Monday, August 27, 2012

Agility has evolved

You know, yesterday it stuck me yet again how much agility has evolved in the US since I started.  The training methods certainly have changed, but also the course and expectations of skills have changed.

Starting Tangle out, I would walk a novice course and think I never would have seen this kind of a course when Tip started out.  I was probably oblivious to some things, but really I don't think we needed the skill that we do today.

Also, I have been running so many courses that have an international flare that when I go back to a standard US course, it seems easy to get to where I need to be :)

This morning I found myself training something that 1) I am not sure I would have thought of to train 6 years ago 2) I probably would have decided not to train it because it was asking too much of the dog (or perhaps dangerous).

These days however, my attitude is "better to train it then see it on course and handle it un-trained (that is dangerous)".   I am teaching my dogs to turn tight on all of the obstacles (triples, broad jumps, tires, AFs). 

The dogs did a great job on this exercise and really already knew how to handle it.  Again, the training is really for me :)   I am learning more deeply about when each dog needs to be cued in order to perform the obstacle safely and tightly?

On the white circle course I also gave some extra challenges for the dogs.  They needed to come out of the tunnel and judge the jumping effort in a short amount of distance (also not take the weaves which are truly loved by all my dogs).  The dark circe sequence the objective was to keep the dogs from curling back on the DW and then wrap the tire tightly.  I handled #2 from the landing side and did a recall over the jump.  Nice little sequences to work on.

P.S. the tire in this exercise is breakway.  I want my dogs to know how to execute it without needing it to breakaway, but nice to have the safety net!