Monday, January 24, 2011

Spur's weekend running session

We can really only train on weekends now, with my dog walk buried deep in snow. Darn! Silvia wants me to try to get more speed from him and suggested lowering the dog walk so I can toss the ball as far in advance as possible. I was (before the snow) doing work on the flat and getting REALLY good speed in the yard, but on the full dog walk we have been working full height. And he has yet to be REALLY fast. Speed even at home on his home dog walk hasn't been what it can be and Silvia feels he will improve if he has more speed. It's a confidence thing, for sure and figuring out his strides. On his own, without props or help from me. It's an education.

OK, last weekend I lowered it to see what we have. We had about 50% jumps. YIKES! Strange, but whatever. It's a process, I know and I am committed. He improved as the session when on. He wasn't super fast, though. Really no faster? Maybe a wee bit.

Did another session on Wednesday, when class was cancelled we went over and trained, but my videographer was shaky and missed quite a bit. Faster, for sure, but still not super fast.

Yesterday! FAST! His fastest, yet, on a "strange" dog walk! We did have Douce tied up in the room making noises and I could tell that pumped him up. Social pressure? You betcha! Douce was complaining that he could do it faster! I bet he could!!! LOL!! Douce is a super fast shih tzu!

This video is last weekend's work. You can see as I remembered to really toss the ball very early he improved. Go figure? I have had lots of people gasping over such an early toss, hearing things like....."I would NEVER toss in advance!!"....or..."You will ruin your work tossing in advance!"......."How can you reward your dog if you toss in advance all the time?" and on and on. Gasping at the thought. Well, Silvia told me to!!! LOL!! She said with a dog like Spur to reward all efforts with the ball (thus the advanced toss), but jackpot the good hits and mark the jumps if possible. She wants me to be really careful marking him, though, because he could worry so I am not at all harsh. I might make a sound like "Ooooh" or "Wooooo" in a high voice and we start again. Good hits get a MAJOR party with chicken, chicken, chicken jackpot and telling him he is brilliant all the way back to the start!

Yesterday's work - MUCH faster!! 15 runs with three total leaps. A few hits really high, so those got some chicken, but the GOOD hits got a JACKPOT!!! Probably his fastest work, yet!! Good BOY!! You can see he is still working it out. He needs to figure out his striding and it is going to take some time since we have made a bit of a mess of it before, not knowing what we were doing. Silvia has offered to keep helping me, so we are going to get this right!!!!

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