I’m a couple days late, but better late than never, right?
Last week I focused mostly on tracking, send-outs, blinds, and, of course, the side-transport.
Tracking is going well. Brody tracks like a champ on the turf at the local parks that we spend most of our time tracking on. I’ve started minimizing the amount of food I put down (I’m still jackpotting after corners, though), and, if anything, he seems to track better with less food, which is promising.
At club on Sunday, the ground was frozen, which made things a little more challenging. Brody tracked just find through the parts that had grass, but struggled a little with the parts that were on frozen, bare dirt. Which is understandable, I suppose.
He still found the corners and the articles, so it was fine. Just a little more search-y in places than I would have liked, though I can’t blame him at all under the conditions.
In Obedience, we worked mostly on send-outs. We’ve solidified our fast down/stay down, but we were starting to lose some speed on the out and Brody was starting to anticipate the down.
I really feel like I must be missing something on the send-out, because, to me, it seems like it’s basically impossible to have all the pieces working at once.
My only comfort is seeing everyone else struggle with it, too.
We’ve also been making progress on running blinds to the right. Brody still forgets, sometimes, but for the most part, he’s running right when I send him right, and left when I send him left. We haven’t tested it out yet during protection, but we’re off to a good start.
Learn from my mistake here, fellow newbies – don’t let things slide or you’ll have a bitch of time going back later…
Club is the only time that we work on protection stuff, for the most part. This week, we had a helper from another club join us, so he was on the field with my helper/TD and I, acting as a judge when we needed one and otherwise helping us troubleshoot the holes that still exist in Brody’s protection routine.
As we were working on the side-transport (complete with halting at the “judge” and a hand shake!), he was asking a barrage of questions about what we’ve tried with Brody and what works and doesn’t work.
I’ve said it before – Brody is a real puzzle when it comes to protection. We have to find ways to make things be *his* idea, and very slowly squash out the bad choices he sometimes makes. There are no quick fixes with Brody.
After running through a list of options, almost all of which we’ve already tried and abandoned, he offered this gem:
“Is it possible he’s just a fucker?”
To which my helper/TD replied:
“With a capital F”.
Progress, progress, progress. Slowly but surely.
I’m excited for the trial in November.
I’m not excited for all of the rules to change next year.