Training weekend with Craig Lewis

We had another great training weekend, this time with Craig Lewis. Where our previous weekends with JJ Belcher really focused on training basics for all the dogs, this weekend enabled those of us thinking of trialing in September to see where we were. Craig is an accomplished training helper, of course, having spent many years working with Les Flores, but Craig really brings the pressure to the dogs in the context of a trial format, and that is what we wanted to show our dogs!

Training with Zappa was a breeze, as usual. He has figured out that Sam is the one who releases him and is showing some nice control along with nice fight on the escape and re-attacks; long sends look pretty good, too.

Lexi was her screaming self, and unlike Zappa would rather do things under her her own volition, but we got some nice practice in and should be able to clean up the obedience with Mike’s help (more on that below).

Dax reacted to the pressure of Craig’s presence by getting angry… not like he didn’t have any anger issues already! So all of us were predicting that as soon as she started working on control, it’d all fall apart, and he did a nice job.

Aahz showed some great control and nice speed on the escape bite, but we have some things to work through if he gets stepped on by the helper combined with the pressure of a good skip drive. But Aahz learns fast and we’ll figure it out.

Last year, Sirius wanted nothing to do with Craig, and had three great sessions this time. All the puppies did great, and Durus was his usual self. Anne and Craig also worked Craig’s new puppy Colt, a real keeper!

We introduced Mike Donaghue to the pleasures of chiropracty-by-canine with Bekqa when JJ was here, and we showed him another kind of extreme with Craig’s dog Riddick this weekend. Mike did several escape bites with Riddick and managed to keep his feet on at least one of them! Riddick is a very extreme dog with very extreme drives that Craig has struggled to title for some time (as yet unsuccessfully) but is always entertaining!

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