Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lessons learned...

Ah, the corporate debrief - the place where the business casual meets the whiteboard. I've put together some lessons learned from the weekend in Open A...and the learnings are surprising - at least to me.

1) Murphy understands the exercises now - he didn't in July, but he does now. In July we had focus issues - big time. Murphy ran out of gas half way through the class, that doesn't happen any more. We've got a pressure bubble problem for sure - I actually think it has more to do with ring gating than people based on some experimentation yesterday and today. He happily jumped towards Demi and Cassy tonight, but was really nervous about jumping towards the gating yesterday when Lori and Hannah were working on the other side of the room - Or Hannah is incredibly scary and Demi is not...

First Kiss

Demi and Murph share a moment way back when they were both baby dogs

2) Murphy is far less reliant on food than I am. Holy cow, I'm so hooked on using food rewards. Murph doesn't need it - I do. That's lazy handling on my part. It's just as effective to be an animated handler between exercises as it is to reward the behavior with a wad of cheese. You'd think agility would have taught me that already: teach the exercise, the dog knows the exercise, let the dog do his job.

3) Don't snack on chocolate between out of sight exercises - you dog WILL catch you and won't be pleased.

4) Lastly, Novice looks like a lot of fun now - damn, open is complicated! So many pieces..

We've got an agility trial this weekend - talk about multi-tasking and cross training! Murphy ran agility tonight and he did really well - some really nice speed and defineatly a good work ethic - his weaves were blazingly fast and accurate - I really just can't believe how awesome this dog can be - and he just keeps getting better and better.

Some goals for the weekend - run fast, run clean - ideally I'd LOVE to finish Murphy's novice jumpers title this weekend - and I'd really love to be greedy and pick up a standard leg as well - GREEDY GREEDY GREEDY!

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