Saturday, November 6, 2010

Agility and Tracking on a Gorgeous Day

Today was a day of wonderful weather.  It was cold and crisp this morning.  I pulled my long johns on under my brush pants and threw several layers on the top.  The dogs and I spent all morning outside enjoying the nice weather (yippee) and I then spent the afternoon hunched over my computer at work (boo.. hiss).

Today Grace and Bern checked out the new agility field at Tracey's house.  Tracey gave me a helpful lesson on teaching Grace better weave pole stepping using the slanted weave-a-matic approach.  I see how to get Grace using a one legged stride in the slanted poles.  We then let Bern try the slanted poles... he was bunny hopping through them and looked ridiculous (it would have been worth a few seconds of video).  Today was our first time on equipment with rubber contacts.  The rubber contact equipment is quiet and Grace was happy on the new surface.

After agility, Tracey and I took four dogs tracking.
  • Grace tracked her 2 hour old track in long grass.  She was a little out of practice at the start but she stayed on the human track and found one article and the glove.  Oops.. Tracey set 2 articles out but neither Tracey or I saw the missing article (critter removed?).  Definitely looking good for a TDX.
  • Bern did his usual prance in circles on his tiptoes looking for the glove at the start flag.  ARGHH  Once he put his nose down he did a really nice job of tracking.  He has a TD buried in him... I hope I can get him convinced of it.  Just like obedience he will need patient, consistent practice.  The quicker he starts tracking, the quicker he finds the glove for cookies... how do we explain that to him?
  • Lego was next on a 2+ hour old track I laid in a rough mowed field with intermittent trees.  Lego may have actually out done Bern for wandering around at the start and not tracking.  At least Lego was sniffing and he knew where the track was, he just didn't want to give up his freedom.  Lego was checking out everything before he committed himself to the track.  Once he committed to the track, he did a beautiful job, including finding both articles with great article indication.
  • For the first time Spirit got to track someone besides Tracey and track at a location other than the house.  She was happy, engaged, and accurate.  Spirit is giving some article indication with gentle prompting.  A dozen or so additional practice tracks and she should be ready to certify.
Grace and I are off to Linda's tomorrow to herd sheep and practice agility.  We are hoping for another day of lovely fall weather.