Tonight was a good night! It was Bess' agility night, but I went ahead and brought Heffner along for some practice time beforehand. He was doing awesome!! So up and happy! He's so much happier now that the weather is cooling off. And he's been doing so great in class and at practice! I just can't wait to get back to trialing with him.:)
I've been trying some different things to keep him motivated and listening to me. That's one thing that he sort of struggles with at trials. He can sometimes get really distracted and totally ignore me. He's sauntered up to pole setters before and stuck his face right in theirs to say hi, while completely ignoring me jumping up and down and clapping my hands, trying to get his attention. I've been doing short sequences and then letting him play with a toy at the end as the big reward and he's really loving it! At least in class and during practice he's staying pretty well focussed on me. Things are also really coming together with regards to the weaves! I've been using the toy again, specifically his favorite Cuz toy. He doesn't get to play with it at any other time. He has to successfully complete the weaves before he gets to go chase the Cuz. It took him a couple of times through the weaves before he caught on to the fact that I wasn't going to give it to him until he COMPLETED the weaves. Since then, he's been getting more and more solid. It also helps that I'm actually practicing the weaves more with him than I have been. Go figure that praciticing something actually helps you to get better at it!LOL
Bess was also fabulous! It's such a switch up for me to run Heffner and then run Bess. The two aren't completely different, but different enough that I can't run a course the exact same with each dog. I do more front crosses and less leading out with Bess. She's still more likely to skip the jump or obstacle in front of her if I lead out. I also have to work more with her on down contacts versus having to work with Heffner on up contacts. We're working on it though! She was such a happy jumper tonight! She nailed some really nice serpentines! I was so proud! And she was really picking up on some more subtle cues that I was giving her. I like to occasionally throw that stuff in there to see how she reacts to it and she did really well! She's not as toy driven in the ring as Heffner is. She'll chase the toy, but then turn right around and come back to me without picking it up. I tried using a brand new bumper that I have, and she thought that was an awesome toy until it got dirty. Then she didn't want to pick it up. Yes, she can be a bit of a prima dona sometimes! Thankfully she's easier to motivate with just praise alone than Heffner is. One thing that I REALLY have to work with her on though is the table. She's a freaking table junky. I had the table set up between the teeter and a jump that I was using to start a few different sequences. Whenever we would come back to the start to get ready she would bee line it straight for the table. That's really going to be a killer!
Otherwise, we practiced a little bit of leading out and a little bit of rear crossing. She did well and is really coming along quite nicely! She gets so excited just to get out on the course!
I was looking through my almighty spreadsheet last night to try to plan out where and when the next shows and trials are going to be over the next two months. Now that I have two dogs raring to go for agility trials in addition to trying to get Bess out to more shows and hopefully get those points a little quicker, the entry fees are adding up REALLY fast. Conformation is the priority right now, so I'm having to cut back on trials a bit. I'm probably going to be doing some one day agility trial weekends with both the dogs. Which isn't so bad. At least I won't be starting off my work week exhausted! If only I had unlimited funds!!
And for anyone who has made it this far, YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT NIC'S BLOG!!! OMG!!! I LOVE HER!!! How awesome is that?? I think Nitro looks especially sexy in pink!:o)