Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday Agility 2

Yesterday's training was a lot of fun. We started off with some basic playing like always, just tugging to get the dogs into it. It's early and they have lots of energy!

For most of class we ran sequences as we learned new skills. We started with a setup of tunnel, weaves, and table down the length of the room. We first just ran weaves, table, weaves, tunnel. Even with the guides, the first two times Addie kept popping out of the last weave. Finally my trainer told me I needed to not rush ahead and push her, but stay back at her shoulder and let her drive through them. Sure enough, she thought it through and finished all the weaves!

Then we added the tunnel first, so tunnel weaves table weaves tunnel. I sent Addie through the first time and lead out to the weaves a little as she was coming out of the tunnel, so even though I called "Weave" as she came out, she followed my momentum right past the weave entrance. My trainer told me to wait for her to drive for them and sure enough, when we tried again, she got the entrance perfectly.

All the handlers got a nice reminder that our dogs are all still learning, and thinking through the obstacles. We can't rush them, because they make mistakes when we do. But when we allow them to do what they know how to do, without us pushing them, we can work as a team. It amazes me already how much the dogs pay attention to us, and what seems like the littlest thing to us makes the biggest difference to the dogs and how they respond. I'm thinking that I really need to work on and think about how I handle Addie, as I think she'll be ready to trial before I will!

Next we did some jump work. There were for jumps set up in a line. We did a series of 2 jump figure eights all the way down - starting with the first two, then continuing to the 2nd and 3rd, then the 3rd and 4th jumps before running all four the length back. All of us had a few handling issues we had to work out, since it was a long sequence and the footwork is hard. But eventually we all got it, and Addie did awesome following my cues! She's learning to watch me and to take the jump I tell her to. She's fun to run with.

Then we worked more on "See Wood Run" on a lowered A-Frame. It was set up as jump, Frame, jump down the room, so we'd run jump, Frame, jump, tight wrap around the standard and come back over the frame and the last jump. Addie did very well as long as I handled her correctly. She runs quickly over the A Frame and really drives for it, so that's good.

Lastly we ended class with beginning to backchain the A-Frame. We just started with our trainer holding the dog's collar a little ways up the Frame and us standing at the end, calling them to the 2on2off position. Addie of course rocked it, as she offers the behavior all the time at home. She even snuck over there later while my trainer was talking and jumped in 2o2o, little stinker!

Altogether it was a good class. I learned some really good things and we definitely made progress. I wish I could practice in a bigger area with some more equipment or at least some jumps more than just when we're at class. I'll have to ask around and see if there's anyone who lives near me with equipment. It's that I need to work on handling Addie more than she needs to work on the obstacles.

I'll have to see if I can drag anyone with me to class relatively soon and get some good pictures and videos of us running. If/when I do, I'll be sure to spice up the training posts with them. Also, some really exciting news is that my trainers were talking to me, and said we will probably be able to start competing at a trial over Memorial Day weekend! It seems so far off, but it's really soon! I'm nervous, but at the same time, I can't wait!


Jonny said...

You didn't tell me you needed pictures for your blog! I would have gladly taken them. Well, maybe later :P

Sue said...

Memorial Day will be here before you realize. That's great that she's doing so well. What a fun summer you two will have.

Muttsandaklutz said...

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I've added yours to my blog reader and am looking forward to following along in Addie's agility adventures. Sounds like you two are having a lot of fun! It's a fantastic sport for sure.