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Collection

March 17, 2015 2 comments

Krypto and I have been working on collection. And I so wish I had known what “collection” really was way back in the days I started training Krypto. But way back when, I had no clue who Silvia Trkman & Co were. I did not know about the importance of tight turns. Or, I did not think about it. And so Krypto learnt to “go” full speed ahead. And then he started enjoying that so much that he started launching. Not that he did not need collection before, but now that we are way past his ATChC, we do need it badly.

I am not sure that collection will solve Krypto odd stepping issue. That has become almost a habit. So I will not worry too much about it as there is just so much I can do about it, and we’ll focus on learning to collect and to approach jumps appropriately.

I started teaching collection to Krypto just recently and we have been going through the Linda Mecklenburg foundation jumping exercises. But I soon felt we were not going where I wanted to go. The exercises are extremely boring for both the dog and the handler. Well…agility training may be tedious sometimes. But those exercises require too many repetitions at the dog’s jump height, and they are not too much to my taste. After a Saturday of not so successful training following that path, during my drive home I started pondering what I should do. Linda M., who had appeared like the solution to all my training issues, was “failing”. Perhaps it is me, but I felt Krypto and I were going nowhere. Apart from getting Krypto to jump with a very nice arc, head held down. That was great. Then there were my friend’s words that kept bugging me, about 16″ special…

That Saturday, during my drive home, my main thoughts were collection and jump height. And for some weird reason they made me think of Silvia Trkman and cik/cap. How she teaches collection having the dog do tight turns first around poles/trees/you name it. And then on single jumps and on fun jump-tunnel exercises. How she starts working on jumps at a low height, does all the exercises at that height and moves up by very small increments only when the dog is performing well at a given jump height. This sounded like a good plan. And it sounded like more fun than what we had been doing in the past couple of training session. Instead of working through the Linda M. foundation, we could go for Silvia Trkman cik/cap and use the single jump exercises by Linda M. to maintain a nice jumping form as typically border collies tend to flatten they jumping arc when going over low jumps.

The next days Krypto and I worked hard in my backyard and went through as much as we could of the early cik/cap exercises.

Then last Saturday we went training and we had a blast. Yes, on a few occasions I mixed up my clockwise (dedede) for my counterclockwise (lalala) cue. But I finally felt we were going somewhere. Perhaps I am too optimistic. I always get my hopes high then I get some very low moments when I feel like nothing is working. Because of that, I decided to shift completely my focus away from the stutter stepping issue, which may or may not go completely away. My main training goals are collection/tight turns and a running A-frame. With some time spent on reminding Krypto about distance work (!!), hard weave entries, stopped dog walk. With the clear intention of not going lower than 22″R as far as jump height is concerned. As for me, the list is endless: blinds, lap turns, ketschkers, reverse spins, TIMING…

I just hope I will not change plans again. This seems like a good one, and I need to stick to it.

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