which I also had sick, but was feeling better for, she’d be like a loaded spring and be bouncing off the walls. Not so much, but that’s ok.
Back to the main point: what we’re working on.
Firstly: weaves weaves and more weaves. Silvia said our entries were good but using a bar jump was cheating – I said I was only using it for speed and she said use a tunnel. Maybe, but only if it’s a straight one, I don’t want to reinforce slow curved tunnels. Her weaves were pretty lacklustre Tuesday, but again it could be because I can’t really ‘rev her up’ as well as normal. Next I’m going to narrow the channel a bit and keep trying extreme entries without a bar.
Secondly: I now have a plank to do my running contact training. Problem is, I suspect it’s too narrow. I’ll try with some guides either side but if she gives me leapy crazy puppy even if it’s flat or only very slightly raised, I’ll need to make it wider. I’m also this close to ordering my own dogwalk which will mean I’ll have more planky-real-estate for her to run over. Huzzah! Penny, feel free to come play whenever you want (when I get it). In the meantime I’ll try and figure out why we went from really nice running over my carpet and Nikki’s dog-walk plank, to really crummy running over my plank. Hopefully a combination of ‘reminder carpet runs’ and side-guides to keep her centered will help. Hopefully.
Thirdly: I’ve noticed her enthusiasm (and speed) diminishing a little over the past week. Could be a figment of my imagination because I think she’s actually doing really nice things, but I think they could be faster. There was a video I posted that was from two or three weeks ago where she was running – I haven’t seen that again. So on Tuesday I did a few restrains to a thrown ball over a jump to encourage her to ‘take off’ quickly, then the same thing from a sit-stay over three jumps to a thrown ball, and she was looking very nice… and then the same thing but into a curved tunnel, where she’s still not as fast as I’d like. These were ok but there’s certainly room to improve. I wonder if curved tunnels are proving to be a little slippery for her at the moment and she’s not trusting them as much… But I did that and only rewarded the fastest tunnel with a thrown ball.
I want to make a point of rewarding the best, then and there. It’s so tempting to see speed and go hurrah!!! And keep running cos it’s so much fun, but I think I need to remember to tell her when she’s doing well, at least, if not throw the toy and make a game out of it. Running fast=fun. I watched back a video from the other day and she was doing some awesome wraps, but I didn’t tell her – I just kept going. I think I was already sick by this point so out of breath and couldn’t speak but I just want to make sure she knows that YES! That was good! And we’re going on cos it’s fun to keep going!
I also want to go back to doing some figure-8s with the straight tunnel as we’ve put the height up slightly on the jumps now, and because this should encourage speed too. I need to get back to the Mount Ev. reserve where our cik/cap trees were cos we had heaps of fun with them, but since the leech incident there’s no reason to go there really, apart from the trees!
So we’re working on RC, weaves, and getting more speed. I’m putting cik/cap on hold a little bit (but will throw some in every now and then with the straight line stuff so she doesn’t forget that it can be coming) and will keep practising serpentines some, without going crazy over them right now.