Haven't written a new post in quite a while, first because Dancer was recovering from her spay and hernia repair surgery for the first two weeks of September, so we weren't training at all. Then the last two weeks of September we had two flyball tournaments, so I was too busy to post.
But rest assured, although I wasn't writing, we were training. As soon as she was given the okay to run and play again, we got right back into the swing of things. Not surprisingly, my Tiny Dancer didn't miss a beat. At our first practice in September, she was able to get the ball out of the box with no box props, doing her nice little turn. I decided I needed to start moving my body position (I'd been starting her while standing on her right side, but my preferred release position is to straddle the dog so my body is out of the picture), and I wanted to eliminate the arm motion that I was using. I'm happy to say I was able to accomplish both of those objectives within just a couple of tries.
This week at practice I wanted to start moving her further away from the box (so far I've been starting her very close up--probably no more than 6 feet from the box.) Again, we had pretty quick success. By the end of practice, I had her starting from behind the jump closest to the box (15' away), so she had to hop over that jump, do her turn and get the ball, and then hop back over the jump to return to me...which she did!
Now we'll just keep backing up until she's taking all 4 jumps to and from the box. Then we'll start adding other dogs into the mix. Very exciting times!