Road Trip!

February 17, 2010

We just returned home from our trip to California where we had 3 days of agility seminars with Greg Derrett.  It was a bit of an adventure driving through LA and renting my own car for the first time but it was lots of fun.  Summit and Riot got lots of training time in with 2 days of masters handling for Riot and a foundation day for Summit.  It was a nice change just having 2 dogs, they got to ride shot-gun together the whole trip and were both very well behaved in the hotel and airport.

Summit’s foundation puts all my other dogs to shame in every single skill he knows – drive, tugging, start lines, circle work, focus, retrieve…none of his skills compare to the shelties!  So my thoughts after the november seminar were “why not devote the next few months to re-visiting the shelties foundation?” after all, I have only been training Summit for 6 months now  and Riot  will turn six years next week!  Its easy to say “with my NEXT dog” but of course it is never too late 🙂  Since November I have just been working lots and lots of foundation with Riot, focussing on flat work and keeping her head while fast dogs run, no equipment except in trials, just in my living room and flat work outside and at the arena.  We have been proofing all our handling cues with bowls of treats on the ground and working speed, motivation and trying to build our tug drive.  I have been more conscious of reinforcing in “reinforcement zone”, no more reinforcement in the crate, on a chair, table or equipment, all rewards have been in front of me or in a down stay on the ground beside me. I have to say all that work payed off, not only was Riot a super star at the seminar but she was in a down stay for most of the seminar, no barking, lunging or obsessing on all those fast dogs!

Here is a quick video showing some good moments from the seminar:

Video from our last trial in Edmonton:

Here are some great shots of Summit in California