1st Utility Run Though

Tonight I took Lance to his first utility run through!  I have him entered in graduate open in a few weeks to be held at SPDTC so I thought it would be good to get him some practice in that environment.

Lance's heeling was great.  Forgy as usual, especially in a trial, but not as bad as it could be.  He did a great stand even though he was at his worst forging wise and I practically had to reach way forward to stand him.  I decided to go the full distance out and Lance did a nice signal down and then started to sit on my signal but stopped and started to move towards the jump.  I reset him and his down, sit, and come were all great the 2nd time through and I praised the sit.  It's a good reminder that I need to practice all exercises with the jumps out as Lance was clearly confused about what I wanted that first try.

For articles it was hard to get Lance to watch the pile as it was being set out.  So when I did our turn and send (no sit) he confidently shot out but then paused as he veered too far right and didn't see the pile.  He looked for it though and found it before I had a chance to say anything.  He seemed a bit hesitant while searching the pile but brought back the correct one.  His second send was nice but he mouthed a few wrong articles before bringing back the correct one.

Gloves went well, we did #2.  He immediately locked onto the right glove when I marked it and I sent him right away.

Lance's moving stand was perfect, zero complaints :)

I set out his go out from just past the jumps.  I was really happy that he looked on my mark and held it until I sent him.  But the 1st attempt started out well but then he started curling back towards the jump (already past it) as if he thought he screwed up and I really wanted the jump.  I called him off, set up a little bit closer and then he went nice and straight all the way to the gate to touch it!  I walked in to treat, walked back out for the jumping which went well.  The 2nd go out had the same problem as the first, with him again curling back towards the jump.  After calling him back I did the go out from the same spot (just a bit past the jumps) and he went out perfectly, I walked in to treat, and he did the jumping part nicely.  I did a 3rd go out and had no issues. 

I rarely have the jumps out in practice when I am doing go outs so I thought he might have an issue with running between them here.  I thought I could avoid that by only starting half way but apparently Lance decided to over think things.  We will see what happens in the trial; at least he only has to start from between the jumps.

I am ecstatic about Lance's performance tonight!  It may not have been perfect but this is the first time we have done utility in a new environment and he performed well on every exercise!  It was good to see what still needs some work.  Besides adding some distance to our go out, I think just having jumps out while I am practicing will fix our other issues!  If I can get to some more run throughs I might feel confident enough to start Lance in utility next spring.

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