Thursday, October 28, 2010

For the love of the dogs

Just remembering this morning why I do all of this crazy dog training :) It is for the love of the dogs. Truely amazing creatures who really want nothing than more to play with me. One wants to please more than the others, but they ALL want to play with me.

Aren't I blessed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Visualize the team you want to be

This has been lifted from Susan Garretts blog, but I wanted to put it somewhere for safe keeping so I can play with these words and form my own vision of the Tangle/Mary team.

Trained skills of the most brilliant agility dog your mind can visualize
1.) A rock solid, confident but excited start line.
2) Runs in “squirrel speed” around the course
3) Ability to drive lines. She locks her head on a line and doesn’t look up until the run is over (ie doesn’t have an unbalanced value for the handler over the obstacles)
4) Comes off any obstacle when prompted by her handler’s body cues (ie doesn’t have an unbalanced value for the obstacles over the handler)
5) Amazing tight turns.
6) Lightning responses to her handler’s cues: front cross, rear cross, threadle arms, post turns, accelerations and deceleration cues.
7) Full independent obstacle understanding (does not relay on the handler’s speed or body position for her ability to complete any obstacle at full speed).

You can get to the whole article here,

The followup thought to these is of course, what is my training plan for getting there?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Progression of Back!

I decided weeks ago that I was going to teach Tangle to back up the stairs. Don't really know why, could be the whole hind end awareness thing, or maybe just fun to have another stupid pet trick!

I started with teaching him "back". Which was on the floor and just walk backwards. He caught onto that in about 15 minutes. Mostly the behavior was shaped with just a little bit of luring (pressure to start going back). He now has a better back than any of my other BCs.

Tonight I decided to work a little bit on the stairs. Mostly because he kept offering me back in response to everything :). At first he would not back up into the stairs. Probably actually a smart move on his part. Again, I mostly shaped it, but I did apply the "back" command as well.

So, as you watch the video you can see that he knows it involves the hind end. He just doesn't quite know how to put all the motions together to make it happen. He was rewarded anytime it involved the hind end.

Give us one more session and perhaps a little more growth in those legs to actually get up the stairs and he will have this down!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Trial this weekend

We did a NADAC trial this weekend. Tip earned her lifetime points, only one Q away from her points in Weavers for V-NATCH. Split earned his weavers title. Proud of both of my dogs, but Split did excellent. He had some really awesome runs this weekend. Really proud of his work and our team work. He didn't Q a lot, because I choose to train his runs. He didn't get called for contacts by the judge, but it wasn't what I wanted to see in a trial so I trained. We have been working on running contacts!

Tangle did a great job at the trial as well. Got to meet a ton of dogs, we did a lot of trick work 10 feet from the ring. He was totally focused and with me the whole time. Funny, the most distracting environment for him right now are his two pack mates running around the agility field. Working at trails, soccer fields, in parks he has down cold! Love this pup!!!

We worked this morning with his playmate Soleil. Both dogs did great! I will just comment on Tangle's work. We worked a little on teeter work, restrained recalls on the teeter, cone work, FC, and RC. He is working with my motion really well. At this point he doesn't try to herd which is great. I am sure that I will have that issue at some point :)