Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jump Boxes

Last night class was jump boxes. Oh no..... Actually, I think it's pretty safe to say that it was the best jump box class I've had with Iris. This may have been because the focus was on front crosses and not rear crosses, but I still thought it was a very good class for us. In the past, Iris has stressed out about jump boxes a little (possibly because I get nervous doing them? I've never been confident about that sort of exercise). I had the day off from work yesterday, so I think we were both pretty relaxed going into class.

Here are the course diagrams and a good definition of "layering" from Julie. It's the first time (I think) that I've tried to do layering with Iris.

The first time we did the first course, I didn't give myself enough space after the fourth jump in order to be outside the boxes. The trick was to ask Iris to go a little wide between jumps 4 and 5 so I could get on the outside. Once I figured out where to put my feet, Iris had no problem with the added distance. Good girl! I still have some trouble figuring out where exactly to put my feet for front crosses, but the second time we did the course we made it through the whole course! Making it over 7 jumps doesn't really sound like much, but last time we did jump boxes in class, we really struggled through it. Granted, this class was a very different concept than the February class, but I still feel like it's a little victory.

The second course had two front crosses and the dog had to make a tight turn after the second to last jump. We haven't really worked on tight in a while and I kept forgetting to give poor Iris enough space to come between me and the jump. It's not that I was crowding her space - there physically wasn't enough space for her to walk between me and jump. Bad handler! After a couple tries, I did remember and then Iris had a easy time with it. Katrin also pointed out that I kept dropping my arm and confusing my dog. If I'm thinking a lot about the course, I forget to keep my arm up and I don't give poor Iris enough information. Definitely something I need to remember!

At the end of the night, I tried to run her one time too many. Iris had a great night up until the last run, and I think by then she was completely brain-fried. She'd been pretty stressed about the other dogs all night and by that point, I'd completely lost her focus. Other dogs making noise is a HUGE trigger for Iris, and I think it's something I need to made a big effort to work on with her. You would think after living with a Beagle that she'd be completely desensitized to barking!

I admit it, I cringed a little when I got to class and saw the jump boxes but I actually had a really good time and learned a lot.


Jules said...

Yay for you and Iris! It was an enjoyable class and Iris did a super job remaining focused with the other dogs.

DogLover said...
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