On Saturday I loaded up the border collies and drove to have a lesson with Susan Salo. There are two main reasons that I took the extra step to have a lesson with her as opposed to just doing the grids on my own. One was that I had had feedback on one of Rammy's videos (which I appreciate!) and I couldn't see what she saw. At that point I wanted to visit Susan because I didn't want to mess Rampage up doing things wrong on my own! The other reason was because as I worked with Rampage I decided to also run Icon through the exercises since they were set up and he was awful! He wouldn't even do the straight line equidistant grid.
So off we went.
Icon's set point was good. She said Rampage looked good overall but at times he was pulling from his front instead of pushing from his rear. I asked about his over-jumping and she said he's not over jumping too much. It's just due to his inexperience and I shouldn't worry about it at this point. He needs to learn to shift his weight back and wait for the jump to come to him and the set point exercises will help with that.
On the grids (aka ladder work) Rampage was very good, but as I expected Icon is not comfortable at all in the grids. Susan asked if I had been working on collection a lot with him, which of course I have been. I worked on nothing BUT collection as we prepared for WC. Or I guess more specifically I worked on him being aware of my deceleration, which then kind of makes a lightbulb go on when you think about why he didn't want to send away from me down a line of grids or recall to me through line of jumps as I just stood there motionless. He was better when I was moving, but it also depended on HOW I was moving. If I just trotted alongside him he was mighty confused. I don't blame him!
So I think what I learned from my lesson with Susan is that Rampage is cute (but we all knew that) and I need to balance Icon's training with extension as well as collection. We'll be going back to see Susan again in a few months.
I'm very thankful that Susan's friend offered to video tape for me!!
Rammy Set Point from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.
Icon Grids from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.
Rammy Grids from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.
Some amusing moments...
Icon bend work from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.