After the bad VST training experience, and all the trouble I've been having with Fancy and Pie tracking, I've put tracking on hold to focus on Dottie's utility training. She was having trouble understanding the utility scent articles, and the tracking could possible be conflicting with that. There is a trial in the beginning of December I hope to have her ready for, and focusing on one thing at a time is probably for the best. So now instead of tromping around in the soccer field laying tracks on my lunch breaks, I'm lugging around ring gates and utility jumps.
Some days I am less than motivated, and on those days I go out to eat lunch instead. If I can't get up the enthusiasm for training, I shouldn't subject my dog to it either. No one would have any fun in that case. Today was such a day so I went out for lunch instead then trained after work. It was a pretty good session. The utility articles were going well, but today was a bit of a regression. DARN! Back to the tie down board. Dottie is the first dog I've used the tie down board for and it seems to be helping her. It helps because she can't be wrong, since only the correct article is not tied down. When she is wrong, even a soft "whoops" was shutting her down.
I love it when we are working signals and I stand Dottie, walk out 18 paces (I like to train for 20, but we are not quite there yet) and I turn around to see Dottie in a rock solid stand, ears up, totally focused, tail in a slow wag. So beautiful! I had that today. I don't like to turn around and see Dottie with her ears back looking off to the side, avoiding me. Today we also had good gloves, go out to a toy, and practice calling to heel. I did not have baby gates or jumps in my car, so we couldn't practice directed jumping. I have been having difficulties with Dottie taking the jumps on the way out (darn agility training!) so I really need to load the car completely up.
The grass was a bit long, so I did take advantage of it and laid a short track for Fancy. This was the first time she tracked in months. I used her tennis ball as a reward to attempt to help with motivation. Except for turning the wrong way once (no wind, so not sure of her excuse) Fancy did really well! One of those days when I think there might be hope for her. We finished the evening off with a session with the chuck-it for Fancy and Dottie. Pie is banned from the tennis ball, due to her back. I am very sad for her since it is her favorite thing.
The other fun thing we having going on is an International Agility class. I won't be able to stay in this class due to conflicts with other things, but I should be able to attend around 3 lessons. It is fun since the courses are so challenging and not at all what we see in AKC or USDAA. Dottie and I both did well at our first class and didn't embarrass ourselves. The other people in the class are either past or current World Team members, or people who hope to be on the WT. I just want to try some new stuff out. Shhh- don't tell my usual instructor, but I was trying blind crosses all over the place. So much easier on my knees! Here is a video of the winning run from the WT this year. We ran this course last and let me tell you- my dog is not as fast as this dog, but neither am I as fast as this person. I made the first blind cross, going into the tunnel, but at the end I tried those 2 blind crosses and there was no way. I could only do a double rear. That girl can run! She didn't even do blinds, she made it for a double front!
The run we got to try is the second run in the video, labled Team Jumpers, but all of the runs are worth watching. Watch her run backwards for an entire sequence. I can't run that fast forward. An inspiration to always run as fast as you can, and put everything on the line.