We're missing our training buddy, Melody the Border Terrier, so we're working on our own for a while. Melody has a stress fracture in her foot so she's going to be out of commission for a few weeks. I realize now how helpful, and how much more fun it is to have someone to train with : ) I think that's why I enjoy training so much - you make some great friends.
We did go out to the club today to do some training, especially on our go-outs. That's part of the directed jumping exercise where you send your dog away to the opposite side of the ring; give him the sit command; then using a hand and/or voice signal indicate one of two jumps for him to take on his return to you. What Jackson needs to improve in this exercise is his speed - speed going out, speed responding to the sit command, and speed taking the jump. At the last trial, he didn't have enough speed up to take the first jump so stopped short of the jump. Hoping that doesn't happen again.
I've broken down the training into separate parts - the go-out and sit, and then the directed jumping part. To speed up the go-outs I've been putting a really high-value treat (freeze-dried salmon pieces that really smell potent!) on the gate at the go-out spot. I take a cat pill-pocket, which is squishy and sticky, to 'glue' the treat to the gate. In practice this is really speeding up his go-outs, and he's been sitting quicker - at least starting to sit - still slow getting down : )
Here's a video clip of Jackson's go-out today and his bar jump.
Did I mention we have a trial this weekend! We're going to Lincoln, Nebraska, which is about three hours from where we live for the weekend. They are having a fun match Friday evening that we're going to do also. That will give us a chance to practice in the ring prior to the Saturday and Sunday trials. Jackson is entered in Utility A both days and Jolee is entered in Novice B on Sunday. I think it's going to be a fun weekend, regardless of what happens in the ring.
Not to leave Jolee out, here's a clip of our practicing the Figure 8 exercise today.