Wednesday, April 2, 2008

some updates

I've been neglecting the blog again, mostly because I haven't been doing much agility. I have been doing a lot of herding with Eden and Malcolm, some obedience with Eden and Uma and some disc-dogging too. The downside of agility is that there is always a lot of lifting that has to happen before you can actually do anything ;-) I have set up some weaves in my backyard for Eden and have started her using slightly offset weaves + some luring. She's looking pretty good at this point and seems to be developing nice footwork. Footwork was what I was worried about the most after messing up Uma's. Uma is fast as lightning but she double-foots with 24" spacing. She single-foots nicely with tighter spacing, but here in Europe it's always 24" ;-)
I finally put Eden on the low dogwalk with a target on the ground, which she nouse touches for a 2on/2off. I had been practicing the nouse touching behavior for quite a while on stairs etc. and felt it was strong enough to use on the dogwalk now. Well, it is, but unfortunately the problem I was afraid of has popped up - that is she slows down on the descent ramp before stopping. I've been recalling her over the dogwalk to get her to lengthen her striding, but it isn't working. I think I'll try try using stride regulators (not for a running contact, but for lengthening her stride on the descent before the 2 on/2off. I don't want a running contact on the dogwalk, because I'm terrified if how easy this is to mess up with a fast dog. She's not that fast, but even now when I run alongside her she outruns me easily - that is until she gets to the descent ramp where she slows down. I would like to have the stop there (if I need it), but to have nice long striding on the descent.

I'm toying around with the idea of doing a running contact on the A-Frame, well, because it's not as long as the dogwalk, so I feel it's easier to get it done.
I've been doing a bit of sequencing on low jumps (and with tunnels). And, honestly, I'm a bit disappointed with the speed I'm getting from Eden. I'm afraid this might turn out to be a larger issue and, honestly, the think I like doing least is trying to push a dog for speed. She's a bit strange, because she really does want her ball/tug, but she doesn't get the idea that she has to go faster to get it. It's not like she's hopeless, but I would like to have a bit more going on there. She is, however, very flexible and seems to be careful with her feet, so I don't foresee many knocked bars in her future.

All in all, I think she's more into herding than anything else. Will do. Maybe she'll be a good teacher for me.
I've also beein doing some obedience work with her and she's coming along nicely, though of course, there's still a lot to be done. But I like her attitude for obedience. Here's a bit of us working on heeling together:

And she's got such a sweet smile :-)

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