Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Training Update July-August

Wow I haven't posted in a while. Sorry guys, this summer has been busy for Addie and I. I was out of town for a couple weeks in July as well.

We've been training a lot. We're enjoying our agility foundation classes a lot; Addie's learning so quickly. We've been working on 2 on, 2 off end position a lot, at class and at home on stairs. She's doing super well. We have also been doing recall work with tugs, work on exercise balls to build the dogs' balance and core muscles, stuff with wobble boards, crate games, and other things like that. Addie loves it.

Addie is obsessed with the tunnel. She's crazy. We were standing in the middle of the room at class and our trainer was bringing out the tunnel and she started pulling on her collar to go through it. Good thing she was the first dog!

I wish I had a picture or video to show but I don't. But she's nuts, I think she did the best out of the dogs I watched in class...she has so much drive for the tunnel! And she is so fast. I can't wait to run with her for real.

This class has relied heavily on the use of clicker training, which has been a new challenge for us. At first I felt really uncoordinated, trying to click at the right time and place the treats in the right spot and have everything in the correct was a lot to remember. But we've both gotten used to it pretty well, and Addie responds quickly now. She knows what the clicker means and aside from stuff we're working on in class, she's starting to learn some new tricks and skills I'm teaching her for fun with the clicker. It's been fun.

This past week, I also started having Addie do a little work on a ladder on the ground... she has terrible hind-end awareness and I'm afraid that when we learn the dogwalk, she'll fall right off because she has no idea what her back end is doing! So I've been walking her over a ladder lying on the ground, and I'm hoping in time, her awareness will improve. Anyone have any more suggestions?

That's about it for training so far, sorry I don't really have any good pictures to post. Hopefully in the future I can get someone to take some for me while we're training.


Sam said...

Wow! Sounds like you guys are doing great. I know how you feel about the clicker, it took me a while to get coordinated, too, and I sometimes still decide that it's easier to do certain things without it.

My only suggestion about the dog walk is to start off slow! I made the mistake of doing a tunnel-dogwalk sequence with Marge once, and she fell right off the up ramp! Just walk her over it and stay next to her, and she'll probably be fine.

Natalie said...

We will be taking it nice and slow with the obstacles. In fact, the only one we've introduced one - the tunnel. This is our first foundation class. All the dogs are under 1.5 years and we're learning the basics - relationship, drive, and impulse control. In our next class, we will be doing more foundation work and starting to introduce crosses on the flat, and starting to work some simple obstacles. The class after that will be our first real agility class, where we will really focus on learning the obstacles. I'm really excited. But that's why I'm working on building some awareness now, so she'll be confident when we do have to learn the dog walk and the other contacts.

Sam said...

Wow - your club is alot more structured than mine! That sounds awesome, and I'm sure it'll provide an AWESOME foundation for you and Addie.

Natalie said...

Yea...we're very happy with the place we're training, they offer all sorts of classes for agility, rally, obedience, and just for puppy and regular obedience. All the trainers are super involved, competing in one or more sports with each dog they own. It's been a lot of fun to train there!