Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kipling's Training Journal: Part Eight

It's Kipling's turn for some stardom tonight! Kipling is now officially 7 months, 22" tall (thus no longer out of standard) and is developing a pretty decent work ethic. Kipling is a thinker - he is very deliberate in his learning, but picks up new things really quickly. Once he's generalized those things he speeds up and really digs into the work. He's just about as honest as his father - and is giving me moments when he gets the lesson before I have opportunity to teach it.

For the last couple of weeks (I generally only play puppy-agility with him on Tuesdays) I've had him working tunnels with various crosses and sends. It's about time to introduce him to a jump (or in this case...two jumps). I hadn't put him on jumps before because it just wasn't necessary - it still isn't necessary per se, but it's a starting point to learning some more big boy crosses and baby sequencing. The jumps won't go up until he's at least a year when we have some prelim x-rays done to look at hips and elbows. He really won't see a lot of jumps between now and then either, but he'll have it in his 'bag-o-tricks'.

Why eight inches you ask? What's the significance? When I start a large breed puppy I generally start with the bars at 8". I watch their natural stride to confirm my expectations, I want the bar to be a factor (a jump),  but I want them to be able to stride over it pretty natrally. Lots of trainers start all puppies regardless of size on a 4" bar, but in my opinion a 4" bar isn't a factor for a puppy (or dog) Kipling's size. I want them to notice it - and I want them to knock that 8" bar - so I can fix bar dropping right from the beginning.

So tonight I introduced Kipling to his first jump. It went so well I decided to break out a video camera and film our session. What you see here is what I got from the session, I've edited out only short bits of play and super squeaky Erica voice - which might have been interesting if it didn't all happen off-camera. Also, it drove my dogs bonkers as I edited the video! I have some BIG fans of squeaky voice around here.

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