Rio Dig It Feb

No video, because I’ve misplaced my video camera. Really do need to find it for next time!

There is an option to run both the Agility and Jumping twice, but the format didn’t work for me last time. All the dogs at the jump height ran, and then ran immediately again before the height changed. Rio was just fine with this, but I wasn’t. I wanted time to think over the previous run and make appropriate adjustments in the next run to get the most from the training. I can’t do that when I come out of the ring and immediately start queuing again, when I need to focus on what’s happening in the queue and managing Rio’s space etc.

So I only entered one run in each class this time. My agility criteria was basic: dogwalks! Rio has only trained on the dogwalk 5-6 times in training now, but I need to start getting her on to new equipment. I’ve removed the stop criteria, all I want is for her to run over the equipment (she can jump the contact if she wants) and build her confidence. We ran 3 dogwalks in the agility class, and Rio increased in confidence each time. The last one was approaching speedy, and I’m pleased with her progress. I’m sure I looked very weird to anyone watching, as I rewarded my dog for launching off the dogwalk, but so far I’m much happier with this plan, and I’ll bring back the stop later.

Jumping was a nice course but without anywhere to really stop and reward. I decided to just run it and see what happened. What happened is that my timing is terrible, and Rio is a bit late in responding to front cross cues. She also has a tendency to drift as she gets faster, and this is something we need to work on as it came up in the Steeplechase as well. She can turn tightly or she can drive down a line of jumps, but sweeping pinwheels are tough. This is what I need to re-do and reward next time. She needs to work harder to jump,even when she isn’t getting the line quite right. I also need to think about her drive off the start; she isn’t slow out of her wait, but she isn’t really starting to motor until 3-4 obstacles in.

She’s definitely gone up a gear or two though, and her confidence and focus are improving dramatically. As we got on to the line in Steeplechase, there was a hold-up as the judge needed to speak to the previous competitor. Rio has never had to deal with that before, and I wasn’t sure if she could hold her focus. I broke her wait and we played some games until we got the OK, and then went back into a wait. Rio did great! She stayed focused and maintained her wait regardless.  Her waits were great all day and I felt … confident about it? It’s very weird to be able to turn my back and walk out on to a course and know she will be where I left her. Nice, though!

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