Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Practice at club today

We were back at the club today after taking a break from training for a few days. Jackson wasn't showing signs of lameness today, but we took it pretty easy anyway. Didn't want to take the chance of overdoing it, as he still doesn't seem 100%. I've been getting referrals for holistic/alternative vet care and am hoping to get him in to see someone soon for an evaluation. I'm wondering if the jumping is what's affecting him, since it appears to be pain in his front -shoulders/legs/feet - not sure which - that results in lameness.

The agility equipment was set up in one of the rings when we got there. They have agility class tonight, but we were the only ones in the building this afternoon. Jackson really worries about agility equipment, so this was a good distraction for him and an opportunity to practice under stress.

We started off in the adjacent ring with articles. The pile was placed close to the agility equipment on the other side of the gates. He went out and started working the pile right away - all the while keeping an eye on the agility equipment. We did two sets and I was pleased with how he went to work and got all articles correct - even with the agility equipment a couple feet from the pile. The agility equipment proved to be a bit too much of a distraction with the first set of signals though. He wasn't looking when I gave the signal, so I went out and gave him a correction (collar pop) and restarted the exercise. We did signals a few more times during practice and he paid attention and got them all. We even went in the ring with the agility equipment and did some heeling and signals amongst the equipment, and he did fine.

We did the glove exercise to all three gloves. His pivots are improving and his retrieves were good. We could use more speed on the returns. Will focus more on speed after we get the basics down. We did a few go-outs without the jumps and rewarded for fast sits. Then spent some time practicing pivots and backing. His pivots and finding heel can be great when practiced by themselves, but they seem to fall apart when paired with gloves, articles or just setting up in the ring when he is stressed.

Overall, he did good with the added distraction. I'm really looking forward to the fun match at the club this Sunday. I'm hoping to see some improvement over the last match and trial.

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