Fin and I headed up to PowerPaws today for a lesson. The wonderful Nancy Gyes was there to see where Fin and I were.
First of all, complements to all of the people who have helped me get this far. Fin is doing well. That said, there is lots of areas of improvement (wouldn't want a perfect dog would we?).
The first thing we talked about is dog walk. She has had some really GREAT dog walk speed. But lately I've noticed that she is slowing down as she ends her dog walk. She is stopping before the 2o2o area and the nose touch is non existent. When I do ask for a nose touch, she is bobbing her head. After a few demos, I got home work:
Lots and lots of nose touches. Nose touch and quick release. The bottom line is I've let the criteria slide down a slippery slope. It is my goal to get it back...so no contacts in class until I back chain it.
Same for the A frame. I'm lowering the A frame and making it easy.
This is really hard for me. I wanted to start to show her, but I know that the long term goal is more important than the short term..... AND I can still show her in jumpers (which is a great place to start).
Her teeter was splendid and will only improve as the nose touch comes back.
Then we looked at weaves. Her weaves were really nice and Nancy gave me a few drills to work on for entrances. Basically use only 4 or 6 weave poles, put her in a sit and send her through (human stands still) and reward. She then goes into the same starting position, but human moves to a different location. Continue this for 5 minutes. So basically she is working on the same entrance for 5 minutes, but human position is moving (her performance is not dependent on where I am).
We looked at jumping and handling. What Nancy noticed during our contact drills is that Fin is going wide (I knew this was an area we really need work on). When I did my jumping drills, Fin seemed to do fine. Nancy felt it was when I sent her to jumps that she was making a wide arch. The drills below are what I'll work on for the next month (in addition to everything else).
Lastly, I need to work on her coming to my side....let's see...Rob told me I need to work on her coming to my side. Laura said, "You really need to work on her coming to your side." Jim mentioned, those wide turns will help if she comes to your side more....ok, ok, I get it. Lots of reward for coming to my side...you don't need to hit me with a brick! (ok, maybe you do). I'm going to be doing some flatwork drills of rewarding by my side.