Today I actually found myself with some time to waste and ended up following the virtual yellow brick road of running contacts posts and videos. I bounced around a bit, but finally ended up watching all 30-something of Daisy Peel’s training running contacts videos. Most were quick and I got thru them in about 40 minutes. We have been retraining Forest’s running A-frame for a while now and its been going really well—our success rate in trials has been really high with only a very few misses and his confidence seems so much better, at least on that obstacle. Just this week I have started mulling over retraining his dogwalk as well. As it stands, he has a really solid 2o-2o dogwalk, but its slow and he is somewhat tentative about it. This week in Thursday class we practiced some drills that worked on teaching the dog how to rock back on their hind end (funny how much horse stuff has crept into agility training), especially on stopping on the dogwalk. Forest did well, but I kinda wonder–why not? I hardly have visions of us ever being in a position where having a running DW really would matter, but the challenge is tempting. And I do know the potential that he has to be fast, it just still never comes out full throttle… So maybe we’ll start playing around with it and see what happens. Really, if I am going to do it, now is the time as trials will be all but non-existent during the summer. I dont have much excuse not to.
With Phin, I plan on training running from the get go. Though I am trying to stick to my plan of focusing on flatwork, it is tempting to get out that plank and start working it. Yet, he is still a little nugget, I have so much time. Patience is not my strong point. I have been good though, focusing lately on some rear-end awareness stuff. We have been doing some backing up, placing back feet on perches/objects, and just today we started pivoting/perch work—he did great! I had tried that a while back with Forest and Diego, and was not getting much success with either of them once we got to the moving/rotating the hind feet part. However, I did all three of them today and all three got it in some capacity. So I don’t know if I was doing something wrong with the first two kids originally, or my props were better (overturned heavy ceramic dog bowl on the concrete as opposed to a book on hardwood floor), or if maybe I am just a better communicator and clicker these days? Who knows, but everyone did well and it was fun.
Phinny also had a quickie trip to the vet today to get his blood taken in prep for getting neutered on Thursday. To be honest I was stalling as long as I thought reasonable to get the neuter. Not because I didnt want to do it, but I have read enough propaganda about letting them “grow properly” and that performance dogs need the extra time, blah blah. Maybe its all farce, maybe its true, I dunno. He is looking really good confirmation-wise to me these days, so I am hardly worried about his strength factor. And, he seems to be heading full throttle into snotty teenagerdom already, so I figured I might as well get him snipped now. Also, because he is such an oddball in so many ways, it seems fitting that he only has one descended testicle. I call him the “one-nutter”. Crossing my fingers the other one is easily accessible and not up near his lungs or something. The harder it is to extract the more $$$ its gonna cost me. So, wish us luck on that front. Extraneous testicle removal didnt make it through the budget cuts this year.
News flash—Phineas just whined at the door to go outside when it was closed—first time ever!!! Woo hoo, he may be officially house trained! He hasn’t had an accident in at least a month, but this is the first time he figured out how to say “Hey idiots! Open the damn door!!” Hooray for smart puppies.