We are half way through the year and I have been contemplating how my training will go for the next half of the year. The dogs and I have taken most of the past month off of training - we even skipped a couple agility classes, which I have never done before. Since the draft and agility weekend at the beginning of June, we have done very little. We had been training so hard, I felt I needed a break and that the dogs deserved a break too.
Here is Bosley at the park enjoying a well deserved break.
We are now ready to get back to work. Bosley has his "game face" on and says he is ready to get back to work too. No more slacking off.
The break has been good and I did a bit of obedience work with Bosley over the weekend. He was super excited to be working again and had lots of enthusiasm.
I now really want to concentrate on Open Obedience. Since it is nice outside, I can take my jumps to the park to practice. I have some ideas for keeping Bosley's motivation up that I want to try.
I think I want to go for Bosley's DDX title, but since there are no more draft tests until next year, we will wait until the fall until we start any serious DDX training.
We have also started to work on scent discrimination. I am not sure when our scent hurdle team will be able to get together to practice again (the summer is so busy for everyone) but I really want to get a good start on the discrimination since Bosley seems to love the rest of the game. I am using a method that I found posted on a Berner Yahoo group. If I have success using this method, I will describe it in a future post.
Agility. I have Bosley entered in a few upcoming trials. Two of the trials are CKC trials where I am now working on Excellent B legs. A total of 20 Excellent B legs are needed to complete a Championship title - that is a lot! I will really need to think about if this is something I really want to pursue. There are so few CKC trials that I can go to (within reasonable driving distance) and CKC is soooo expensive (I can do 2 AAC shows for every 1 CKC show), so I don't know if it is reasonable to set that goal.
My main agility goal right now is speed. Bosley needs to get his speed up on the course. He is usually very accurate and responds nicely to my handling, but he can be slow. He is a big dog and not built for speed (I am not making excuses, just being realistic), but I know he is capable of being fast when he wants. I just need to bring that out more in agility. Fun games and better motivators (ie yummy food) will be what we need to work on to get that speed up.
"See, I can run fast when I want to."
Poor Maggie is becoming more and more just my cuddler on the couch and less active in "dog stuff". She did an agility demo this weekend and loved it. Tracking is put off now until it is cooler outside. She is entered in one upcoming agility trial for a few events later this summer. I basically want to keep up her agility skills and play around with a little rally but she doesn't love competing at all. She loves doing agility demos and has some more of those coming up too -she is such a nice, happy dog and really enjoys meeting people so she is a great demo dog.
So that is my current training plan for now. I know the summer will fly by, like always, so I hope to get in some good training sessions before we are stuck inside again.