Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project "Ignore Ring Crew", day two

Well after a couple weeks hiatus, Soph is back with a vengeance. We did two sessions today.

Morning was up at the larger training hall with a full set of equipment. We started out with some shadow handling around another team who were running full courses. Soph didn't set a foot wrong during the shadow handling.. again , that involves direction changes, side switches, stays and recalls around the equipment and at varying distances from Andrea and Sally. We then moved onto a bit of a pinwheel with three jumps, just for some handling work. No trouble at all there, she was jumping well and accurately. At one point in the morning, a young couple came in for an adoption interview with A. - Soph (and Sally too) beelined for them and got one jump in on the man but responded VERY quickly to a happy send to her kennel with a reward. Once they were settled to meet their new doggy friend, we went back to work on some full courses. (The hall was now empty except for us, so this was ideal to work on our handling. Sophie's contacts are officially phenomenal, and I was able to get some long distance from all three contact obstacles, even getting 8 feet from the teeter as she held her 2o20. Then I took a tea break as soph had a rest.

The head trainer had her first aid seminar participants in for an impromptu agility demonstration, so we did a bit more shadow handling and "who's that" (stays with the CU look at that exercise) practice with 6 strangers. She did very well here, but the premacking "go say hello" exercise here didn't go so well, there was a language issue that I wasn't aware of. However, we did get a beautiful contact at the bottom of the aframe with the 6 bystanders less than 10 feet away, and one successful "go say hi" before calling it a day at the big hall.

Next we were off to a more intensive session at When Hounds Fly , with the long suffering Emily and some two- and three-jump work. This time we had weaves, and two jumps. Started off with the weaves perpindicular to our ring crew - no trouble. Worked increasingly tough angles, finishing with the weaves aimed directly at E. She held it together amazingly well, scoring some impossibly tough weave entries and tight wrap turns to the jump while entirely ignoring the seated ring crew. Time for another tea break, followed by a session of "who's that" with both Em and Andre , who was great at acting very goofy. Then a few "go say hi's", with increasingly quick "that'll do" and call offs. Back to the equipment, where we added a third make shift jump - soph had some trouble reading it initially but figured it out - did some nice send aways over all three obstacles, ending with some beautiful high speed figure 8's with tight wraps and quick front crosses over the two jumps. Our final premack, Soph is clearly wanting to continue working with me rather than harassing the ring crew.

All in all, a VERY productive working day. Our next session will be half and full courses with one or two ring crew at varying distances .. we have houseleague coming up and we'll play that by ear, probably clearing the ring other than a judge I think.

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