oh my auggie

Natural Jumping Method – Week 6

In week 6, you add another oxer. The pattern is jump, jump, oxer, jump, oxer. Since I had the pattern as jump, jump, oxer, jump, jump during week 5, I simple added my second oxer to the end of the chute. Hopefully that means my pattern during week 5 was correct!

Hey, check it out! My new fencing is up!
Let me explain exactly what is occurring during day one – the jumps are secondary to the other lesson that is going on here. Earlier that day, I learned some bad news and ended up having an anxiety attack (in the middle of work, to boot!) I came home that evening practically in pieces, stressed out, not sure how to deal with the situation I’d been handed.
I didn’t think about this when we went out to do our jumps.
Auggie completely and totally picked up on me being an emotional mess, and did not want to disconnect and go jump out away from me. I had to make a change in my emotional state to get him to go ahead (it helped that it was pretty funny that he pulled off the jumps like that to come back to me…) Clothier has you do two sets of three jumps with a fifteen minute break in the middle, so after the first three jumps and out break, I basically had to pull myself together and knock it off, or it was going to affect my dog and his performance.
This video really shows something about the relationship we have with our dogs, and how they can pick up on things and it changes their demeanor, their performance. Imagine if this were at an agility trial and we were working on a full course instead of just through a jump chute… he would NOT have been a happy Auggie if I were trying to put any kind of distance between us!

I ran out of SD card space on day 3 again so another clip is missing. During day 2 and 3, we have what looks like a serious setback here, because Auggie’s back to stutterstepping – a LOT. But at this point in my working relationship with Auggie, I know what’s going on here: the rules have changed so he has to figure it out again, and when the rules change, Auggie decides it’s better to resort to stutterstepping. That’s how we got to this problem in the first place.
I’m running with him or constantly moving in just about all of these runs because I’m watching his footing really closely. If you watch the day 2 video, you can see how his jumping changes even within the one video, within six runs. It’s kind of impressive, but again, I’m really hoping this is just a part of the learning process rather than being something where he’s not going to actually have confidence when it actually comes to an agility course where all you have is one shot to get it right. This is only week 6, we still have lots to learn, so no sense worrying about it yet.

(Oh yeah, and check out all my newly striped jumps in the day 3 video! I spent all Saturday afternoon with several rolls of multi-coloured tape, striping my standards and jump bars.)

Week 7 is three oxers. Ai yi!

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