We started training Zazu with a few jumps in a row. He is still bunny hoping over jumps so we are trying to get him to stretch forwards more. We are also trying talking to him less to let him think about what's going on. He was starting to get better after a few runs of throwing a toy full of treats forward. This also helps him to focus forward rather than running at our pace. We then moved on to the dog walk. The first time across he was looking back at Susi but ran down and got his treat. After that he flew across not looking back at all to get to the frog. Lastly we moved on to the A-frame. He scrambled the first couple of times then decided it was quicker to run round. We went back a step and just the the A-frame and it reminded him what to do. he ended up with good A-frames and contacts.
With Storm we were mainly going in to train contacts. We had decided not to use any touch points as we wanted to simulate the environment at a show. Normally at training she has good contacts as she runs down to the touch point. With the touch point gone, like in the show environment, she jumps off the contact as there is no point in stopping. We started with the A-frame. The first few times she flew off just like at a show, which is a good start as we know she is running with a similar mind set to being at a show. I put her back on gave her lots of treats and praise. The treats came from me so that she wouldn't just run off. After a few attempts she was coming down and stopping at the bottom. We moved on to the dog walk ad we started with a similar problem, but after a few attempts again she was beginning to stop. I would also walk around a little with her staying on the contact and giving her treats after. This makes it easier when you get to a show so that you can get into position before releasing them from the contact. We finished back on the A-frame going in the other direction coming out of a tunnel. She was much sharper this time. I need to remember to run slightly beyond the end of the contact to get her to stop in the 2-on-2-off position. This is where the dog has their front two feet on the floor and their back two feet still on the equipment. Getting the dog to stop in this position makes sure that they have hit the contact area whilst still being under control.
I also did a few jumping exercises. We had a couple of issues at the beginning of course where Storm would follow the line of my feet. If my feet were pointing slightly to the side in the direction I wanted to go next, Storm would miss the first jump and run in that direction. This was also the case mid-round if I turn too soon. To combat this, I set her up in front of a jump, walk to the side and point my feet away slightly. I would then say 'go' and throw a ball in the direction I wanted her to go. This is to show that I want her to follow the line of my arms, if I'm pointing towards a jump, I want you to jump it. After a few attempts she was always moving forwards no matter where I was standing. A few more sessions on this and we should be in much better stead.
I think I've managed to talk for longer about our training session than we actually spent there! It was a good session, we will probably be back there next weekend to continue the good work.