Meet Jefferson

Meet Jefferson
This is Jefferson: Agility Dog

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Practice, Practice and More Practice!

I am so lucky to be off work this week for Spring Break so I can practice agility with Jefferson (and get to sleep late the next day!)  We started off the weekend with running a Grand Prix course from Tim Verrelli.  

It was a nice course and provided Team J-Dawg with some challenges - particularly the opening serpentine.  Jefferson reads serpentines very well, but it is always a challenge with our running start.  (Note to self:  Next training goal is to work on a startline stay during trials so I have enough time to lead out!)  The first time we approached the startline tire, I showed too much forward motion and Jefferson was off to the weave poles.  But since we are allowed mulligans during run-throughs, I called him back and promptly started over.  I have learned that Jefferson is a very honest dog in that he takes whatever obstacle I am indicating, so it was my forward motion that caused him to veer straight to the weaves.  

Once we started over, he ran the entire course fast and clean!  Yay!  I was very proud of both of us for sticking to our plan and running hard and fast...yes, the temps were in the mid-70's so I was pleased that Jefferson remained enthusiastic during our run.  I handled the opening with Jefferson on the left through #'s 1-3 - I did not show forward motion; rather immediately pealing off to #3.  I rear-crossed Jefferson on the flat after #3 and moved laterally to front cross #5.  Worked like a charm and he read my lateral movement and did not run up the off-course dogwalk.  I kept Jefferson on my left through #8 and then supported a send to the #9 tunnel and moved laterally to front cross #10 to pick him up on my right.  Since Jefferson has nice weave pole entries, I sent him to #12 and kept him on my right and pushed/sent to #13 tunnel.   I elected to run on the left side of the weaves so I would be in a better position to front cross after the #14 jump.  I ran with Jefferson on my left from the #15 teeter until the #20 ending jump.  He ran so fast and even got his down dogwalk running contact.   The only improvement would be for me to decel earlier at jump #16 to get a tighter turn and more collection from Jefferson.  Otherwise, what a beautiful run!  I am pleased to announce that he ran it fast and clean the SECOND time we ran the course.  Double yay!!  Even in the heat....

This week we have also practiced some Clean Run exercises that gave us the opportunity to work on handling choices such as blind crosses, rear crosses, post-turns, etc.  And I discovered that Jefferson reads my post-turns really well:-)   What a good boy!  So looking forward to our trial next weekend but NOT looking forward to Spring Break being over...

"Cat" napping during the break!

"I count it as a certainty that in paradise, everyone naps."
 ~Tom Hodgkinson

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