keskiviikko 6. huhtikuuta 2011

Kumma 1 year

Long time since last update. Kumma spent his 1st birthday at a dog kennel with IGs while we humans were enjoying sunshine on the other side of the world. He didn't seem to mind, he had a nice young boxer girl to play with.

Kumma weights now 20kg and is starting to eat adult kibbles. Let's see for how long he'll be a puppy in my mind... He is clearly a teenager now. Going after all kinds of smells, having more interest in other dogs, all kinds of behaviours which belong to doggie life. But not too strongly, he is still a nice young chap.

With more light and higher temperature, Hoppu and Neeo are becoming more active. I'm really happy that both of them are still in excellent condition and I can take all three of them for long walks. There was a small incident two days ago. Hoppu got a small scratch between his eyes, apparently from Kumma (by accident?), and replied by attacking Kumma. Kumma reacted by being as small and still as possible on the ground, and situation was over some seconds. Combination of Kumma's thick hair in his neck and Hoppu having not too many teeth left resulted in no injuries. Despite of this, everyday life between the three is working well.

Some training update with Kumma

Say Yes started Recallers2 e-course in which we are participating. This is a good opportunity to go through all games and exercises again, now increasing level of distractions and challenges. Also, course material is so heavy stuff, that I'm sure this second round will deepen my understanding further. It is relatively easy to understand laws of dog training in theory, but when applying them in practice it's all about little details. Criteria, timing, reinforcement. Planning, achieving, challenging. Building value, adding distractions.

We have done jumping exercises regularly, and I've been very pleased with Kumma's progress. Jump bar height has been up to 35cm and I think Kumma is ready to go higher. There is no rush, but having seen him jumping over a garden fence so fluently, I might start increasing the height in a set point exercise. The fence is now higher, so hopefully Kumma will not take that as a jumping challenge.

I have also started to do more handling training with Kumma. Basic exercises for taking a jump: jump ahead, jump and turn tightly, go backside and jump. Serpentine basics, pull in basics, front cross, back cross. All of these have been done with one or two jumps, without speed, and recently with 20cm bars.

2-on-2-off training: I have started to add rear cross and front cross as distraction. Last training session was really great, suddenly there was much more speed and still very good 2o2o performance. I didn't use any toy target in front, and rewarded 2o2o a couple of times separately. Mostly I released to a thrown toy.

I haven't paid too much attention to speed with Kumma. I'm trusting on DASH principle. Speed will come when understanding is there. and I have seen such flashes of Kumma's speed that I know it is built inside :) I'll be happy if he is not one of the fastest BCs, I'm sure there will be enough challenges for me as a handler in any case. Kumma will not be a limiting factor.

But Kumma being a big male BC, I want to focus on building good jumping and turning skills right from the start. This will be important foundation when there will be more speed.

Looking forward to start 2x2 weave training. Just waiting for rest of the snow to melt away.