Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Training Update

Since we've had a little break from classes at SOTC I've been taking Peyton over to a friend's house to work on her field once a week or so. New environments are always a challenge for the spotty boy, so I figured it might take some time before he was ready to do much work there.

Today I actually think the light bulb turned on, and after a little bit of running around paying absolutely no attention to me, we got it together and had some nice little runs, with some really decent enthusiasm and focus.

I'm really pleased with how his contacts are looking. We're still working with a low a-frame at this point, but I'm pretty confident he understands the behavior now so hopefully I can start raising it back up a little each week.

It was so nice to have someone to do some training with too...my friend always does a good job of pointing out my sometimes lousy handling (which I appreciate, really) and it's great to have someone around that you can bounce ideas off. She also seems to think we might be able to start trialing before Peyton turns 12. So in honor of that thought, I've decided to share my ideas for first trial success:

1. No meals at least 72 hours before the trial - This will ensure Peyton is nice and hungry and will happily run for food...providing he doesn't eat me first.
2. We'll need to run at least 5 miles before our class to burn off a little excess energy. Perhaps we should consider walking to the trial...no matter how far away it is. Proving I'm still able to walk when it comes time for our run, I might stand a chance of keeping up with him. Doubtful.
3. I'm thinking some added weight might help slow him down a bit. Do they make 20 pound collars?

4. I'll recruit about 50 friends (wait, do I have that many?) to line the outside of the ring just in case Peyton decides to jump the fence. I'm assuming body blocking doesn't call for an elimination?
5. I'll pay those friends to turn their backs so that they can't see our run (or our attempt at running). Hopefully Peyton won't knock one of them over if he decides to jump the fence.
6. And finally some calming pills for him and double - make that triple - calming pills for me.

I think that about covers it...I'm sure I'll be adding to my list. :)

Ok, so I'm KIDDING - I think. :) I know I joke around a lot, but I do think if Peyton continues to progress as he has been we might actually be ready to trial sometime in the next year. We'll see...in the meantime, here's some cute pics of the little spotted monster.

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