I learned something new about my dogs this morning

 

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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!)