Almost the end of another year, and a perfect time to take stock of how Willie's training is going.
1. His distance skills are excellent.
2. Jumpers courses are our forte.
3. Great start line stay.
4. Fast and willing agility teammate.
1. When I stop Willie to rework something we messed up, he can get into quite a state. This should sort itself out as long as I remember to never let it slide in my desire to run a particular course or sequence. Self-control is imperative for such a fast dog.
2. Contact/tunnel discriminations, and especially DW/tunnel discriminations need to get more work. Additionally, I really should invest some time and effort into training an independent DW contact. Right now, it is very much dependent upon me stopping. I don't have to be close to the DW, by I do have to stop.
3. Given Willie's AF performances this weekend, I think we should take a break from any running AF training and just stick to a 2o2o performance. Once Willie has an independent 2o2o AF (which he does not at this point), we can try to sneak in the back door to a running AF by working on a fast release and then an early release.
Without a natural stride that carries a dog into the yellow, it requires a lot of reps to get a dependable running AF. We've worked at this for more than 10 months, and I think it is time to put it aside both for Willie's physical well-being and so that what is expected at trial is what he is accustomed to doing in practice.
4. Timing. This one is mine to work on. Relax and go with the flow. Just remember the flow is pretty darn fast with this particular dog :-)
Here with all of its warts is footage from our last trial of 2014. The second day of this trial went better, but there is no video.