Well, we are on 2 weeks break from training at Ant's as he is away on a school trip this week, and then next week he has a training session for the world champs.
With no training with him, I have decided that Rush and I need a "little project", so I have started him on my upright weaves, with enclosures so that he knows where he should be going!
I personally love training the dogs with enclosures as it makes it so easy for the dog to get it right, and to understand about finding the right entry. I also love the fact that you can practise all of the "independence" stuff and vary position and noises / distractions without worrying quite so much.
I still like channels for confidence and speed, and think that variety brings the most confidence in the dogs.
So .... on Monday night I set up the weaves with their enclosures, and Rush only took 3 attempts to go through the whole set before he figured out that it was not a good idea to come out of the enclosures.
After 3 days, we are now at the stage where I can wind him up and send him to find the entry and he will stay in and go to the end without worrying about where I am. I am practising recalling, sending on, me running alongside on the right, me running alongside on the left etc etc etc
Once I feel we are "bombproof" on understanding what I expect of him, I will slowly start to remove the enclosures one by one .... whilst still working channels at Ant's and at home.
In general terms, I am very pleased with how he is coming along. He is definitely a dog who wants to be confident about what is expected of him before he will fully commit to using his speed, but boy when he IS confident, he is stunning!
Sassy and I are really enjoying our season so far. Last weekend at Watford, we didn't come home with any souvenirs, but did have some nice work. Her 6-7 agility was nice, but after quite a few "I'm running really fast and can't listen any more" runs at previous shows, she was trying so hard to listen and concentrate that she got a refusal at the jump after the seesaw (as I had made sure she didn't take the weaves or a-frame). Her jumping run was dreadful, but that was largely due to the fact that they were suddenly calling to the end, and we were rather rushed to the ring. Sassy needs time in the queue to get her head together, and we simply didn't get that so were unprepared.....
We got another double clear in the pairs, but Susie and Jack had a slight "spatial awareness" issue, so it was not a fast one, and we were out of the places. Still, we have got 20 points already, having had 2 x 6th places, and another chance at Wellingborough in a few weeks time