November 17th, 2008


Zodi's Jumping

My little girl is growing up. She now weighs 52 pounds at 7 months. I no longer notice the small but steady increases in her height but my friends do. They seem to be amazed at how tall she is but she's only about 24" which is normal for a Dobe bitch. And she seems to be getting more proficient at coordinating her legs. In fact, I can't remember the last time she lost control, went sliding across the kitchen floor on her side and whacked into the built in cabinets in the back hall.
I've been working on teaching her to back up and to sit up on her haunches, neither of which was easy for her. Now she can do both with ease. She can also jump like a deer (she probably learned from the deer that live in our yard) and her trot is really breathtaking. She's a naturally graceful jumper and seems to be able to judge her take off point even at high speed. More than once when I've been standing in the doorway to go inside with Jaime and Devon, Zodi comes straight at us in a full gallop, puts in a stride and sails over Jaime's head landing softly on the other side.
I'm pretty sure the reason she jumps over us is because she can't or won't stop. She doesn't seem to get that she could slow down and then stop. I've tried calling her to me and offering a toy or cookie well before she reaches me but she just sails by and then comes back around. Anyone have any ideas about how to train her to shorten her stride and stop *before* she reaches an obstacle?
I've started doing the first steps in the LM jumping book, too. When I first tried it I put the bar at 12" which she can easily step over which is what she did with her front feet but not always her back. So I put it down to 8" and she did the same thing. I thought she might just not understand what she was supposed to do so I put it up to 16" and she finally started jumping. She's definitely rocking back onto her back feet and pushing herself over but she's still landing too far out the other side. I've just continued to reinforce her on the ground near the inside standard and she's beginning to get the idea. Since she is so big and her legs so long, I figure I've got to let her figure out how to bend that loooong body of hers at 16" before I can ask for any more height.
It's fun to watch her figuring things out for herself finally. For a long time i wondered when I would see her start to participate more in the training sessions. She seemed to not really care about learning stuff--only playing with her toy or exploring her environment. That's why I say I think she's finally starting to grow up and I'm having a lot of fun in our training sessions.