We’re having really nice, sunny (but quite cold) days here. Thomas has left for Bergen again and I am alone with my three girls. Setting goals for this year has been inspiring and we have been training quite a lot. Missy has gotten at least one session of obedience every day and Shejpa has been working on her nose touches on the stairs (working a lot on the seesaw made them weaker) and some weaves. My main focus with Shejpa right now is about speed. She knows lots of things and there are really not many techical things that we need to work on. The coming months will be all about focus and drive. I hope that she, in the future, will be running as fast as she can every time I set her infront of agility equipment. That means less training, shorter sessions and always rewarding for speed.
With Squid, we’ve had some sessions outdoors today. In the first session, we worked on circle work for agility. She loves it, but sometimes she’ll get to excited and jump or bite my clothes. I’ve had to to shorter sessions, slow down a bit and reward her more with food. It has helped and if her attitude is right, she can run with me really fast and she loves it. We’ve also worked on some heeling. I love how walking backwards in our heeling sessions really helps her to differentiate heeling from loose leash walking or circle work. She is very good at the backwards heeling and I can turn around and let her walk pretty long distances before rewarding. I make sure to reward when she falls back, as I don’t want to encourage her to rush. I don’t think that a border collie puppy can walk too far behind you (not with great attitude anyway).
We’ve also worked some more on our sitstays. She has a tendency to lie down if I get to far away from her and that tendency got stronger after I started rewarding downs the other day. Working on it today helped a lot and she has a pretty good sitstay. I just have to remember working on her holding position in stand and down as well (especially the stand). Talking about staying in a down. Some people make it hard for themselves. I started rewarding her down on Thursday, and the day after, I started to shape a crawl. I sure hope I won’t get into trouble for that. The crawl is an advanced exercise in our working trials (and I plan to trial Squid in search and rescue, wich also has an obedience part in it). It’s not hard to shape a dog to crawl, but to get the technique perfect is a big challenge. I want the hind legs to work independently and with rythm, no hopping. It’s an interesting challenge. I have taught a really nice crawl with two of my dogs, but that is pretty much the only exercise where I have used some luring to get the footwork right. This time, we’re trying out shaping.
Squid got to do some jumping today for the second time in her life. Despite her fluffy, round looks, she is a very coordinated and athletic puppy. She has no problems with jumping over bumps with good rythm, I guess she’s seen worse while playing in the woods. She had no problems with the bars that made the exercise quite challenging visually, but on the other hand, she seems to love challenges. Here are some pictures:
Sitstay is good 🙂
Focused over the jump
The last rays of sunlight for today