Novice Practice

Was able to practice an actual Novice course with Ticket, and she did about what I expected her to do–better in some places (the opening leadout away from the chute). Will definitely have to keep working the table in sequences with speed–it’s the one obstacle I don’t have (yet–have the materials but haven’t built it). We’ll be seeing a rubber-surfaced table in competition, so I hope that will help some.

Also had some difficulty going from the aframe to the weaves–the running contact definitely makes it challenging. I know this is something she just needs more experience with. I actually did some aframe jump weaves today, and she was nailing it, so that gives me some confidence.

I’m feeling a little better about Novice JWW now, having done a few sets of straightforward sequences with big spacing. Ticket seems to be seeing the next jump fine, and I’m not QUITE as far behind as I feared I’d be.

I have to decide what I’m going to do if she makes a mistake. Of course it depends–if she breaks her stay and comes running to me–easy, she leaves. If she self-releases off a contact? Again, easy if she makes no attempt to stop, greyer if she initially stops and breaks as I’m leading out past her for the next sequence. It’s not something I’ve really had to deal with much in practice. She’s only been carried off and given a timeout once, and it was when she literally ran 2 dogwalks in a row. I’m normally an “uh oh, try again” kind of person, but I’m not sure if a pause and an “uh oh” is enough either. I have a little bit of a problem with correcting a dog in a way where they can’t fix the problem (and therefore learn what the correct behavior is). I’m not sure that jumping immediately to carrying off the course is fair, when it’s something she doesn’t have experience with. Definitely have to ponder over that–I don’t want a ring-wise dog who learns what they can get away with in the ring either.

I’m sure we’ll have fun, and of course I’ll post video. She has 5 runs next weekend–FAST, Std, JWW on Saturday and Std/JWW on Sunday. FAST is first, which is fantastic since it gives me a chance to put her on the aframe and teeter and practice the weaves. I really don’t care about the send, I just want that ring experience. We’ll get to go to LA two weeks later for another show with my friends from there–can’t wait! And Ticket will get to do the Time to Beat Demo and have more practice. She’ll have a couple of show in March, and then a break around AKC Nationals.

Here’s some video (BTW, the music was Cake’s “I Will Survive” –thanks for the mute YouTube:

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