Good news, Loki no longer seems ‘flat’. I actually wonder if he had a stomach thing or if his food wasn’t agreeing with him. But he’s back to keen and fast and running to the start to do another rep of the DW so hurrah! That’s awesome.
His weaves are coming along so, so nicely. I think the poles are probably about 7cm apart now and he’s starting to understand how to collect for entries of 90 degrees on the left. I need to do more right entries though as he goes in at the 2nd pole. His independence is great and I’ve even been doing rear-crosses into the channel. So much fun. Scares the crap out of me how he does them though – absolutely no regard for his body.
I dropped the A-frame to lower today as well as he’d been trying to clear the down-part in one stride and not getting deep enough so I decided I actually needed to do some work on it, so we had a lovely session doing that, too. I think I need to proof him to my movement…. In Loki world, the priorities are speed first, thinking second. Which is what I’ve found with dogwalks too. LOVE his speed, but this presents new challenges.
As for running DW. I posted last time that he was trying new patterns. Well he’s decided that the most comfortable option for him is a 4-stride dogwalk where he flies down the down-plank and puts in the stride near the end. This actually works most (not all) of the time. I was going to get all pedantic and try and slow his entries to the max to try and get 4.5 strides but really… he’s hitting, and he’s running like this VERY consistently, even with slow entries, so it’s obviously WAY easier on him than his big down-plank adjustments… so I figure if I can JP the best ones he’ll work out how far he needs to stretch. By the end of today’s fairly short session he’d worked out that if he stretched a little more on the top plank, he’d push off the apex with RF and have a beautiful hit in the contact with the next stride. If that’s how he wants to do it, GREAT!!! I’m feeling like this ‘let it be’ attitude is freeing. I don’t want to impose my ideals of how his DW should look if his way is working for him. Also his separation was coming back in this last session. Hurray!!!
Now I need to start introducing different exits with discriminations. Oh boy. How do I start? He can hit any exit, and even when I was playing with tight turns he was doing them BRILLIANTLY! I’ve trained them a little but today ran the whole thing with a sharp turn at the end and he did SO awesome. Maybe this is finally a DW thing he’ll just understand! But if there was an option to race forward and do the forward jump, no way was he turning. He patterns so easily. So I’m not sure how to introduce discriminations without freaking him out, but proving the point that he still needs to listen.
The other day I had a nice setup with a pinwheel option, a jump tunnel option, or a ‘cik’ option…. so maybe I’ll do that again. In the meantime I’ll see what Silvia has to say. I bet she won’t be happy with Loki’s DW behaviour. Meh!
We had such a fun little agility course at the trial today. It had some great little technical bits with opportunities for different handling options… nice dogwalk entry and exit… couple of push-blinds… really fun… and Lu was all flat and bored. I can’t wait to run Loki. It’s going to be THE BEST.
Here’s today’s dogwalks