I haven't blogged about the handling class on wednesday yet, so it's probably about time! It was fun, but still I was a little bit frustrated by my own performance. I wasn't really disappointed, niether in Orkan or in myself or in anything. It's just that I want things to happen faster than they do! Orkan worked pretty well, I only had to give him a time out once (decided to sniff the ground for food instead of tugging), and his attitude really has improved over the last year. But he's still young, and I can't expect him to do full courses, which leads to not being able to do the sequences that the others work on. This handling seminar is all about teaching us handlers how to work, not the dogs really. My handling needs an upgrade so badly, but in order to actually handle, you need the dog to run the course. When the dog needs to be rewarded for every good move he makes (that means every two, three or four jumps), and isn't up for the challenge of distance, independence and generalisation, you can't really do it the way that teaches you the most. That's a bit frustrating. Of course I could still do it, but that would mean setting Orkan up for a lot of failure (doing six jumps right and then failing on the seventh means not getting rewarded for the previous six, and then not knowing that he did right). We simply need more experience, and I know I need to do that gradually in order to get the confindent, fast and happy dog I want. So I'll do what I can at the classes, and put the rest in the back of my head for later. I promised myself before I got him, that with Orkan I'm not going to move on too fast, it's about hurrying slowly :-D
Yesterday Cathrine, Lene and I did some double box training, and tried to keep in mind what Fanny had told me wednesday - teaching him to hold a line. So I varied between running straight ahead and turning. I think I have sort of neglected doing long straight ahead stretches, like straight across the double box. It was fun to see him figuring that out :-)
We also worked a bit on lead out pivot's and rear crosses. Most of it was filmed and can be seen below (although my 4:5 vs 16:9 issues with youtube have reoccurred). One funny thing I see on the video is that when I dare to push his line early in a rear cross (I tend to be a bit late I think, will be funny to hear what Fanny thinks about my rear crossing on wednesday!) his turning is a lot better. One time he didn't even turn in time for the jump, and I think that was caused directly by my poor handling.
I love agility!