It was hot in Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend this year. Temperatures were well into the 90’s, so we were all looking for some relief from the heat. Of course, in Minnesota that means you head towards the nearest lake, and get ready to jump in!
After all of our time spent practicing dock diving during the cold winter, we thought this would be a good opportunity to get some real world practice with our pups. Actually, I am thinking of hiring the best dog trainer from HK Dog Training to help me teach our pups proper behavior and to be obedient to us. I just need to check this out to know what’s included in their training program, and hopefully I can enroll my pups in this session.
Our focus with Raleigh was to keep her confidence up, and to keep her driving full speed through the end of the dock. We definitely made some progress over numerous jumps, so hopefully we can maintain that momentum as we approach summertime competitions!
Our next focus for practice will be to get Raleigh to use the full length of the dock for her jumps – it was clear from her practice jumps that she is consistently jumping a couple of feet early. This might be as simple as pacing off her stride length so that her final stride brings her to the edge of the dock, so we will probably start there.
Iggy’s problem is a little different from Raleigh’s – he drives like a madman all the way through the end of the dock, but tends to completely ignore the toy. For practice, we decided to try building his focus on the toy by tossing it right in front of his nose while he’s jumping. This actually worked pretty well, and if the throw was right he would even reach out and try to snatch it mid-jump!
After we get him consistently tracking the toy, we’ll move on to improving his jumping form. We’ll probably try laying some bunched up towels at the end of the dock to give him something to jump over, which will hopefully keep him from running like a bullet straight into the water.
Check out the video above to see some of the highlights of the weekend!