Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making Turns My...


Ok...not really...they've been making me it's beotch...but anyway...

So...after this weekends trialing...I realized that now that Lynn knows turns...if I don't give her a turn command at the right time...she won't turn. PERIOD. She goes off course...or drives into never, never land.

So last night...I set out to figure a few things out...first off...what is Lynn's point of no return, aka, like any obstacle...where is her commitment point? It's different for each obstacle...and I needed to figure it out for Lynn on the DW.

Too soon and she could bail, or in most cases, she slows WAY DOWN...yuck.

If I don't tell her early enough...she will go off course. And she should. She would on a series of jumps, tunnels etc...so why should I expect anything other than that on the RDW?

This happened this weekend...I called late, she took a jump. Done. Okay...GOOD DOG.

So...I set up a situation where I could figure it out...obstacle to drive towards...timing on GO--command for straight ahead or Left/Right--her turn commands. To see if I could figure out WHEN to ask for the turn...

Unfortunately, due to her amazing turns last night, she ripped a stop pad (OUCH!!!)...note to self...if working turns, maybe some vetwrap or something on those buggers. So no video to show :-( But I'll do my best to describe it.

So jump, DW, jump--simple, something she's done a million times...easy for her. Simple for me. My goal was to figure out WHEN to give her the GO or Left/Right.

I figured it out...for HER, to get a tight turn off the DW, it's the last 1/3 of the top plank. That is where she decides what to do on that last plank. Add another stride to collect after the plank, or continue going forward with full extension. That seems to be the moment that I need to give her the info to make that decision. ALL turns were PERFECT last night...all straights were solid. No questions in her mind. HUGE...I've heard Silvia say for her dog Bi, it's the start of the top plank. So it's different for each dog.

No questions in Lynn's mind...REALLY? Yes...nothing. She got it. GO at the top, good, left or right at the top, good...no questions.

It's going to be different for each and every dog. Just like it would be for commitment to other obstacles...BUT...it's a huge start.

Some might think that's not much room for error...I am in agreement with that. But...agility IS all about timing is it not? So I'm super excited that I have a baseline to start with. As we both get things figured out, I'm sure it will change a bit...but that starting point is huge.

And I am sure it will change at trials, when she isn't as confident, or something like that...I was planning on asking for at least ONE turn this weekend to see how things go...test the waters so to speak. But with her stop pad hurt...I might just let her run straight as that will put no strain on it...I'll just have to see how that pad heals by this weekend.

Now I'm not saying I could do this if I hadn't worked turns with her...she has been taught that left or right off the DW means adding a stride. But I was having one heck of a time figuring out WHEN to tell her to add that stride so the turn is #1 the tightest it can be and #2 so it's comfortable and fast for her.

Turns are the hardest thing I've worked on with this RDW training...it's nice to have one more little puzzle piece to fit into the entire picture. I sooooo wish I had video. Her turns were absolutely FLAWLESS last night...

This probably doesn't mean much at all to many of you...but to me it's an epiphany...the ability to KNOW the turn will happen, how to make it happen and WHY it doesn't happen. If she doesn't turn, I'm late. It's that simple.

And simple combined in the same sentence with a RDW doesn't happen much :) Now that I know this...things are going to get a bit more simple I think...

Don't hold me to that...it could change...like tomorrow :)

Working jump grids with the dogs...they like it (ok everyone but Klink likes it)...good fitness regime for them too :) Even is adorable when she jumps...heck, she's always adorable...but she's so just...cute :)

Day 165: FINALLY!!!
Plums!!!! YUMMMMMMM!!!!! Now to keep the birds away from them!

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