Meet Jefferson

Meet Jefferson
This is Jefferson: Agility Dog

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Isn't it About Time for Spring to Have "Sprung?"

I am absolutely THRILLED about having a week off for Spring Break.  Not only do I desperately need time away from work to recharge my batteries, but I am excited to have the extra time to train with Jefferson.  Yes, I have officially turned into an agility nerd!!  With our next trial fast approaching on April 13th, Team J-Dawg has plenty of work to complete.  

First off, I practiced some fancy handling moves last night at the field.  My favorite being the “backy-uppy.”  Jefferson “gets” it and reads it like a charm, it is ME that has trouble performing the “backy-uppy” without feeling like I am going to do a “falling downy!”  Seriously, with his increased speed and enthusiasm, I believe having a “backy-uppy” in our bag of tricks will really help us perform more complicated Grand Prix and Steeplechase courses that have an emphasis placed on accuracy and speed.  

We also practiced the “lap turn” which is another complicated handling maneuver.  It involves calling your dog to your “lap” in order to by-pass the front of a jump and allows you to call them around to take the backside.  Again, this is pretty difficult since Jefferson is so darn obstacle focused!  He will run around looking for an obstacle to take if I do not cue him fast enough where to go.  But, I set up a tunnel and jump to practice and Jefferson was by-passing the front of the jump and confidently taking the back side by the end of our training session.

Along with practicing these new skills, I decided to improvise some additional
snooker-type training by having him run around the field with me, by-passing obstacles until I gave him the cue to take an obstacle.  This was VERY difficult at first as he headed over jumps, weaves, dogwalk – you name it, and he was there faster than lightning!  But once I brought out the big guns (Baked Cheetos and his very own Chick-fil-a kid's meal) he stuck with me like glue.  We ran around the field and he did NOT take the obstacles until I released him to do so.  This was a great exercise for our team and I plan on incorporating this whenever we are practicing.  By the way, I did work on re-sending him into a tunnel (from a distance) once he exited it.  He still looked at me like I was a bit crazy for asking, but he did get the hang of it by the end of our practice session.   So, if we see this challenge again on a gamble, I feel more confident in our ability to be successful.

Jefferson was such a good boy this week and I am so VERY pleased with how hard he is working and willing to stay in the game with me.  We worked for nearly 40 minutes last night – he was not bored and wanted to play MORE.  Yay!  This is a huge accomplishment for Team J-Dawg.  Now, I am just praying for a heat wave next week so I can work on acclimating Jefferson (and me!) to running in the heat with the same enthusiasm as we show when the temperatures are in the 50s and 60s…

Ah...Spring Break cannot get here fast enough!

~"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."
Hal Borland

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous of your break (and warmer weather). Enjoy both for me-- I will be working and enjoying 40 degrees. Ha.