Rush and I have now done three seminars with Susan Salo. I have been unable to identify anything she does not know about training agility dogs in jumping. This astonishes me, but it also makes me feel that my seminar dollars are being well-spent.
Rush’s jumping ability is coming along beautifully. He is a relaxed and confident jumper who almost never knocks the bars. He jumps singles and doubles and broad jumps and triple jumps, winged and wingless, and tires, all with confidence and assurance. Slices–jumps set at an angle to his path–do not faze him at all. I asked him to jump 24″ this weekend–he’s been jumping 20″ for months but I was waiting for a bit more physical maturity to move him to 24″–and he didn’t even seem to notice.
So what did I learn at this seminar? To get the fuck out of Rush’s way: to shut up and run; to give him really clear signals by just keeping my hands down and quiet and running parallel to his path, while Rush takes responsibility for the jumps. This lesson sinks in more and more every time I try new challenges with him.