Well, after all my frustration with Dylan earlier this week, the bloody dog turns out to be a genius!
Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s amazing how a good training session can turn everything around again. We finally got around to doing a bit more boxwork this week, and I can only say a big thank you to Vicky as her good advice seems to have worked. We haven’t touched the box for 10 days or so, but it was such a nice evening we decided to give it a go.
We started off doing some reps around the cone and he was doing fantastically, really powering off the box. I had my mum stand in as “boxloader” – no ball but she was setting the spring as though there was so we could check he was triggering it properly. Thrilled to bits with him! Julie and I were discussing last time about perhaps replacing his cone with a low jump in front of the box, as Murphy has, to encourage him to snap off it faster. I’d been giving this idea a lot of thought and really liked it, as I think it’s easier to phase out a jump than a cone and it would really be encouraging Dylan to do the turn independently.
So tonight we set up a jump in front of the box, loaded it up and gave it a shot! Dylan took to it like a pro! I’m so proud of him, he was snapping off it much faster and he was getting all four paws on the box still to push off. We’re still using the stiff Canadian box, which will only trigger with a really forceful bounce. Dylan has never really used the Canadian box until we brought it home 2 weeks ago and so I’m very pleased with the progress.
We finished by giving Mollie a couple of reps. As I may have mentioned, Mollie is a flyball fanatic, and she has the frothing-at-the-mouth to prove it. We left the aids in front of the box and she demolished them every single time, and then again when she went back to show my mum her ball. It’s always fun to run the Mol! As always, I wish we’d taught her from a pup as she has a wicked-fast turn when there isn’t a ball-loaded and she could easily knock .3/4 off her Singles times. Equally, I would have loved to have seen Mollie flyballing in her prime as a 3 year old — she runs 4.9 Singles times at 9 years old, with a terrible box turn — can you imagine the speed she could have turned on with young muscles and smooth joints in her legs!?
Don’t expect I’ll get chance to post again until after Shrewsbury, so wish us luck and I’ll write you a nice long boring report afterwards.