So, Loki’s first seminar. Gosh he’s a little champion. He ran his heart out, and only at the very end he refused a Jaako or two because he was all: “really? I have to?”
We both learnt a lot – possibly me more than him (isn’t that always the way?). I improved my techniques on a lot of the turns immeasurably and you can see it in some of the moves on the video – the first attempt often worked ok but the last attempt was way better. I didn’t include all the fails on the video of course.
The sequence was good too and showed some definite places for us to work on (*coureversespinsgh*) – as in those situations Loki gets patterned so quickly and so begins to predict that despite my spin we’re still actually going forward. He also found Forced Front Crosses really difficult even though we’ve done plenty that have included a Jaako – take away that 2nd part and he wouldn’t take the bar. Cheeky. And, any front cross where I was up near the bar & he’d bring it down – if I was far from the bar it was ok. Obviously need to get him ok with me ‘crowding’ him a bit and still keeping it up. I still need to work on his commitment in German turns, not for the push part, but for the ‘come back over the bar’ part. I had a lot more success once I started using my off arm like they do in OMD but I liked Justine & Jessica’s rule of keeping that for ‘take the non-obvious side of the obstacle and flick back’. We were discussing this the other day in our little group of friends and didn’t come to any conclusion – some of us thought it would “muddy the waters” and dull down the signal when used for a threadle, but we also wondered if the dogs weren’t smart enough to differentiate between one and the other cue given that the situations and the rest of your body language is going to be very different.
He got to run 3 dog walks – the first one he didn’t hit because he was looking for the wrong exit, and he doesn’t usually hit the first time on a “new” dog walk. The 2nd had a backfoot JUST in, and the 3rd one was picture perfect and got a big reward right away. He even did seesaws! And, we started the weekend with no stay behaviour really, and by the end I could pretty confidently leave him and he wouldn’t pop up. That was lovely, but obviously still requires some work. But I think I found a way to practise it and reward him that seemed to work over the weekend so I’ll keep that up at home.
The only bad part of the weekend wasn’t part of the weekend at all – a friend told me that a lady (who is a dog/horse/human physio-type person) said to her that she suspected Loki was sore in the rear end. So Loki is getting the week off – personally, I’m not so sure – he wasn’t knocking bars or showing any signs at all to me. In general he has a sort of weird gait sometimes but so do his brothers so I’m thinking that’s genetic. I’ve had him checked over by vets and muscle people multiple times about his back legs in the past but he was given the all clear, told he had great muscletone, etc… he was very tired by Sunday but that’s to be expected… I guess that put a damper on the weekend for me – I don’t know why I feel like I’ve taken it personally, even though I don’t think it’s any kind of reflection on me, but an observation… It’s just made me feel tense, I think.
The photos aren’t wanting to upload from school so here’s a video for now instead. 🙂