Tuesday, June 8, 2010

what I learned from my flubs

Sorry, no tricks today....Sunday was a day of recovery from the trial. Monday, a busy start to my last week of classes before exams. I'm kind of sad this year. This has been one of my best school years - great kids and great classes. Even my ninth graders came around in the end. I hope next year goes as smoothly.

Over the weekend, I relished our awesome runs. Then, I went back and looked at our mistakes, to analyze what might have gone wrong.

What did I find? Our mistakes felt much worse while we were running, than in reality when I saw them on video.

What a great discovery!

Oreo's rubbernecking on the teeter felt like a whole minute, when, in reality, he got back to work quite quickly. Big improvement over last year. Even an improvement from our league runs over the winter. In that instance, I think he was distracted by the person and snarly dog coming out of the RV, not the person in the ring.

Here is a video of Oreo going around the first jump. In hind sight, I should have put myself on the opposite side of the jump and crossed after the teeter. Again though, he got back on track right away.


Here is the off course in our second run, where Oreo took the wrong tunnel. If you watch VERY carefully, you will see Oreo spot the judge (or something in the crowd?). Maybe that made him uneasy, and Oreo shot in the first tunnel entrance he saw. Oreo tends to seek out tunnels when he is stressed sometimes. However, it could have been my body language that sent him in the wrong tunnel. It was a tricky spot on the course, and I never thought he would take the wrong tunnel. I could have gotten on the other side of the jump. When Jeff watched the video, he thought I should have crossed and blocked the entrance to the other tunnel.

The good in all this constructive criticism? Oreo recovered from the stressful moments quickly.

There is a teacup trial this weekend allowing day of show entries. I'm very tempted to try it out! How fun would that be? It would be like going to Munchkinland, for dogs. The games sound like a blast.  I'd like to try Dare to Double & Rabbit Express.  Reading the game rules is entertainment itself, ex "a dog that likes to run quick like a bunny and falls into a rabbit hole by taking the off course must dig herself back out by completing the entire sequence before continuing on the numbered rabbit express."  Now, that I can understand way better than snooker (red this and red that....).

I'm going to keep an eye on the forecast and see.


Diana said...

Its hard to tell but on the first video it looks like when you started running and went to go around the jump he just went with you. He thought "Oh we are going this way". All in all your runs were great. The teacup trial sounds neat. Funny how they describe the class.LOL Diana

Sara said...

You could be right Diana. I noticed in both my standard runs I barely used my arms at all to tell him where to go. I just ran! Good thing Oreo knows my body language really well.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I have done the same thing at trials - mom assumes I will take the jump before me but I surprise her by just running past it and following her. I'm supposed to follow her, right? Mom doesn't always make an effort to really point out the jump to me. I saw Oreo take a quick look at the judge because she was moving. So maybe he did duck into the tunnel to escape. Jeff's advice was good - has he been practicing???

Oreo would be cute at a Teacup trial! He'd feel like a giant!

Good luck with this last week of regular school!

LauraK said...

It's funny how on course, our blurps seem really bad and last forever, but then when you watch the video, it doesn't look bad at all. This definitely happens to me quite often :)

My new trainer tells us to analyze videos to see what we can work on, but also what we've done right on course. Like- why our dog turned so tight here, etc. I think she's right- it's good to look at both sides!

Kathy said...

The end of the year has to be hard sometimes...you put so much into your students it has to be hard to have one year end ;(.

I think not using your arms so much is good, I think that helps Oreo to watch your body language more which is a GREAT thing, he should learn over time to take what is in his path without you telling him to take each thing and that will build his confidence. I thought if you had done a cross to block that tunnel that you might also have drawn more attention to that tunnel, it could have gone either way, and I think I would have handled it like you did, you opened your shoulders a little toward that tunnel but not until he was thinking about it anyway.., but your feet were pointed right, I think it looked to me like Oreo just saw something and turned a little saw the tunnel opening and that was about the time you saw him getting locked on so you turned your body toward him with your shoulders to connect with him, that turn just ever so slightly was all he needed to confirm his path he was heading on. I think the only way you could have saved that was a SEVERE call off and with Oreo I NEVER would have done that, I would much rather have a wrong course then make him think he was doing wrong ;), I loved how you handled that so Oreo felt like he was going just right. I think you did terrific and sometimes in some runs some things just happen.

Breeze still goes around the first jump sometimes, I think that is a new dog trialing thing, Breeze does it when she is nervous and just wants to get to me, have you ever done a circle start start with Oreo. I can not think of the proper name...but my instructor had me do a lot of these when I ran with Chloe and they are sooo good for start lines like that...but you stand at the side of the jump, about even with the jump just not past the start line, you are facing the OPPOSITE way from the way you will be going and the dog is on the outside with you between them and the jump, you teach the dog to start with you, you sort of send them out in a half circle so they circle from your far side to over the jump, you are sort of turning with them and then you are both taking off. Chloe liked it because it gave her speed, she was not starting from a standstill, she had built up speed by the time she went over the jump, I could get going and get ahead without making her feel like she was by herself and Chloe never felt left alone, we were together from the start. I used to use that for almost all our start lines. If you are interested I have seen that talked about in clean run...I could try to find where they are showing that...just a thought.

I thought you guys did so terrific, but I sure know what you mean, I caused Breeze to bobble right before the weaves and I was SURE that bobble had taken about twenty seconds, I was sure we got called for a refusal and it seemed to last forever so I was so suprised that we did not get any call on it...nothing, so it had to be so much less then I had thought, and it felt so major, but that time warp out on a course in a trial is something else, LOL.

Sara said...

A circle start is a good idea. I know I toyed with that idea before. The circle would be a very natural motion for both of us. We'll have to give it some practice.

Priscilla said...

Always great to discover that the biggest mistakes you do in real life are actually very tiny when you look at them again.

Dawn said...

Isn't that the way things go? Mistakes we think are HUGE at the time usually are tiny when looked at later, or through others' eyes.

Marie said...

I've done that before too. Thought that a run was a complete mess, only to watch it later and be suprised that it wasn't nearly as bad as if felt at the time. LOL

I'll be excited to hear if you do the teacup trial. We thought about doing one this year, but then finances were a little tight and apparently there were so few entries that they just cancelled it all together. I thought it sounded like fun though.

Honey the Great Dane said...

I find that with dancing too - I often think our routine was a total disaster but when I watch the video - although there were obvious mistakes - it wasn't half as bad as I thought. I guess we're always our own worst critics! :-)