Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More on the seminar

I had forgotten two other things that Jen pointed out we needed to work on.  The first jump and the last jump.  She didn't say anything about the first jump specifically, however quite frequently she pointed out that Icon took the first jump oddly.  The last jump he takes too big with his head up.  My though on the reason for this is that he has too much handler focus at that point.  I'm not sure what to do about the first jump, but for the last jump I need to either place a toy or throw a toy, but either way I need to reward close to the ground to get him dropping his head a bit more.

I've always avoided him going to a toy/leash after the last jump because I've seen a lot of dogs go around the last jump for just such a reason.  But I guess it's just one of those things you have to balance.

Anyway, on to the videos from the weekend.  I'm working backwards here (I always tend to work backwards.  What does that say about me?) and have edited and uploaded my runs from Sunday.  I still need to get my runs from Saturday up.  I've cut out the Jen talking part and will try to type out what I gathered from her in my runs.

The first run of the day for us on Sunday was a bit of a disaster with me falling twice at a-frame and teeter and almost a third time at the dogwalk when running into the tunnel.  At the end of the dogwalk you might hear me say "this is ridiculous".  And it was.

When Icon takes the first two jumps you can see he does look a bit 'off' for them.  This brings into play the 'too much handler focus' issue that we seem to have.  His second time on the sequence is much better.  

I thought the line from the tunnel to the teeter was pretty good, but with all dogs Jen spent a lot of time talking about how you don't want the dog coming too far out of the tunnel before turning towards the jump.  Ideally he should make a bee-line from the tunnel exit to the teeter.  I think people who kept their dogs on their left out of the tunnel and rear-crossed to the teeter got a better line.  Jen said that dogs tended to go wide out of the teeter because most people came in too close to the tunnel (passed the jump) and then had to run back, showing the dog momentum in the wrong direction, to get around the wing in order to cross.  And since there was also a nice pretty double in their line of sight coming out of the tunnel, this caused them to make a really wide turn.

The people who kept their dogs on their left had momentum in the correct direction even when the dog is in the tunnel (where they can often even HEAR where you're going).  I wish I had tried it that way as well for comparison. 

The fall at the teeter was because apparently my momentum was still brining me forward as I was trying to move laterally.

On the very last part of the video I got in trouble for my quick release on the dogwalk.  It was the only quick release I did all weekend!  Apparently he hadn't fully stopped, but my criteria for a quick release isn't for him to stop, it's for him to have his front feet on the ground.  I didn't argue with her though.

The second run on Sunday started out with a really nasty straight line jump/jump/triple then a 90 degree turn to the dogwalk. Everyone was moaning and groaning about how their dogs would fall off and die (including me).   Jen had us handle this with a lateral motion cue before they took off for the triple.  There was a bit of maneuvering to get between a jump and tunnel for the lateral motion, but it was doable.  All of the dogs read it beautifully. I think Shadow went a bit wide on her first try but it wasn't unsafe-wide.  

On our first run Icon had a nice turn to the dogwalk and had a straight approach.  I ran too fast, however, and was stopped at the end of the dogwalk before he even got to the down ramp.  A major problem I have is going fast for the sake of going fast and getting ahead of Icon even if it doesn't do me any good.  This is a good example of that!
I stopped this sequence early because I thought that he had a really wide turn from the pinwheel but it turned out he was really nice and tight.  However since I (again) got really far ahead of him it just looked wide to me.  I should have kept going at that point.

When I started again from the beginning I had a better speed along the dogwalk and ended at a better time.  We were pretty good until we got into the box area at the end of the a-frame.  He was supposed to do a 270, but I pulled away and dropped my arm too quickly and he came in between the two jumps!  Had I wanted to do that move,  I couldn't have gotten that if I had tried!

This was another sequence where she said he took the first jump in a weird way. You can kind of see it on the video. Again, my personal opinion is that we have too much handler focus going on and not enough obstacle focus.  This sequence went pretty well for us aside from the rear cross to the teeter, which the first time around was waaaaay wide.  He turned when I called his name and he landed, he didn't read my rear cross at all.  This was because I didn't decelerate at all to indicate that there would be a hard turn coming up.  

The 2nd time through he had a REALLY tight turn however I think he probably slowed down a bit too much.   The third time through was nice, I thought.

The 4th sequence was pretty good.   I didn't give him enough lateral motion going towards the weaves so he was a bit surprised when he was over the jump after the aframe and the weaves were suddenly there.  Its hard to see in the video, but he slipped going into the weaves.

He also had a wide turn in a 270 near the end.  The 270 was towards the weaves and he drifted a bit because I didn't give him enough lateral motion to know he wasn't supposed to go to the weaves.

The 5th sequence had a bit of a bad angle over the triple.  Most people stayed beside their dog and pulled to the teeter, performing a "twizzle" after it.  I decided to work laterally and make Icon take the triple at the bad angle.  I didn't think it looked all that bad, actually.  He made it but the first time he looked a bit scared going over it.  I think that again this was due to too much handler focus.  I fed him (badly - the cookie missed his mouth, bounced and went way off to the side so I had to come into him) and I think that again, it switched him to too much handler focus so he was surprised by the triple.  The front cross to the teeter felt really smooth though.  The first time around the circle after the teeter he went wide on the jump going back towards the triple.  Jen said it was because I threw my hand out forward in a 'go on' motion (I meant to just move laterally, but apparently that didn't work!)

The 2nd time through the sequence the lateral dogwalk to the triple was much better.   I didn't feed and therefor didn't switch him to 'handler focus'.  Well either that or he remembered that it was a triple next.  We also had a much nicer turn towards the tunnel at the end.

Last sequence of the seminar.  I tried it first with 2 fronts and then 2 rears.  The first time through with 2 rear crosses he didn't read well and back-jumped.  I didn't move across his line fast enough.  When I got the 2 rears correct they looked smoother than the 2 fronts, but when I compare the 2 runs side by side they are pretty much even.  With the FCs I think he lost a bit of time on the 2nd front cross into the 270 but had a nicer turn out of the 270.  With the RCs he had a nicer turn into the 270 but went wide after.

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