Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never can predict when the challenge will come!

Anybody who has read or met Split knows that he is my soft dog. Not only is he my soft dog, but he get spooked/thrown off by the strangest things. Most of which I can't identify.

Last night we went to a fun run at a place that we have been many, many times. I took Split and Tangle. Split had been doing awesome on his contacts at home so I wanted to start working them in another environment. Really his contacts haven't been that bad, I just wanted to clear up the criteria for him.

I walked the course like I usually do and at a fun run I tend to work the dogs stays. I ask them to sit on the sidelines and wait while I walk the course. For some reason Split could not stay. Wasn't too bad, just kept scooting closer.

I went to warm him up on the practice jump, asked him to stay and I walked to the other side. He could not sit, he followed me around the jump. I was shocked. For all of Split's issues, he has ALWAYS had a rock solid stay at a practice jump and at the start line. ALWAYS! He has broken his start line twice in his whole career.

So the lesson continues with Split, I never know exactly what I will be training that day!

At the practice jump I started with him, got him jumping and happy. Then he would stay, still not happy, but he stayed.

Our turn on course now, I put Split at the start line and walked out. Guess what? He followed me again! OK, it is apparent we are working on confidence and happiness today on course.

Split is such a funny dog. When he looses confidence it never slows him down, he just runs fast, but with no brain engaged and in a velcro style. He broke his start, leaped off of contacts, took every jump remotely near him, and nailed his weaves (why did he do those right?). I tried to just run him, find something I could reward (that WAS hard) and make him a happy camper. I didn't feel really successful!

My wish? I wish that I could see these episodes coming, figure out a successful plan of attack and turn them into a positive training session. I can never get all three of those wishes at once! That is my goal with Split. Funny goal for an agility dog eh?

BTW, Tangle was picture perfect when I was working him ringside on his foundation work.

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