Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous northern California day. The kind of day that keeps me thinking I will never leave the bay area. I went to practice at Diamond Bar with Jack, the 10 month old BC I'm working with. Diane told me I was welcome to bring and work my dogs too, so I brought Icon, Apollo and Rampage. Foster stayed home with a nice juicy bone.

Jack worked really nicely for me and started tugging right away. We worked on the stuff we did in class along with the teeter bang game, which he picked up really quick, and some simple nose targeting. I guess I worked with him about 45 minutes before I put him away and set up a course. I decided to do a european jumpers course that looked challenging and pretty easy to set up. I was wrong on both counts! The course wasn't very difficult to run, but it was a pain to set up. Although it was probably easier than some of the other courses I looked at. I guess the moral is to always practice with other people so it's easier to set courses.

As I set courses I let the dogs run around (except for Jack, he was back in the kennels). Rampage was a good dog and came whenever I called his name (and whenever a loud motorcycle went by). He generally left the other dogs alone, but he did molest Icon a little.

And that's about how much training Rampage got at the field. I was just too busy with the other dogs to do anything more. I thought that I could train him between runs with Apollo and Icon, but I had to put him back in the car when I started running the dogs since he was too loud.

I thought the challenging parts of the course would be getting Icon to take the broad jump and the little circle of death in the middle. The first time I ran it with front crosses and he did fine until we got to the bounce jumps at the end where he took the first one fine, but plowed through the last two. It was really my fault because I gave him no indication that he needed to collect at that point. Not to mention that after his crashes I took a look at the spacing and they were really too close together. I mean, if I took out the middle one he could have bounced jumped the first and third.

The course didn't go so smoothly with rear crosses. I lost him to the tunnel between 7&8 and our turns were wide (but our turn at 14 was actually nicer with a rear cross).

I also ran it backward (but first removed jump b/c of the combo and replaced it with the teeter). We had challenges there with the weave entry from the tire (the tire was closer and a bit more offset in the actual course) and at the end I tried to wrap to the last jump, which he didn't read very well. He did much better when I serped it.

At the end I spent about 30 minutes more with Jack. But by then I was pretty tired. I was there 3.5 hours!

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