Monday, December 01, 2008

The Letter L.

As Babe would say..."L is for LAAA, LAAAA, LAAAAAA!" Tonight we did a modified L exercise from Clean Run - it was a really simple layout but both boys really liked it - we had some good speed and some good distance work too (go and out). I put together some diagrams - one because it was such a fun exercise and two for me to remember and to try again sometime...In all of these blue is the handler and green is the dog's path...

1) The first part of this was just half a speed circle with them on my right - Murphy really LOVES to move out so this exercise was right up his alley. I had more distance with Teller than I did with Murphy - which is interesting - but in general a good thing. I need a shorter path with Teller (who is faster). Both dogs had great "go buttons" tonight and I was able to send them one or two jumps ahead of me. With Murph I was probably right on the blue line, with Teller I was five feet or so to the left.

2) This is similar - no crosses here - dog on the left side. I started pretty close to the dogs' paths on this one but used my outs here - the blue line here is probably closer (down) than I was with both boys.

3) The rear cross exercise. Murph has always "had" a rear cross - it's front crosses that cause problems for me - not him - ALL ME! I get in his way and I have a tendency to bend at the waist as he comes around. Thankfully Lori has been reminding me every time I do it and I've done a lot of reps with the front crosses with Teller (more so than with Murph) because I have more lateral distance with him and feel like I can better get to where I need to be. Rear crosses have been tough for Teller - he's often moving out but hasn't liked me crossing behind him. We've worked it a lot because I'm going to need a solid rear cross - what really made a difference for him was the cone or jug game: going around it while I moved behind him. Once he got the jug he got it over jumps.

4) Similar idea here - straight away with a rear cross behind the third jump - again - both boys got it here and I was able to cross right in front of the second jump and send them to four and five from a good distance.

So takeaway - the go and the out work we've been doing over one jump in the backyard has finally started to pay off. Ditto with the rear cross work. It's coming together and clicking for both of us. Teller is making me work harder to be a better handler and Murphy is enjoying the job and I think is thankful I'm less of a detriment to his job!

The funniest thing is when we do these alphabet drills I have the Sesame Street thing playing over and over again in my head...Sesame Street was brought to you today by the Letter L and the number six!

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