Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back to School

Jogged over to the agility field today and setup the "Back to School" course ( Couldn't work on it since the snow was about an inch deep. As in typical Colorado style it will be 60 degrees this afternoon and I will run the course then.

Worked on exercise 1 & 2. Always surprises me how different the dogs are. I ran the exercise first with Tip. The first time we ran it, she read 5-12-6 as a serpentine. I was layering the #12 jump. Didn't know that she recognized serpintines. Her trouble spots were in the area of 6-7-8. She really wanted to go to 6-8. Then it was hard for me not to get some extension over #7.

Split did a great job on most of the course however I have trouble cueing #14 properly. Also the first time we ran it I converged on his path to #5 and pushed him off the jump. He needed a 'jump' command so that he would not push out.

Exercise #2 - This one seemed a little easier. I did get extension over #10 and #11 so I need to work on deceleration cues with both dogs.

I then worked some on weave entries. Over the next several weeks I will do around the clock weave entries. I also wanted to do a tunnel at the end of the weaves since that is REALLY hard for Split to ignore in a trial.

It is a new day and we ran the last two exercises in the series today. Both dogs did much better at collection today, I was really please. Their strides were very appropriate, collecting when asked and extending when asked. Tip had trouble knocking bars on the jumps that are 3' wide. When I exchanged those jumps for 4' wide jumps the bars stayed up.

We also worked more on weave entries. Tip had more trouble with this next one that Split did. Split tends to collect a little more before the entry hence the ease of making it. We will keep working on this one.

Worked on the exercise below this morning. The opening was really fun. I first ran this with Tip. I did a pull from 2-3, very nice tight turn. I practice this several different ways front cross after 3, rear cross before 4, turning between 4-5, turning out at 4 (toward 7), turn out after 5. The best plan for Tip was front cross after 3, bring her in between 4-5 with a RTH, and then turn her out after 5 and front cross 6.

Split was kind of fun. I first opened the way I did with Tip, standing very close to #2 (on the side of #3). He went very wide. Then I stood more in the middle of #2 to get his path shaped before he jump--WORKED LIKE MAGIC. Ran 4-5-6 the way I did with Tip, but the front cross after #6 was essential for Split. I would like to work on a pull after 6 since that is a good skill to have, but if I was running at a trial the front cross would be the way to go right now.

Rest of the course was cake with both dogs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

High Impact, Low Impact

Recently I have been feeling my feet and sometimes my bones. Yes, it is probably age. But this got me thinking about my dogs and how I train them. I am able to tell if I have a hard workout, easy, I want to sit in my chair. But, with my dogs who are Bcs, they don't give up their aching secrets as easily. So I wonder, should I design workout routines that are low impact and save the high impact workouts a couple of times a week.

Can I design low impact workouts that still work on the skills that need to be refreshed and improved. Some of the answers are easy, but I am curious how far I can get with this idea.

Low Impact - exercise or activities that involve minimal striking of a body part (usually the feet) against a hard surface. Any physical sport with minimal wear and trauma to weight-bearing joints, especially of the foot, knee, hip
  • Soft surfaces lower the impact
  • Short exercise periods throughout the day should be separated by long rest periods.
  • Exercise periods should be consistent & evenly spaced, rather than compacting all activity into a weekend.
  • Walk the dog slowly for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up. Can proceed this with range of motion exercises
  • Lower the contact obstacles
  • Work on balance and coordination

Ideas for lowering impact

  • Lower jumps below the shoulders
  • Lower the height of the contact equipment
  • If working weaves keep the entrances of the channel weaves closed, but open the inside weaves to lessen the torque on the spine and shoulders
  • Work concepts (acceleration/deceleration, start lines) on the flat