Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tracking - What Does He Look Like On and Off

We went tracking yesterday and did a long course with 5 turns, one of which was acute.  Wyatt did well except on the acute turn.  He does drift quite a bit and I believe he is checking out the edges of the scent rather than following the strongest scent.  I am going to work him on some easier courses next with lots of straight legs and less turn.  One light bulb went off in reflecting on the session.  What I really need to do next is to really tune into when he is on the track and when he has lost it.  This will not look like a GSD or Golden!  So, instead of trying to make him look like a GSD who is pulling very strongly with nose right on the track, I need to figure out what he looks like when on and off the track.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First Drop

We have having a real issue with the first drop on recall of the day.  Wyatt does not drop if I do a cold recall with no practice downs beforehand.  If I practice him, he is fine.  I am trying to get that first one.  I suppose I can practice before we go in the ring but I wanted him to be able to drop the first time, everytime.  I have been working with him hoping we will get the idea but no improvement yet.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Video of Some Nice Qs This Weekend

More later on some interesting contact progress...

Monday, June 09, 2008

NADAC Hoopers and Jumpers

Here is video of me and Wyatt last weekend at a NADAC trial.

Patriot CAVX

I am trying to finish up a few titles for Patriot. He needs one more point for his Whippet Racing Association, which he can get by coming in third or higher in one straight race heat. That should be pretty easy. He also needs one more AKC Lure Coursing point for the American Whippet Club Champion Award of Versatility Excellent. To me, this is the highest award a whippet can earn. It means they are a conformation champion and have significant achievements in 3 or 4 other sports. These AKC points are hard to come by. Since he became a veteran Saturday by turning 7, I figured he could beat one other veteran and get his final point. The other veteran did not show so I had him run alone and then in Best of Breed. He has slowed down and not been coursing that well, but I was very proud of him in Best of Breed. He ran his heart out and had some great stretches being in the lead and running great. He was coming in very strong but really died on the final leg. But I was so proud of him being competitive with the special dog (a champion) and the open whippet who went on to get Best in Field.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Slowing Down For Contacts

I have admit defeat on my latest contact strategy for Wyatt. Last year, when I was working towards Wyatt C-ATCH, I developed a bunch of strategies for contacts at trials. These were little things I could do to get him to slow down and not jump off. Of course, at home and in class, he has an independent 2 on, 2 off contact. But it was hard to remember all the little things to remember to get a good contact. So this year, I committed to just doing NADAC where I could take him back on a blown contact and not have to do all the little things. It did not work. He definitely needs more support at trials.

After looking at video for Saturday's NADAC trial, I saw that be was releasing when he either heard of saw the slightest thing from me that could possibly be interpreted as a release. That could be a jerky body movement (proofed at home, of course). So, on Sunday, I thought, what is I try walking for the length of the contact? Sure enough, it worked. I think he is so ready to spring at trials that the littlest thing is interpreted as a release. When he finally got 2 contacts in regular (I have needed one more for his elite title for about a year), he has trouble popping out at the last weave. So that last leg is still eluding us. However, I do think, based on Sunday, that this will work and I can't wait to try it out at the next trial. I am not worried about speed right now. He has plenty for the rest of the course and I figure I can try to work up to a very controlled job later and work up to a run.