A windy blustery day today. Does the wind make anyone else feel a bit discombobulated? I was worried Loki was going to get blown off the dogwalk. Lu was pretty convinced she was going to be.
I’ve been thinking a bit about this blog and the purpose of it. As it descends into whiny dogwalk land once more, I wonder what I should do with it. I don’t want to be an advice blog, telling people how to do agility… but I’m pretty sure there’s only so many times that people can read about my efforts so solve Loki’s dogwalk… Plus, the blog is hardly about Lu any more and so the title seems inaccurate… but I don’t necessarily want a Loki-themed name, cos what about when another dog comes along? I was thinking of a name with a Light/Dark theme in it (from Lumen being Light and Loki being the dark sort of trickster in Norse mythology) and although I don’t mind darklightmotion it sounds more like a movie production company than an agility blog. Any ideas?!
While we were on the topic of dogwalks, I’ve discovered a few things about Loki from tonight. 1. Doing soft turns as a single exercise stresses out his little brain and leads to much collection. 2. Doing dogwalks as part of a sequence promotes really nice running and really nice hits, especially if NRs result in no sequence. Loki loves him a sequence. 3. Could the answer to my soft turns problem be poles stuck in the ground to promote going-forwardness + sequences? Possibly.
Lumen also got to do DWs tonight. I’m trying to do them more regularly with her but it’s hard. I don’t find it as fun, even though it really is fun, and even though she actually likes training DWs and is happy. I’ve been working on the same turns with her because whenever we get anything vaguely not straight at a trial, I get no hits. So this is a good experience for her. She doesn’t do sequences after it.
I asked my personal agility trainer (OMD coach Niki) for some help in getting Loki to collect when entering the weaves, as he was coming out way wide and missing the 2nd pole. I’d watched Silvia’s DVD and kind of disagreed with her suggestion (this seems to be happening more often with me now and I think this is ok… it seems like an expansion of my understandings and techniques) to open the first poles more and work on more extreme angles there. To me that wouldn’t necessarily promote a whole lot more collection than what I was already seeing. Niki suggested two things – one was a little fence (which OMD uses a lot to help with different things, usually commitment) which I didn’t have and it would have been too windy to stand up, and the other was to do weave-grabs through the 2nd gap, reward with food there, then progress to moving the hand earlier and earlier. After just 2 sessions of doing this, working lots of angles and adding speed, I’ve seen a huge increase in his understanding. He’s failing WAY less than with the other method, and is actually coming to understand how to use his body. He’s hitting entries from tunnels (so, FAST) that I wouldn’t have dreamed he could hit the other day, and I’m really not helping him all that much, and sometimes I’m testing him by not being there with the grab at all. The middlest poles have about 3cm left to close, and the outer ones have 5-7 left, so there’s not far to go. I figure once he understands how to enter properly, then I’ll work on independent entries again. It’s very fun.
So – any ideas for the blog? Any ideas for names?
If you’re interested, “dothelokimotion” isn’t taken yet, nor is “onesmallbc” but … y’know… he is small (33lbs/15kg). Both are pretty Loki-centric. Maybe it could be “extrastreme” because we say that Loki is extrastreme because it’s like extreme but even more extra. Maybe my blog could be extrastreme…Or how about orangesplodgecollie – sums up my 3 dogs? I could go down the Silvia path and have MaLuLo 😉 Hmmmmm…Help!?