Monday, November 11, 2013

When practices just suck...

For various reasons, some of which I have yet to understand, I have had several sessions with the dogs lately that have just sucked. 

I wasn't on top of my game, the dogs responded and weren't on top of their game and it just sucked all the fun out of agility.

Nobody talks about this topic too much.  Probably because it is painful to think about and you don't want to admit that sometimes you just suck!

The remedy?  Some of this intensionally and some was just great timing.

I took Split and Tangle to a frisbee competition yesterday.  For me, frisbee isn't about winning, getting high points, it is really about relaxing with my dogs, but working as a team.  I suck at frisbee, I only know how to throw one way.  I never "practice" it, it is just something that, on occasion we do together.  I could probably think of it as one of those team building exercises.  But the key is I can relax, smile and laugh with my dogs always.

Mary, Tangle, and Split

Competition was fun and crazy.  First time ever that Tangle actually darted out on the field to help a dog catch the Frisbee.  Tangle never looses his head in an environment like that, but yesterday I saw a lack of control several times (this is a good thing for this dog).  Split did awesome, he takes Frisbee very seriously.  Actually Split digs anything he does.  He is the best example on the planet of being "in the moment" and enjoying the work.  An inspiration really (which is why rehabing this dog was so worth it).

This morning I went back to foundation and basics with all three dogs.  We did Linda Mechlenberg's one jump work right from the beginning.  Jumps at 8", 12", 16" etc...It was a good exercise.  High rate of reward for the dogs, easy, reminding them not to hit the bar, and helping keep the muscle's toned in their back legs.  And my CnT and throwing treats skills were good enough to make the dogs happy.

Then we did some tunnel and jump work.  Take the tunnel, don't take it, do the backside, threadles, etc... 

My reward...a sequence that we just sucked at two days ago was flawless this morning. 

Most of the time I do a fairly good job keeping things in perspective, not getting too serious about the goals at hand, but sometimes, obviously I suck at it.

We all just needed some time where we  just played, laughed, and let off steam.

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