reflections on break, week 2.

We just past two weeks We’ve done one agility-related thing which was to shape 2o2o on the end of the DW which is really just a trick so doesn’t count. We’ve also shaped it inside and he’s running into position like a PRO. More on that in a minute.

It’s interesting though – I watched Silvia’s newest DVD over the last couple of days. Initially I just got antsy that Loki’s DW wasn’t good enough, and especially his soft turns. So then I started forming plans and stressing about it. And then I couldn’t go do anything about it because we’re on break so the stress faded away and I actually feel ok. Plus I have a plan, and it’s a plan that hasn’t had a chance to fail yet so I can still feel ok about it.

I messaged a French person on YouTube the other day as well whose dog is very fast and has very nice contacts even on soft turns so I picked her brain and she gave me some ideas and some things to try. I think I’m going to try a 2o2o for hard turns – Polona does this, too and Loki is motivated enough that he won’t mind, once he figures out the game irrespective of my position. I don’t think I’ll do it with Lu – she responds really well to a “brake brake brake!” and just trots all the way down. Not the fastest, but faster than some of the creepy creeper collies I see competing. He’s now driving into position if I’m behind him – as long as there’s a toy ahead (but he will dive into position and wait, so he won’t run to the toy without release. YES!), he’ll sprint there and wait even if I run past, too. I can’t really practise any going to the side type positions in my little house but my plan is once his bandage comes off his foot (he managed to cut a nice hole in the toe paw-pad on his back foot) that I’ll take him out to a plank in the shed, and once his break is up, we’ll try it on the DW. I’m feeling confident. Polona said it actually helped one of her dogs understand RC more so I’m crossing my fingers on that, too.

It’s rainy here this week, so there’s going to be lots of tricks going on. I’m juggling plenty at the moment, but in particular we’re doing lots of:

  • trying to get better at side legs.
  • stand on a chair w/ front paws and hold one back paw up
  • Lumen is working on hug a pole while in sit up, working toward hug a toy (a Unicorn trick of ours!). She is SO STRONG in sit-up (and pretty much every thing else). Also working on penguin! We’ve got one very small shuffle forward now. Lu is also working on ‘hide your face’ – at the moment she does ‘where’s your nose?’ by bapping her nose with a paw, but doesn’t keep it covered by a paw, unless she’s lying on her side. So we’re working on that.
  • Loki is working on duration with sit-up as he’s not great at this yet.
  • Both are doing sit to stand up with front feet on a peanut and lowering into a sit. This is part of our conditioning class. Both find it pretty easy but Lu moreso – she thinks this is the BEST. When I ask her to stand up, she springs up and lifts off the floor with her back feet. Such a fool.
  • Loki & I will be playing with 2o2o a lot.
  • Lots of other things with balance discs and such.
  • Loki putting toys away in the basket.
  • Loki flicking a sock onto his face in preparation for the ‘cover yourself with a towel’ trick. Cos why not. 😉
  • Verbal discriminations. I’m starting with commands inside for now (left, right, back, drop, sit) and will steal a Silvia idea for cool-downs once we’re back outside (cik/cap and push on verbals only with a low bar & me sitting down). It will help if I manage to tell him the right word during a course but we’ll see.

It’s actually been really lovely to not feel pressured to get out and train but to just do whichever tricks we feel like doing. My right index finger is feeling it though, with a number of teeth-sized red marks and cuts from overzealous food-taking.

 

Stay class is also going along brilliantly. Loki rocks. Here, you can even have a video, I’m so pleased with him. But…! He’s always been pretty good at these games. It’s when I sit him in front of a row of agility obstacles that he moves. It’ll be interesting to see how we handle that. Also I have to do the challenges in this video outside. I think that’ll get him too. There’s another even better video than this where I’m throwing his favourite ball for Lumen and she’s RACING past him and I’m calling her and we’re playing… and he does a really good job of managing to stay. But YouTube is being SO WEIRD and is stuck at processing it at 95% and has been for the last 6 hours. Whyyyyyy?

 

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