I figured while I still have some time to devote to this, I should make some plans for training Cedar to get ready for obedience, rally, and agility trials. There are a bunch coming up this fall that I'd like to go to, and Cedar is getting pretty dang close to being ready :) There are also a few arena herding trials this fall that I'd like to do with her, depending on how much time on stock we can get in. I'm not sure if we're quite ready for the distance required in ASCA Open. Even though it's not much, I want to be really, really confident before taking that step :). Maybe I'm being too cautious?
Anyway, here's some short "plans" for how I plan to get us ready for action in the fall:
What we know: Basic heelwork, sit, down, stay, etc.
What we need to learn/practice: Serpentines around cones, more reliability and confidence, solid knowledge of heel position, finish right.
Proofing: Work just as well under distractions, get used to signs, get used to having a judge walk beside us.
What we know: Basic obedience commands
What we need to learn: More solid heelwork (her basics are good, I just want more commitment, style, and reliability), solid stays, stand for exam under distraction, practice figure 8's. Straight sits, both at front and in heel position.
Proofing: Work everything extensively under distraction, get her used to strange dogs in the stays lineup, teach her to find heel position from a variety of places. Polish dumbell retrieve. My goal is to have her trained and solidly proofed through Open before entering a trial... or at least Graduate Novice :) I want to have at least an 8-10 minute long sit and down, under distraction. I just can't stress about that anymore! It's the only exercise I have failed, and I think I have a complex about it, as I can't seem to actually finish a CD title on any of my dogs!
What we know: Jumps, front/rear crosses, tunnels, chute, tire. Table basics (needs work), Weaves (solid on 6 poles, working up to it on 12). Contact basics (still needs confidence)
What we need to learn: Solid weaves (12 poles from almost any entry), Confident contacts with 2 on/2 off position no matter where I happen to be on the course. And, she needs to learn how to collect herself! We'll be okay on more open courses, and at a distance, but in the tight World Team Tryout courses we've been doing in class, she tends to go too fast and not think about her body. The ability to collect will also help her with table and contact work. So, we'll be focusing really hard on teaching that skill this summer and fall.
Proofing: Practice on different contact equipment. Work under trial-level distractions.
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