Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Agility Frustrations & Puppy Fun

Just try to take it. 
Getting ready for the CPE trial next month I've been trying to work on my start line stay.  The mat seems to help Basil target something better but he gets so stressed at the start line and then I lose my focus on what my handling plan was as he runs around the jumps to go look at something else after being released.  That was the first 5 minutes of our class last night, him staying, me walking out 20 feet to do a 2 jump leadout and then me releasing him to watch him run around everything and run off.  Rinse, repeat 4 more times to a very frustrated Katie.  Doing the standard course with a running start worked much better and I was able to do my handling plan with the front cross without a problem. 

I noticed Basil limping last week on his right rear so I wondered if maybe that had something to do with him refusing jumps on the jumpers course.  I stretched him and felt each toe individually.  He didn't protest at all and I didn't feel any heat in the leg.  So I'm thinking it has something to do with the start line stay issue. 

I think for now I'm going to do running starts until I can get a handle on the start line stay stress.  Bernie did the same thing.  I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.  I've got a lesson planned with Karen Holik next month before the trial so maybe I can get her insight into my training issue.  She's been on the World Team seven times so I'm sure she can show me the error in my ways. I'm also hoping to get some advice on starting a puppy in agility. 

Byron was a little ham at agility class last night.  He has totally come out of his shell and loves being on the field while Basil and I run.  I even let Byron walk over the dog walk following some hot dogs for the first time last night.  He did pretty good and was careful for most of the way.  I watched his back end as he's still a clumsy puppy doing stuff.  I've been doing some shadow handling with him and treating him for that.  He follows my hands really well right now. 

He is a fearless little puppy.  I can tell I'm going to have to be careful with him when he tries stuff out.  Teeter bang noises don't bother him at all, he doesn't mind the dogs running over the a-frame or doing the weave poles.  I let him explore the weave poles last night and poked them with my finger a bit to have them move.  He didn't care.  He just looked at it, acknowledged it and was like okay.  He is so laid back and just a happy guy.  I think he will be a nice blend of what I like best in Bernie and Basil for agility. 

Tomorrow night is the first puppy class for us officially so that should be fun.

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