I learned something new about my dogs this morning re: sends through a slightly open serpentine.
When I stayed back and sent Jake ahead over the four jumps, it was clear that he saw the four jumps as a series of turns / switches. He would only take the jumps vs. turn back to me with a ? above his head or run through one of the hoops to the left if I said OVER RIGHT, OVER LEFT…. while also supporting each turn with motion that indicated a change of lead. He ran a nice line but was definitely dependent on my communicating each turn / switch. Had there been no off-course options, I suspect he would have taken the four jumps with less support.
With Lil, when I said OVER RIGHT, OVER LEFT… she took the jumps but did not run particularly fast and her ears were floppy which is what happens when she is not 100% certain of what I’m asking of her. So then I thought…hmmmm Maybe Lil does not see these jumps as a series of turns and rather as a straight line of crooked jumps. So I brought her out for another short session and just said GO ON and she took the four jumps with full confidence and speed…. and her ears were up!
Of course I then had to try that with Jake and GO ON totally confused him. Apparently Jake and Lil are different in how they SEE a slightly open serpentine. However, earlier, I had placed a very tempting tunnel off to the right (not visible in the photo) and Jake was very receptive to me sending him ahead through the serpentine and not taking the off-course tunnel. Lil, on the other hand, took the tunnel a few times…. so I’m not saying Lil is better than Jake… but rather that they are different (and I love that!)