Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yeah, we do 'gility.

Looking particularly calm in her crate at our fun match.

Unfortunately I don't have any action photos. I have some video of our runs, but since they're instructional, with lots breaks in the action and mistakes they're not particularly interesting to watch.

Today was the second trip out to Daytripper Dog Training. I sign up for their instructional fun matches -- 4 different courses with toys and food allowed in the ring, plus a walkthrough and handling tips by a judge. It's a great way to spend a day out with friends and dogs, and a fabulous learning opportunity.

The courses are designed at roughly the starters level with a few more challenging bits thrown in. It's a great prep for September's potential trial.

Today was filled with a lot more good than bad. Here's a summary:

The Good
  • Cohen is working well at a distance from me.
  • Her contacts were much (much much) improved from last time (still not perfect, but better).
  • Her focus-front is pretty good, with room for improvement.
  • I managed to shape/lure her into the pool. She wasn't a big fan, but the water kept her perfectly cool despite the sun's heat.
  • Her jump form is nice and tidy. 
  • Her teeter was great! She was almost all the way to the other end before the bang, and stuck her contacts like a pro. 
  • Between runs she was much less whiny than the last time.
  • Her focus on me in the ring walking up to the first jump is adorable -- in a perfect heel, excited and ready to go.
  • She is tugging really well around other dogs.
  • She greeted other dogs at the trial politely. 
  • Peeing on cue is just about the most handy thing I've ever taught her.
  • I'm really learning to trust Cohen more. I can simply point her at a line of equipment and have confidence that she'll take each properly.
  • Cohen's unusually focused on fetching when we're at Daytripper, and a few good throws are a great way to take her edge off between runs.
  • Cohen is a big hit there. People are always complimenting her to me: she's pretty, she's soft, she's fit, she's improving... :)

The Bad
  • Cohen got tangled in the chute and misjudged the following jump, tripping over it and knocking it around. Luckily she's pretty resilient (both physically and mentally) and suffered no lasting damage.
  • Cohen knocked a bar or two (in addition to the tumble) during the day.
  • She seems to be weaker weaving on my right side -- she popped out at the 10th pole a few times, and missed others. 
  • Her table seemed unusually rusty. She didn't seem to put a lot of effort into sticking it. Maybe she was feeling some discomfort? I need to remember to decelerate in advance as well.
  • I got lost on a few of the courses, and mis-labelled an obstacle or two. (Chute =/= tunnel)

I went up with my friend Kat and her Ridgeback Kiki. Kat's a bit newer to agility than I, but is coming along really well. She's still struggling with contacts and motivation. Sometimes I wonder what it's like to have a dog who actually gets tired.

Both dogs were thoroughly passed out on the ride home, and it's 6p.m. and Cohen is still sleeping. Maybe I won't have to walk her tonight after all.

Oh hey, more not-action photos!

Kiki and Cohen taking a break.

Could you say no to this face?

1 comment:

  1. I have a sneaking suspicion Cohen will kick ass at her trial in September. You're already identifying things to work on between now and then - and you two being who you are, you'll probably have them all fixed and out of the way well before then!

    Kiki is lovely. I rarely see Ridgebacks, but they're gorgeous dogs. Cohen looks nice and relaxed in her crate, too!