Daily Archives: February 17, 2013

Core strength and balance work

When I took Dancer to work on her teeter issues at Barb White’s arena, I got a bonus from Barb. She suggested some exercises to work on Dancer’s core strength and her balance. Here’s a quick video of her balance work. Those pink inflated disks can be bought here.

I also started work on teaching a “sit pretty” (or “be a bear”) or “gimme five” (or “gimme ten”) as a way of improving core strength. You can see Rush doing that here.

Serping the weaves

Yesterday at the barn I set up some weave challenges for Rush. Dancer stayed home to rest; she had a few benign cysts removed Friday and has stitches that need to heal.

Specifically, I set up a six-pole set as the middle obstacle of a three-obstacle flat serpentine–so jump, 180 turn, weave 6, 180 turn, jump.

If I were handling jump-180-jump-180-jump, I’d stay on one side or the other and and run a straight line, expecting my dog to handle the turns her(him)self, just signaling the jumps with a slight shoulder turn. But add in that set of weaves, and I was prepared to run down the weaves, then turn the dog to the next jump and sprint down the line.

Instead, I trained it as a serp. I asked Rush to do the jump, enter the weaves, let me cross behind the weaves and pull him over the next jump. It took some training, and I realize now I could have made it easier for him (by doing the same kind of gradual steps I’d use in teaching a serp of three jumps), but we got there in the end.

Then I turned it around and did it going the other direction (off my left side instead of off my right side). Like so many things, it apparently was a completely different problem as far as Rush was concerned. A hard problem. It did take somewhat less work that the first side, though, so perhaps he is getting better at generalizing.