At Rally Training we tried something different for class. First all dogs were left in the cars at the beginning. We walked the simple course of about 10 stations which had both level 1 and level two activities in it. After walking the course to understand the activities we were then asked to do the course with an invisible dog. We all thought this was funny, but the idea was to make us think specifically about our body shapes and positioning, as our dogs have learnt to anticipate (and not always correctly) what our body position says we are going to do and wants them to do.
We all had perfectly behaved dogs but it did look as if we were more like runway models than rally handlers.
Next we did the same course with the lovable Mia (Pictured Left) who was very easy to handle but depending on where we positioned our feet, shoulders, hands etc. We also had to change our voices as Mia was very excited to be working for us, so we had to give calming signals to give her commands. Finally we did the same course with our own dogs (at least we knew what we were supposed to do now). I took Cinders off lead and did the course, but was told i needed to stand more upright as she tended to heel away from me as i slouched ready to give her a treat. Once i realised this we had a better run, though i still have difficulty keeping the number of steps backwards in the recall forward, back one, two, three. Lots to practice for
Rally Training tonight was hectic as i was running late from a job interview and my treats were still frozen. I parked up and rushed into class with treats and then couldn't find my treat bag, so started with a handful of treats for each activity. Ten minutes in, the caretaker i spoke to last week came in holding up my treat bag It seems it fell out when i got out of the car and some nice person handed it in to him.
We were a small group tonight Mya and Cinders were the regulars and there was a new chocolate Lab that joined tonight. The latter was a bit bouncy and fixated on Rebecca's Mia. We went back to some of the hard level two activities that we had tried last week. One was the CALL (DOG) FRONT-1, 2, 3 STEPS BACKWARD. The other was the LEFT ABOUT TURN. We were better at this than last week but it was still the handlers who had more difficulty than the dogs. Cinders was especially good at the former one, with me not even having to give her a command to follow me.
We then did the HALT-180 DEGREE PIVOT RIGHT-HALT , HALT-LEAVE-CALL (DOG) FRONT WHILE RUNNING, and the HALT-FAST FORWARD FROM SIT command. Considering this was the first time we did these activities i think we all did quite well.