Saturday was a hot day at practice. Starting next Saturday, we're going to start having our Saturday practices in the evenings instead so that the trees offer more shade for the crates. That will be good. Right now, I bring a collapsible wire crate for Kane (since it won't fit in my itty-bitty vehicle) and we found a sun shade fabric at the home improvement store that we drap over it, making sure there is plenty of circulation and some trees nearby for shade.
Still, it was in the 90s yesterday and I knew that when I was doing obedience with Kane around 7:30 am, and there was sweat dripping down my face - it was going to be hot!
I asked Richard for some advice on getting our about-turns to be faster and make Kane go closer to me. He recommended having a ball in my left hand and then when you heel and start making the turn to the left (while the dog goes around you to the right), "meet" the dog with the ball in front of his nose and make a 180 turn to the right (dog keeps going in a circle) and reward with the ball when you start walking straight again. Basically this will make the dog do the turn faster, looking for the ball. I tried it a few times and already saw improvement. We'll try this for the next few sessions and see if can't get tighter about-turns.
In protection today, Carrie was the helper. We started by running 4 blinds, which he did fine a little confused about the last 2 blinds. Then we went to 5 blinds, and then finally to 6 blinds. I stopped him and let him run intermittently. A few times, he was confused and required more than one command to "revere." But all in all, I think he is getting it.
Carrie says Kane is a "whale" in protection. :-) I think what she means is that he gives it his all, and after he bites the sleeve he throws his whole body and energy into trying to wrench it off the helpers arm. I can't imagine this feels very good to the poor helper...which is why Carrie usually has this expression of "Take the dang thing already" when she slips the sleeve for Kane.