Sunday, November 08, 2009

Toni Dawkins Training Day

I had the most wonderful time with Toni Dawkins yesterday at Sue's sand school. As all of you know Toni is our top handler eventhough she didn't run shelties (do you think I can persuade her to have a sheltie, well at least a blue merle sheltie?) Toni is very friendly and loving, I always feel so comfortable with her. I have picked up a lot from her training day yesterday and that will add a long list onto my winter project!

I trained Sizzle in the morning and Saturn in the afternoon. I made a lot of mistakes with Sizzle and Saturn, well, almost every exercise I ran, there was a mistake or imperfection but I was so happy I made the mistakes so I could learned from Toni how to handle it. I was exhausted at the end of the day but very happy.

The weather was glorious when we got there in the morning, cold but sunny. There were 8 of us in Sizzle's class, 3 gorgeous Goldies, a Visla x Lab, a Cross breed, a young blue merle BC, a JRT and Sizzle. What a mixture of class!

We started the class with this jumping sequence (this is just a draft from me, not sure about the correct distance):

Our first try was to start from jump #2, I lead out slightly so I could send Sizzle into the tunnel, then run to the back of jump #4, but Sizzle didn't go into the tunnel, he was checking on me and came with me to jump #4. After a couple of tried, he understands he needs to go into the tunnel but my handling was crap! My plan to run this sequence is to send him into the tunnel, pick him up from behind jump #4, wrap the right wing and send him back to the tunnel then run to the front of jump #6 and pick him up and send him to do jump #7. It all became a disaster! I wasn't fast enough to do what I want to do. I have tried a couple of times to trust him to take the tunnel #5 and ran to between #6 and #7 to do a front cross, hahaha ... Sizzle beat me to it every single time! Then, Toni had a go (or three goes!) with him. I never thought Sizzle will run for anyone but he surprised me, he didn't even hesitate, Toni got his ball and he run in his full speed with her. Toni tried to show me the front cross that she wants me to tried and after three goes, she admitted he is too fast, so not possible to do the front cross and I need to learn the rear across! I finally managed the rear across but he didn't take the jump #8. It was set a little further and the dog has to understand to take the jump. Sizzle is so much "into" me (I only found out yesterday!), he would not go and take jump #8 if I hang back. Why do I want to hang back? I don't know!! Maybe I am lazy!!We all had a go at the above sequence and many of them did the same way as I ran Sizzle; or some of them did the tight turn (turn right on the jump) to take a shorter route into the tunnel. Toni's best way is to set the dog far back from jump #1, because this is a straightline recall into the tunnel, you lead out to the tunnel and recall the dog to do the tunnel then jump #4, do a kinda front cross but close to the left wing, so the dog would wrap the jump (the dog jump left) and you spin to send the dog back into the tunnel. Then, the jumps #6, #7, #8 bits ... pick the dog on your left (when he is out from the tunnel), send him to do #6 and #7 then you cross into the box, make sure hand out to send him to do #8, then you can do whichever way you want on the #9. Phew!

It doesn't look like a hard sequence but when you run it, mmm ... I find it difficult even with Saturn!The morning class passed so fast ... we had so much to do and so little time to cover the contacts but we managed to squeeze in the DW which I wanted to prove so much. The sequence was jump, DW, turn right to a jump then 3 jumps like a zig zag for us to practise more on our "steerling" skill.

here is Sizzle's DW:

Saturn was a very good boy at training eventhough we didn't get much of the exercise right but he was willing to work. The only down side was I cannot really wind him up. Sue's sand school is located in her garden and she has a few neighbours. We have a restriction to control our dog barking. The only way I could wind Saturn up is get him to bark then he will get excited and hopefully to go faster. His speed is varies, soemtimes he is crazily fast and I won't be able to control and someitmes he has a steady speed which he will work sequence perfectly. With Saturn, I know I am going to work hard on his contacts this winter, so now I go back to reward him very often. He has beautifuly contacts at training and he does not hesitate like he used to be, maybe I released him quick is helping but this also risking that he will jump off the contacts sometimes if my release is too fast or too slow.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

That sequence does look very tricky - I like your explanation of what to do and what didn't work. Very interesting - I don't know if we could do it or not.

Sizzle's DW is amazing!!!!!

Sara said...

Sizzle's dogwalk is awesome!

Sounds like a great day! I think I'm going to try that jumpers sequence. It looks like fun.

Vonnie said...

Good to hear you enjoyed your day and learned loads! I bet you all had a good sleep last night!

Nat said...

AMAZING running dog walk!! How did you train it?

that all sounds like tons of fun!


Diana said...

The sequence does look difficult. Fantastic dogwalk. Diana