Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carrie Jones and fun runs

Tangle and I attended a seminar with Carrie Jones this past weekend. We attended a "Contacts and Weaves" session and a "Novice Handling" session. Since I have been training Tangle pretty much on my own my goal was to start getting other eyes on Tangle and get those problems identified early on in his career.

The sessions went really well. Tangle tends to be a little reserved in new places (which I already knew, but reinforced once again) so his speed was not what I want to see. He is a thinker and really wants to do the right thing. And, he did! In general I would say that Carrie's feedback was that she wants me to get him hyped up to the point of naughty. She wants to see him more excited and it is OK if he makes some mistakes because of that.

Also, I have been examining his A-Frame, trying to decide if it is exactly what I want or if we need more work. Tangle ran the A-Frame for Carrie many times, each time, she was pleased. In the end, she thought he had an excellent A-Frame. So, several professional eyes have been on Tangle's A-Frame, I think I can rest a little for the moment, it is fine!

Also, last night Tangle and I went to a fun run. My second time at a fun run with him, but first time with a standard course. The standard course was a excellent level course. Carrie said that when her young dogs enter the ring she wants to see only a couple of things. 1. They must hold their startline 2. All their contacts must meet criteria. Tangle did both of those flawlessly. I tested his startline and contacts a little, but my goal was to KEEP IT FUN and KEEP HIM SUCCESSFUL because I wanted to encourage his speed and keep him from thinking so much. Tangle was back to his normal speed thankfully and very happy all evening. By the way, I was thrilled to be running him again and my foot lasted the evening!

The things that I have learned over the past couple of days are priceless for me. I learned exactly what my goals should be over the next month or two with him.

  • More ring experience that is positive and fun.

  • I suck at rear crosses with him and need to work on those. I am late!

  • Serpentine entries into weaves are tough for Tangle. Now that is on our "To-Do" list. I think that it is because the "collection" cues are minimal for the weave entry

  • I have absoltely no instincts with how my dog will handle the course. We have no mileage on us as a team and that is how you develop those instincts. We need mileage. I will say that I spent a lot of time saying "I trained him to do this" and that is how he ran it. That felt good.

  • I need to ramp up Tangle "target" so that it is crazy fast and wild. I will use this to get him driving even faster to the end of his contacts!

Things that went well for us:

  • Handling the course. He read front crosses, lateral and forward sends really well

  • His jumping skills were awesome

  • All the errors in the past couple of days were mine!

  • Our tire training is paying off. He jumped it beautifully and did not touch the tire

  • He is an amazing dog when it comes to walking through a crowd of dogs

  • He was not stressed waiting his turn in line

  • My foot felt great and I am on the right track for increasing my speed again