Friday, November 12, 2010

20 degrees and still training

This morning, mostly because I had a long list of choirs AND it was 20 degrees we stayed inside to train. Tip worked on sit stays and provided the distraction while I worked Tangle. Let me just say, she needs work :)

We started off with the 'round' command with Tangle. I have a traffic cone in the middle of the floor, and he is suppose to go around the cone. We just worked this with food and little motion. He demonstrated that he was ready for more!

Tangle and I worked on the 'feet' command. His criteria is to put his back feet on a plank and his front feet off the plank (the 2o2o position). He then waits for the release and should move forward upon my release. He was brilliant! Because he clearly understood the command we moved to the next stage which is having me in different positions. I worked the right side and left side. Right side was stellar and the left was a little week. I need to remember to work that side a little more for all things, he is clearly a little weaker on that side.

We ended the training session going back to the 'round' game. This time I started him in the 'side' position, gave the command, and then rewarded with tug. After the first time it took him a little bit to get his head back into the game (over stimulated) and remember what he was suppose to do. Once he got it however, the tug really caused him to pick up his speed going around the cone to come back and play.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Subscribe Via Email

There is a new link on the page, "Subscribe Via Email". Not that I don't want people visiting the site, but it is a nice feature for those of us that like "push" technologies. I never remember to visit the blogs that I am following. I love them dearly, but life just gets too busy. If something shows up in my email box, it is now in my cue to read!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Audience

Most mornings I am over at the agility field (and new house) to work out the dogs. These days I have an audience to watch over my practices. It was the General Contractor, now it is the Framers and perhaps next it will be the Plumber. They are a friendly audience, even when things don't go right, they are appreciative and impressed. The framer even asked the other day if his work bothered the dogs. I, of course love their work because it gives my dogs more distractions to work through :)

This morning we worked on contacts. Split did an AKC trial this weekend and his teeter was less than impressive (from a trainers perspective). It was spectacular in that there was a lot of air to be had! His teeter this morning was flawless. Front crosses, running full speed past, rear crosses, throwing the toy, he stayed through it all. That is what I love about Split. He does come back into compliance very easily.

Next we worked a short little sequence that I happened upon when rearranging the field. I was trying to work the A-Frame with Split, but really turned into a jump grid exercise. The distance between 3 and 4 was a problem for the dogs. Both dogs dropped the bar a number of times while figuring out how to go from extension to collection with the rear cross.

Set it up so that it is a bounce jump for the dog.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Agility skill inventory

Yes, I know, I have been writing a bunch about Tangle lately...

We went over to the agility field early today to work out 'the boys'. I wanted to have a few moments to work on the fundamentals of Split running AFrame (we have a trial today) and Tangle's basics. With Split, I got out the box on the ground and did some target work with that. Then we did some AFrame work, cleaned his performance right up!

Let me say that most of the behaviors that I am working on are not the final behavior. I am in the mode of building tools that I will use later to put the end behavior together (hopefully, very quickly).

Teeter work - Tangle was more excited to get on the teeter today. Quicker to get on and get back on if he moved off the contact. The things that I am trying to remember: bring him around or send onto the teeter, reward at the end quickly with a party, feed low, release with 'ok' and I move after he does. The teeter right now is just being used to get use to motion and perhaps a little of the end contact behavior. It is about 6 inches off the ground. The command right now is "slam".

Table - The table is completely flat. We are working on tugging on the table. We do the ready-set-go game, race to the table, once he is completely on, I begin madly playing tug with him. If he comes off the table the game stops until he is back on. There is no command to this behavior. I am going to use this later on to introducing tugging at the bottom of contacts. I want him to be very comfortable with tugging on equipment (and perhaps chairs in my house etc). Also, this game will lead to his table performance.

Flat Work - We are just working on the six presentations of LM's flatwork. Tangle is awesome at them since most of it is natural behavior.

Flat Work with a hoop - I introduced this today. Tangle did awesome coming through the hoop to all the presentations. The one thing that I noticed was he does not have an understanding of 'stay' when the hoop is present. When I put my hand out in prep for the RTH he would come, not when I released him. I went back to see if that was the case "on the flat", and it is not. The hoop made some kind of a difference to him. Fun!! We worked on the stay command in the presents of the hoop.

I have been working for the last month on 'stays' with and without motion, walking, running etc. He does great with those. Just proof that you have to really "proof" your behaviors.