This afternoon, for no specific reason, I made a decision.
I decided to train Loki to stop on the dogwalk. Sometimes.
I have to face the fact that Loki is very, very quick, and he likes to be very quick very much. It may be his favourite thing. He likes nothing more than to run, long and lean and as fast as he can. It’s the best. And with that comes an obvious dislike for slowing unless more or less forced to. Extreme collection? SURE! Easy. Lovely tight bendy turns. Perfection. Soft collection? Forget about it. Optional collection on front-cross type turns? Uhhhh…. nah. Collecting to hit an extreme weave entry? Sweeeeet. Collecting for a wider, more open, faster entry? Um… not so much. Collection when RUNNING a dogwalk? HA!!! Loki currently has quite a nice ‘go straight’ dogwalk exit in competitions. But as soon as he needs to turn, I’ve got nothin’. And I just don’t know if I’m ever going to get him THINKING and CARING enough to actually turn.
So… we might just stop for a little while. He actually has quite a nice stop. It’s not EXACTLY a 2o2o but his uncle does a similar behaviour and it works very nicely for him… it’s run very fast down to the coloured area then stop and look and wait for release. Sometimes 2o2o, sometimes not. Should I be more picky? Maybe. Am I feeling inclined to? Nope.
So anyhoo. Maybe a stop for now and one day down the track when we’ve grown out of ‘crazy competition baby brain’, I’ll consider my options.
Other things that are happening:
-using bells on jumps when training at home. I wouldn’t say this has fixed any problem yet but we’ve only done it 3 times. I’m just hoping that I can add a much more obvious marker (for me and him) that knocking/ticking/brushing the bar isn’t ok. I do see him try VERY hard if he knocks it once and I set him up to do that part of the sequence again. So, maybe that’s some progress.
-weaves are coming along. We had weaves in a comp the other day (but it was his favourite kind of entry – going in on the left with me rear crossing, so essentially, me standing still while he goes out and weaves) which was nice, but today in training I had to hang back so he could do a straight tunnel after and um, he didn’t feel like doing the last pole so we did some discrimination/drive to the end work, with toys scattered around the base of the poles and while at first this was VERY HARD OMG, he got the point after a couple of fails and would weave all the way to the end with me hanging back and not pounce on the random toys along the way. Good boy.
He also chewed on my student teacher’s laptop case the other day incase it was food. it wasn’t.
He might need some self-control training.
Though, speaking of that, his stays in competitions are IMPECCABLE. OMG. They’re the best. ❤
At home, he’s taken to standing up, walking a few steps forward, then stopping. It seems to work and he’s actually pretty good with it so I’m just leaving it be. We were stressing a lot for a long time about staying at home during training but… well… it’s working alright how it is so it’s fine. Especially since his competition stays are so damn good now.