I learned a valuable lesson last night: just because a course looks easy when you first walk it, that isn’t necessarily the case. When I first saw the course last night I asked the instructor if it was an Excellent level course. She said it was. I thought (cockily) this is a piece of cake, and the first five obstacles indeed were a piece of cake; but it went downhill from there.
I am hoping we can get through Novice relatively easily (hopefully getting all three legs in a row); but from there on out, we are going to have to work hard.
I realized just how obstacle focused Gel was last night. Wrapping around a jump I needed to keep him with me long enough to set him up to enter the weaves which were about 20 feet away from the jump. If his weave performance was dead solid and I could send him from that far away, I would have been all set. For example, if it were the tunnel I was trying to get him to, I could have done it, but not the weaves. Gel went everywhere but stay at my side and there were numerous obstacles for him to take on his own. It was frustrating, but I know what I need to work on. This goes back to the mistake of rewarding at a distance that I spoke of a couple of days ago.
While the instructor was setting the second part of the course, I brought Fern onto the field and let the other handlers take turns holding her. She ate it up! She got to meet a Border Terrier and an Aussie in addition to three new people.
When we were through with the class I brought Midge in and did some course work with her. She’s getting there and doesn’t seem to be at all concerned or nervous about being in strange surroundings around different dogs and people or using strange equipment (she jumped a panel and double jump last night).
Heatwave is doing wonderfully in his new home. He is playing “super heros” with the four year old boy and is now playing with the two year old girl as well (he was a little afraid of her at first). Apparently children get the zoomies in the early evening, just like puppies, so they all had a great time last night. Heatwave slept through the night in his crate. The family is madly in love with him. This was a very good placement.
One more day to get through prior to the trial this weekend. I’m excited!