January 24, 2009

AMAZING rally runs!

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I am SO THRILLED with Dazzle's 2 runs today! I got both on video and the clips are below. Both runs were really good! There were minor moments of wavering focus, but he came right back to work. I only used 4 treats during the 1st run and 2 treats for the second run.
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I was holding the leash in my right hand because I thought it would be "more loose" and it FELT more loose, but in watching the video, I see that's not the case. I'll get the leash back in my left hand for future training/runs and just make sure there's enough that it's loose. My speed was better, but could still be a bit faster. I tried to go faster in run number 2 and you'll see what happened at the start :-) I'll have to increase my normal speed gradually.
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My shoulders were better than the obed. run last week, but still room for improvement. Having to focus on the signs forced my eyes up and front, so I'm sure that helped! In the obedience ring, I know I'm not going to have obstacles in my path so I look down more I think. The obedience run throughs are tomorrow, so I'll try to focus on my shoulders and eyes staying forward and not turned toward Dazzle.
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There was one sign on the course that I have not taught Dazzle to do and I thought we faked our way through it beautifully on the first run! On the second run, I think Dazzle thought I was pointing out the sign to him and he had to give it a good sniff. :-)
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Instead of keeping him with me between runs and having him wait around not doing much, I put him in the crate in the van while we waited for our second run. I think that REALLY helped him enter fresh and ready to go and might have been a contributing factor to our poor second run last week. I had him with me last week between runs and we did a lot of waiting around and he has trouble with doing nothing in exciting environments. :-)
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I am thrilled beyond my wildest dreams at how well he did today!!! Given that he's not even 6 mo. old yet I know he has SO much potential! At this point, I think he likes obedience so hopefully I can help him keep that attitude :-) My top priority is to have fun and be sure he has fun. If it stops being fun, we'll do something else for awhile.
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Run Through #1 (3rd dog in the ring):
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Run Through #2 (11th dog in the ring):
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For those that don't want to open the videos, here's a few photos captured from the second video:
After the second run, we went outside and played tug for a bit, then I loaded him and my stuff in the van and we headed over to Clermont County for the "Jam"uary Disk Dog event. Spoke with several people I knew and everyone commented on how much Dazzle has grown and how well he's doing. Dazzle was intently watching a compeditor practice some freestyle throws outside the ring and when the guy noticed, he played a bit with him with his disk. Dazzle really liked that!
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He was willing to watch quietly but intently as we sat ringside and as the dogs ran after the frisbees, but in just a few minutes, he had gotten worked up with excitement and was no longer quiet :-) I was able to get his focus back on me and we moved around, worked on obedience, etc. and tried going back to sit down between divisions. Little did I know that between divisions, the people could go out and practice their throws (no dogs.) It was just too much for him to watch those toys sailing around. He wanted in that ring SO bad! But instead we headed out.
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I had intended to go back to watch more of the rally and possibly volunteer my help, but I missed the highway exit due to daydreaming and traffic congestion through the construction. So we stopped at Bass Pro instead and I got him a new bed for his crate since he ate a hole in the first one. He got LOTS of attention and petting since dogs are allowed in the store and he wasn't wearing his vest. I was surprized at the number of people who knew his breed! Even one guy who said "Yeah, I used to breed the heck out of them for pet stores" Oy Vey! We had a chat and he is no longer breeding dogs - thankfully!
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People who know the breed almost always comment on how social he is, which is great! I think his temperment is perfect. Good breeding supported by lots of socialization can be wonderful! Now it's time to feed the boys and take a nap!