Sunday, April 17, 2011

Running Contacts Revisited :)

Day 101: These are my cookies I slaved away all day to make (ok not really...but like an hour)
These are the cookies after Zip counter surfs...
I would beat her...like really hard, but she would just do it again...
Why? Because apparently her mother is so idiotic that she KEEPS LEAVING COOKIES ON THE COUNTER...Zip is evil...someday I'll learn...maybe...

Today was a gorgeous day, and the husband was home so we spent the majority of the day working dogs...agility and herding :)
Lots of changes in Lynn, seems like she a little bit different dog every week, which is both fun and challenging :) Even is such a doer type of dog...do NOW, think later. I personally love it and she makes me laugh constantly. We worked some baby sequences with bars on the ground...she made things interesting, jumped on top of the tunnels, ripped toys out of my back pocket...just was a total dork. I love dorks :) Lynn I will talk about later :)
But yeah...Even = COMPLETE DORK

Team Crackhead had their first "European Handling EXTRAVAGANZA!!!" today...the handler didn't shoot me, or throw anything at me...but he for sure wasn't all smiles and rainbows :) Tough courses are...well...tough :) But I got some great stuff out of the pair of boyzzz :)
I think he is currently outside working on sending to backsides of jumps...and all sorts of other crazy stuff :) Love crazy stuff. People with little dogs tend to not think as much about lines, collection and extension, where the dog ends up etc etc. Because, well...it isn't as big of a disaster as a huge dog jumping in extension towards an off course tunnel. But these courses are really forcing the husband to think about every stride. It's good for the team and I think everyone should work some of those kinds of courses. If the dogs get all their info in a timely manner so they can make adjustments, I don't see how it is hard on their bodies. Getting that timing however, for us, can be challenging :) I have no doubt that we will get Team Crackhead in fighting condition in no time :) It's a ton of fun, from an instructor standpoint, giving these kinds of crazy challenges and seeing people work through them.

Now, onto Lynn :)
Lynn seems to be changing every, single week...which is both a riot and also a great challenge. Maturity is setting in, she is getting to be more and more like her mother, which I find VERY interesting, since growing up she has always reminded me more of her father and sister Klink. But she is settling into her job, not only in herding but also agility.

DW's are back to happiness and she is really driving in everything else as well :) Such a fun little dog, turns tight, listens, tries so hard. And I don't care anymore so we are having a blast! LOL
WOW, who's that hottie running that adorable dog?? Oh yeah :) Nevermind...

Lynn doesn't care to do DW's with the husband as much though...so I ran her after that and she was much happier to be running with me ;) Apparently I am, like, uber KEWL... :)
She is figuring out the evil 24" weaves, settling into a pattern which is neat to see...it will be interesting to see how she does with that at a trial :) Since I don't care anymore, it doesn't matter, but just for the sake of curiosity!
As long as she is happy, I'm happy...we will just run :)
I think she'll love that :)
Now...in regards to turning...
We are still going with the stop for turns and the run for straights. I am training her to run for 10 to 2 angles (think a clock)...she seems to get those, understands them and they don't seem to require any kind of stride change on her part. I think before she was just having issues with them because of lack of confidence. She can do those angles with no issues to chutes, tunnels, tables, weaves etc...so I'm leaving that alone. Just building confidence in that regard.
And the Stop for anything other than that...
It's working very well for her, she "gets" it...is happy to perform both and I think for her it is so very clear...so she is driving into her stop and driving on her running. Now, when I tell her GO! She hauls, REALLY kicks it UP a notch. I love it. Her understanding of what I am asking is beautiful. I am separately working turns a bit...but at this point, the stop is actually FASTER for a turn than her turns are with the running...she is slowing down on the turns too much--which I think will get better with time...so until I get that either figured out OR decide against it, I'll just stop her for turns. For Lynn, it makes sense. Two completely different behaviors, and used in the correct scenarios. I'm so happy to see her really enjoying both behaviors and all the questions are gone from her...I really love that.

I have adopted a new "no marking policy"...yes folks, I have stopped peeing on things that are mine :) OK, not really (I am NOT giving up my couch to the husband)...but rather not marking DW's that she jumps. The BOTTOM line is, Lynn isn't jumping because she is naughty, she jumps when things are not happy for her, lack of confidence, funny striding that she can't control yet...if I don't mark them, she will redo it and do it correctly. I need to build confidence, not put pressure on her. I thought when I adopted this situation, she would miss more DW's...nope, they have just gotten more confident.

I am putting her into some more situations where she CAN fail. And she does, but failure = feedback. Nothing more, nothing less. Lynn has really made this hit home for me. There were times I have to admit, I was frustrated training her, we butted heads, we were speaking different languages...but...the difference between other things being marked, it was cut and dry.

For example, coming in too hard on her sheep, a sharp HEY! and she got it...she slowed, sheep slowed and she gained control, INSTANTLY. If she knocks a bar, misses a WP entry, it makes sense to her to be marked for that, as she knows how to fix it. In regards to the DW, even when she was jumping, it was due to #1 confidence #2 being presented with a problem she hadn't encountered before or #3 funky running on the DW due to loading, new DW's, slipping, etc. With the DW's...there was not instant "light bulb" moment of perfect feedback. I hope that makes some sense? Running contacts are more of an "artistic thing"...constantly changing, constantly adjusting (on the dogs part). depending on all the factors we know of (and some we probably don't even think about) For these situations, I need to help Lynn with more training and complete her understanding to make things work correctly.

Running A-frames are a FREAKIN' CAKE WALK compared to DW's :)

With understanding is speed...although, this pictures scares the holy crap out of me...good lord! GO LYNN GO!

Day 102: HOLY CRAPOLA BATMAN!!!!!
Crackers does this too, but he doesn't look NEARLY as dramatic...just super cute and he totally needs a Superman cape :)
Lynn just freakin' scared me...but I need to get over that. Our rubber DW will be done soon...more traction, and I am assuming with more traction there will be more speed. So Loretta, hold onto your britches my dear...and keep doing those kick boxing workouts! :)
It's really fun just not worrying about things. I think I like this a TON better :) No expectations, no "what if's", just enjoy the training, the dog and the moments.

2 comments:

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I love hearing about the agility stuff and Lynn's awesome running DW but are you seriously saying Zip counter surfed again?!!! Do you know of that saying "live and learn" ? LOL!

Loretta Mueller said...

Chris--I don't want to talk about it :) LMAO! She is evil...and wicked smart...and I am apparently WELL below in the IQ category...so yeah...um...well...yeah :) I am a winner!!! WINNING!!!!!!