Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stopping and flanking

Taz did pretty well this evening during our lesson with Claudia. After Taz's blazing fast runs at last weekend's trial (I'll write about that soon), Claudia and I agreed that we need to concentrate on putting a stronger stop on Taz. So we did several shorter outruns, and I stopped him at the top. His stops are never fabulous, even at Claudia's (his "home" field). He slows down, but I usually have to tell him to lie down three times with increasing levels of frustration apparent in my voice before he drops to his belly. Claudia has been trying to get me stop yelling and only say "lie down" once and go up to him if he doesn't listen instead of just repeating myself, but it's been a tough habit to break. I feel like I don't reach him fast enough, and I'm afraid he won't make the connection because the timing isn't exact. On the other hand, yelling at him isn't really working either and only serves to make him more frantic. This is something we'll have to keeep working on a bit each time we go out, I think--it won't come overnight.

His flanks on the bye side were quite nice today. I'm now able to step off and send him from my side consistently. Only a month ago, I had to use the slingshot method to get him to turn off the stock when he was first sent, so that is some progress. He definitely prefers the bye side, and his flanks much nicer on this side. He still sometimes resists the away command and will sometimes shoot up the middle in what really appears to be protest, but by the end of the lesson today, he was widening out on the away side as well. He still comes in at the top too sharply no matter what side he comes up on, but that's a challenge for another day.