Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Training for weekend trials

With only three days left to train for the weekend trials, we headed out to the club this afternoon. We have not done much of any training the last couple days because of the heat and humidity here - upper 90s and really humid! Judging from today's performance, that was maybe a good thing. Jackson was really up today and very focused.

Our training partners, Melody and her mom Trudy, were at the club too. After we warmed up a bit, Trudy gave us a run-thru - no treats, no cheerleading, etc. - just like in a trial. Our heeling and signals were good - really good. He was slow working the article pile, but he got the correct article both times. The glove and moving stand were also passing. The pivot on the glove exercise was good and he was fast going out, but slow coming back. The last exercise, the directed jumping was good. His go outs are getting much brisker and he is sitting - slow, but he does sit. The jumps were both good. I think the throwing treats between my legs to speed him up coming in from the jumps is paying off. His speed on the jumps is much brisker.

This is where we needed to be for me to feel comfortable going into a trial. He has shown me that he is capable of doing all the utility exercises quite well -- in practice. I expect less speed in a trial environment and I know things may go south in the actual trial, but at least I'm confident that we have a chance of passing each of the basic elements. And, I'm afraid if we wait for speed on everything, we may never get in the ring!

So, my goals for the trials this weekend are:
1) I'd like to see a happy, confident dog in the ring - which means I need to be happy and confident. (I know - that's going to be tough :)
2) I'd like to see significant improvement over our last trial experience in February - improvement in his attention to me, especially on the signals and directed jumping.
3) I'm really hoping to see some improvement in my handling skills, especially with heeling. I will try to focus on what I'm doing and how I'm moving when I go in the ring so as to not confuse or stress him. This is the one thing that I have control over.
4) And, to have FUN!

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see where we're at in training and trialing, so I can evaluate our progress and develop a training plan for the rest of the summer.


Honey the Great Dane said...

Sounds good! We'll be rooting for you this weekend...we're sure you'll do great!!

Hsin-Yi & Honey the Great Dane

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Jackson - just wanted to wish you good luck for this coming weekend!

Honey the Great Dane

The PR Gang said...

Sounds like you're ready. Best of luck!!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi again, Jackson - my human was just wondering if your human might have any tips for her: she is having a lot of trouble when she tries to tell me to "back" because I keep backing up in a curve, rather than a straight line...any tips for how she can get me to back up straight?

Honey the Great Dane

Kathie R said...

Thanks guys for the good luck wishes!
Honey, we're leaving town tomorrow morning for the weekend shows and won't be back until the middle of next week. When we get back I'll find the notes from a workshop I attended some time ago that gave some tips that might help with the backing up straight.

Kathie and Jackson