In agility class this past Tuesday Twitch and I had one of those runs that was technical and smooth where we both just clicked and my signals were clear. It was fantastic and what makes me keep wanting to improve our agility game together. Those kinds of runs are so much fun!
I have been insisting on toy play this week interspersed with food rewards and his energy and play has been fantastic. I am really liking what I see.
I am really excited because on Thursday I head off to Bend with Twitch for three days of agility!! If camping goes well I may try it more often for trials. 🙂
We are going to Desert Sage Agility hosted and owned by Stephanie Morris. Fun little tidbit she and I met in 2007 in Connecticut! Clean Run hosted an Instructors Conference and Stephanie and I met up and shared a room together for two nights. Funny how the world turns.
We are going to be working with Stacy Winkler, Sandy Rogers and Moe Strenfel. I got to listen to workshops with Sandy and Moe at the conference and I’m excited to work with them. I just hope that Twitch’s toe is healed better by then!
His toe was swollen two weeks ago and the vet lanced the toe and expelled some ugly pus. His toe was looking good last Thursday and Friday morning but Friday night he had a puffy blood blister. The vet looked at it again today and now we are to soak it twice a day till Wed and see if that helps. It already looks better tonight, I just hope he feels ok by Friday.
The weekend after camp we are going to Mt St Helens for the day. Then the following weekend is a trip to Boise, ID with Kris, Kat and my parents for July 4th. After that is agility trial, then Warrior Dash weekend… Not sure when the next time I sleep past 6:30 will be. 0.o
Today we went down to Eugene so I could take a private lesson with Naomi Snapp. She runs Aussies in agility and I wanted to get some personalized looks at Twitch and I, to see where we could improve. He has concerns and motivation issues in trials so I am trying to address those.
The first thing she noticed was that he disconnects from me as we enter the ring. So we are going to work on stronger nose touches for pre-run routine as well as his spins as we walk out.
The second thing she noticed was that he slows down when I slow down, which in most situations is great, he reads deceleration, but there are times when I need him to keep moving like pinwheels and wraps around jumps. So maintaining motivation through tricks will help, not fixing things in trials and working on using a lunchbox to get speed.
The lunchbox is a hard sided plastic cooler that is heavy enough he can’t run off with it, sticky enough that he can’t open the lid and big enough for any kind of food. We worked on that today and it helped a lot. We used the LB for proofing weaves and contact behaviors and it helped with his motivation around the push to the back of a jump with a 180 to the tunnel. So some good stuff and really glad I did it.
Then we went to Spencer Butte. It was a 2 mile hike with 900 feet of elevation gain. And it was busy! There were so many people and other dogs and Twitch did really well with all of it.
He met dogs on the trail, he walked past dogs and ignored them, it was great!
Those are the Three Sisters mountains in the distance.
The trail wound through the forest with some really large trees!
Then we stopped at Oakshire Brewery for food and drinks and headed home.