I mentioned that I was joining Silvia’s RC class right? Well, I did and it’s going well. I think the best part is being able to hand all the responsibility over to her, knowing that she has so much experience, and say “fix it!!!” and trusting her advice and judgements.
We ended up dropping the height back down to 60cm again cos his running got a bit unsure. The main problem seems to be that his stride-length is generally too short for comfortable 4-stride hits, but too long for easy 5-stride hits. We’re thinking we’ll end up having to train him to do 5 strides but it’s too hard for him to hit with 5 strides when the dogwalk is so low!!
Today I raised it to 70cm… there were plenty of not-quite-right strides, and then some really nice RF hits. I feel like I’m getting a lot more rear-feet hits than I was before the class started. But, whether he hits or not depends entirely on how he enters the DW. If his first hit is very high on the up-contact, he’ll have a gorgeous hit. Anywhere else and he’ll miss or it won’t be as nice.
Anyway, it’s funny because when I was doing it we had a bunch of no-rewards, but in general I walked away feeling really positive about the session. The no-rewards aren’t bugging me or stressing me out like they were before because it’s all part of Silvia’s plan and it will all be ok and she will tell us what to do. Which is just the nicest feeling. It’s making everything a lot more fun!
So, that’s all pretty interesting. We’ve also been doing homework. One of them was cavalettis, which was too easy, so we followed some suggestions to make it harder and did backwards and sideways cavalettis.
I’ve also started using the dam fetch as a big massive jackpot. Gosh he’s cute. I love how border collies get routines. It just amazes me every time. Like, he’ll do a great hit, and I’ll grab his “frisbee cat” (the floating toy we use) and take off running. He goes FULL PELT across the drive, through the fence and to the dam and has to wait for my slow stupid human legs to catch up. He understood that this was what we were doing the 3rd time I grabbed the frisbee cat. I’m pretty sure he likes the game. It’s just fetch but I don’t have to be scared of him breaking himself cos it’s in water.
He’s also eating about 4 cups of food a day because last time I weighed him he was a tiny 14.3kg and if I want him to build muscles he can’t do it if he doesn’t have the calories he needs. He looks a little bit more solid, but not much.