Thursday, March 12, 2009

2x2 training day 6

Before I did Devon's training, I rechecked my progress with the DVD. I'm glad I did. I saw that I should have moved my location at least one more time before I closed up the two sets. I also saw that Susan opens the sets and really works the entry angles before closing them up "for good."

So today I took advantage of a change of "H" or habitat. I loaded up the 2x2s and headed to agility class. Devon had already had a full morning, so I knew I was risking her being very tired. I did one sequence with her, but we had to go back and work some extra skills. Last week Devon was refusing the A frame. This was due to her being completely out of whack and needing a chiropractic adjustment. Her shoulders were jammed in front and back and her pelvis was out. Dr. Bonnie fixed that on Sunday.

Because of the bad memories from her struggle last week, Devon refused the A frame a couple of times before she was successful. We had a big party when she was. After I ran the sequence, I went back to a jump, teeter sequence, since she bailed off the teeter, too. It was a new one and the pivot point was much farther out than she's used to. Devon is also very observant of the sandbags under teeters. I wonder if she thinks the thing might not be the safest if they have to put all those sandbags under it! ;-)

Anyway, after being successful on the teeter and the A frame, both in sequence, and greeting her fans in the gallery who told her how brilliant she was (that's really her best reward); she took a break and I went for the 2x2s. Liz is a gem of an instructor, and I'm grateful for her letting me use the rest of class time to work the 2x2s. Devon really needed this worse than she did more sequencing. 

I put the two sets on a very steep angle and about 1 ft. apart. I had a nice seam in the matting as my reward line. I worked some of the hardest entries yet, and Devon just nailed every single one. And the best thing I see is her driving through the poles! I closed them up to 2 inches, and she was again perfect! She only failed once, and that was because someone from the next class was coming in, and Devon was just sure Ginger needed to pet her! However, Devon went right back to work when Ginger ignored her. Good girl!

Again, I closed the poles up to straight. The first time Devon missed the entry and went in the second pole, but she turned right around and fixed herself! I gave her one more low challenge entry, and we called it a session!

Before dinner, I went back out to the yard to introduce a jump. I had the two sets of poles only 1.5 inches apart. Again, the best thing I can say about this session is how Devon was driving to the poles even over the jump! I gave her some low challenge entries first from the left and she was fine. 

Then I gave her what I thought would be a fairly straightforward but slightly tougher left entry, and she went in the second set. Three more attempts were failures, but she continued to try and drive. I did move the jump very slightly towards a low challenge area; I didn't move it more than 4 inches. This was just enough help that she made the entry. We had a big party, and she was successful on a second attempt at this slightly easier location. Next, I moved the jump right back to where she had failed, and she was successful twice in a row.

I know Susan said on the DVD not to help them. However, I did see her change a jump slightly when Trendi was having an issue on a difficult angle. I used this same philosophy when I "helped" her or tweaked the angle on our situation, and immediately moved it back to where she had failed. 

I then moved to the high challenge right entries. Even though this was previously Devon's hard entry area, she was successful every single time, and I threw a lot of nasty ones at her!

Finally I moved back to the hard left side and did the entry Trendi had trouble with on the DVD. Yep, so did Devon; she went in the second set of poles. But after three failed attempts, I moved the jump literally 1 inch. I was tempted just to pick it up and set it down in the same spot to see what would happen. Again, Devon nailed this entry. I moved the jump right back to where it was, and she was successful. We called it a very excellent day!

On a side note, this dog has got to be exhausted. She was up at 7 a.m. with no nap before going out to the building at 9:15 a.m. to meet Debbie and Grace. Devon worked right along side Grace for an hour (including play time with Grace before her training time). Devon came inside for a drink and then it was off to agility class. We got home at 2:30 p.m. and she crashed until about 6 p.m. when we went outside for our second session of 2x2s. I think Devon will be glad to have the rest of the evening off!

Tomorrow I'm taking the 2x2s on the road again, this time to a dirt arena. I'm planning to start again with a steep angle and only an inch apart. I'm again going to add in the jump. Based on how successful she was today, I'm planning to close the two sets up for her jumping portion. If she does that, we'll be ready to add in another set of 2 poles!

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