Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Boy its hot!

Boy it is HOT out! I'm hoping it cools down before our run thrus on Saturday. We've never had to do agility in weather this warm. The dogs don't seem to want to do much at all right now, except lay around. We've been spoiled this summer.

My teacher is holding class indoors tonight, because of the threat of thunderstorms. I'm not sure if we will go or not. I don't want to be driving in downpours on that windy road. I'll see what the doppler looks like as the time gets closer.

I got my CD with all our photos from our July DOCNA trial. I put them together in a little movie, more for myself so I could burn them onto the DVD with the videos of our runs.

The photographer, Dottie Piroha, was kind enough to enhance some of the photos to bring out Oreo's eyes. Black dogs' eyes often get lost in photos. She noticed that that had happened, and wanted to improve on her work. The CD she sent had both the original and the edited version of the photos. She's great, and reasonable. I've looked at some of the other local photographers who come to trials, and their prices are much higher.

I really like analyzing the photos, just as much as the videos of our runs. From the photos, you can see we have a lot of stress issues on the teeter. Too much hang time = nervous dog. He needs to keep moving. He also seems to notice the photographer A LOT. I think he did the weave poles with one eye on the camera.

I initially worked on slowing him down on the teeter, because I was worried he was going to fly off. Now, I think we need to go back to running it, like he does on his mini teeter at home.

I'm also not convinced that a 2o/2o on the dogwalk is the way to go for us. Anything that encourages stopping does not seem like a good idea. It just gives Oreo another opportunity to look around for evil lurking in corners.

He doesn't lack confidence in how to do the dogwalk, it's everything around that is distracting him and making him nervous. I think sending him to a meatball filled target after the dogwalk in practice is better than having him stop on a target.

If he starts flying over the dogwalk (oh how I wish) and missing the contact, then we can go back and rethink things.


Jules said...

Great pictures! RE: asking for 2o/2o with a dog that has anxiety about trialing. If he isn't blowing the contacts I would do the "moving contact." I agree that often times giving a dog a specific action to perform will speed up their performance because they KNOW what their job is; But it isn't always the case. My first dog Ike became SO much happier once I stopped asking him to stop on contacts (he had a lot of performance anxiety).

Good luck this weekend!! I am sure you'll do great.

Sara said...

Thanks Jules. You get advice from so many people, but ultimately you have to do what you think is best for your dog. When I read the term "moving contact" on your blog, it really made sense.

Diana said...

I agree. I wouldnt change the way you are running the contact. It would just cause him to worry. He wouldnt understand the change and may cause him to go around the obstacale. I would put a target about 6 -10 feet pass the dogwalk and send him to that. Start at the down ramp and back chain. Make sure the target has a treat on it. Then when you meet him there keep giving him some treats onto the target. ( make sure you have taught him about targets away form equipment so it has value.) And just for a added treat, use another form of treats. He knows the meatballs by now. Im not saying stop using them but if he really gives you what you are looking for, surprise him. (liverwurst, and that kong fill liver stuff in a spray bottle, peanut butter, some dogs like baby food ( mine dont) just to name a few) The pictures are great. Good luck this weekend. Diana

Sara said...

Thanks Diana - great advice. I have a bison steak in the freezer I've been saving to give Oreo as a reward. This seems like a good cause to use it.

Ludo van Doggy said...

Great video of the pics, I agree he looks distracted by the photographer at times, lol!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Your action photos are great!

It's not hot here - it's raining today again!!!

Hope you get to go to your class and hope it's not too hot for your trial this weekend!

madcobug said...

Way to go Oreo. I can understand how he feels with other people around making different noises and doing things. He is used to it being quite at home. Helen

Josh and Jess said...

Excellent pictures!!! It's quite warm here this week, too. Spring is definitely just round the corner now, yay!!!

the hip dad said...

neat to see the change in attire as the day or days go on. what does 20/20 mean?

Sara said...

that's when the dog stops at the end of the dogwalk with his two feet off the obstacle and two back feet on