Thursday, January 12, 2006

Running Fast and Crazy

I did a little experiment in class last night. At a recent NADAC trial, Wyatt did 10 perfect practice weaves and five minutes later had a lot of trouble with weaves in the ring. It got me thinking that the trial atmosphere and the other dogs may not be a factor in proofing issues, but something actually in the ring, my handling, or ring nerves. After viewing the videos where no obvious handling errors were seen, I got thinking about my speed. I wondering if that little bit of extra adrenalin got me running faster. So I tried running really fast last night in class and sure enough he blew a contact. It was only one data point but I am going to try slowing down in trials to make up for my speed increase.

I have tried this a few times in the past and it sometimes worked. If his adrenalin is really high (perhaps for a different reason than my speed), it can backfire as he will bark and nip if I am not queuing/running fast enough. But I am thinking that this is a problem with muiltple causes and that my running speed may well be one of them that I need to consistently adjust for.

As an aside, one time that I did try slowing way down, a friend watching us stated that she hoped I would make time as she thought we were going so slowly. We had a perfect run and still had ten seconds!

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