Agility training

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Panzerotti, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Preach it! Heck, I need to hear it myself some days. I got Gusto thinking I would have an "easy" agility dog at last. Oh, hello new challenges.

    This is a big weekend for us. We are leaving tomorrow for Gusto's first real trial. I was so panicked up to the point I sent the entry in, and then this week, I've really been thrilled that I signed him up.

    I had a big epiphany a couple of weeks ago (did I already put this here? I can't remember.) and realized that his sniffing and disconnecting is stress related, even though he shows no outward signs of being stressed. I've gone back to how I trained Meg, and am careful that if he gets an answer "wrong" more than once, we go back to something easy and fun and rewardable. So much of the sniffing is gone!

    I'm not expecting perfect. I have given my friends permission to slap me if I try to go back and fix anything in the ring. I'm hoping for great startlines, staying with me, and contacts. His weaves have been crazy good this week, with him accelerating going into them but still staying in. I'd love to see it this weekend, but I WILL NOT pull him back to fix them if he misses. Fast, positive, and big rewards. The rest will come in time.

    Meg gets to run 2 classes as well. As per our agreement, once she got her ADCH, she never again has to run classes she doesn't like. So she's entered in jumpers and snooker, and if she doesn't want to play, she doesn't have to. I just got home from run-thrus with her, and she was tucking her butt and running like the wind! Gusto is insanely fun and impressive to run, but running Meg again is like putting on my favorite old sweatshirt. She's my perfect girl :)
     
  2. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    This whole post just made me smile. Good luck this weekend.
     
  3. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This! Good luck!!!
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I just got back from our fun run thing. I'm trying not to beat myself up about beating myself up.

    Summer was perfect and great and fantastic. Mia was off. I don't even know what was going on with her but she was slow, not into it at all. Just ho hum, wouldn't act animated at all, even in warm up or just goofing off. I kept thinking she must feel sick or something. I'm still not so sure what happened. But I let it bum me out too much.

    Nancy started working with her and got her going much better. I'm sitting here wondering why she wouldn't work with me. I still think we got some decent pictures but it was like pulling teeth. I think it was because I scolded her pretty bad this morning for squatting and peeing on the carpet in front of me. and of course that made me feel even more awful that she was just still upset or not trusting me because I yelled.

    I kept finding myself watching the border collies and the belgian and wishing I had my next dog. I hate myself for thinking that when I do think that. I was driving in the car on the way home and saw them both sitting there and grinning ear to ear at me and I sighed. I really take the two of them for granted sometimes. I really need to stop doing that.

    Sorry for the downer/not very agility related post.
     
  5. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I have been there so, so much. It feels awful to think "I wish I had that to play with instead" but we certainly do. And all the rationalization (Those dogs aren't perfect or easy either. Your dogs are fully capable of being amazing and frequently are.) doesn't help at the time. Don't beat yourself up over it at all. Among other things, the more you do, the more likely you will pull your dogs down even more. Meg's a great barometer for me of my mood. I can't fake "happy" enough to keep her working well in agility. If I'm really that bummed out by how we are doing or anything else, we don't work. Period. Hopefully Mia just felt off herself and will be back to normal next time!


    Well, Gusto had his first real USDAA trial last weekend! I'm really bummed that only one round got taped. My friends left their video camera with me for the entire day (because I remembered to bring mine and charge it, but didn't remember to put the card back in it :rolleyes:), but the people I had tape for me failed. I got me putting the leash on at the end of one run, and me playing with him on the start line while I waited for jumps to get changed.

    He was so, so good. I was beaming all day, and that was without any Qs. He was happy and confident outside the ring and tugging like a fiend. He was able to work on the warm-up jump without leaving me to go check out the other dogs/people/jump the arena fence to go chase dogs. He held every single start line without me having to babysit it at all. He hit every contact and held them until released. He missed a weave entry in gamblers, but then stayed in the poles perfectly the rest of the way, and hit his entry in standard. He had one minor sniff issue in the first class, but otherwise ran with me, listening. He let me put his leash back on at the end of each run (Mr. Keep Away). We got everything I wanted for his first trial, and I can't wait to continue on with him!

    Meg got to run Snooker and Jumpers as well, and was on fire! Super fast and accurate, with a second place and Super Q in Snooker and a second and Q in jumpers that was less than a second behind the wonderful border collie who beat us.
     
  6. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This. Go back and read the post I just wrote. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and wish your dogs were like the ones you see running but you have absolutely no idea the obstacles those teams have had to conquer. Each team is unique, each team has their own issues. What makes a great team is the ability to overcome those issues and be successful.
     
  7. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Go Gusto!! That's awesome! I'm so glad he was successful in those ways.
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yay Gusto!

    Also -- I miss training Cookie :'( We had just done our very first mini sequencing and she was thinking hard...and I finally found my key back so was introducing her to the superloud teeter at the club... gah

    Mira & Webby are on break right now. Partially because there's no daylight and I'm totally exhausted from being up half of every night with the Cookster, and partially because I like to give them several weeks off at a time now and then (no agility practice) and just do cross training.

    So I'm simultaneously exhausted and antsy from training deprivation...
     
  9. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Baby P at the training building tonight.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU3wx72sA1s

    Need to clean the teeter up some more, he thinks it's faster to get on by hopping on it halfway. So I'm trying to reward both when he gets on it straight and when he exits. I really should decide if I want a 2o2o or not because I keep changing my mind and it's going to confuse him...
    Some handling stuff at the end and also a blooper clip very last. I laugh every time I see it. I'm so mean.
     
  10. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Awww Payton is very cute! Seems like such a happy guy and look at him tugging! Savvy says jumping on tunnels is soooo much fun and that Payton should keep trying ;)

    Have you done any bang game type stuff with him for the teeter? He's obviously a very willing boy but he does seem to be concerned about the teeter's movement and/or noise. I think that is likely what's causing him to hop on and off, thinking of bailing in the middle, wanting to start in the middle, be hesitant to enter, etc. He's also getting off of the board as quickly as possible in some of the reps and even when he isn't, he seems to not fully know what to expect in terms of the movement. It might help to weigh the base down, since it is moving quite a lot when the board goes down so that could be a contributing factor.
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Yep, he's not 100% sure on it. He wants to do it repeatedly... it's an opportunity to earn cookies so he keeps going back to it. So he is game to offer it, he's just not sure what to do when he's up there. I have honestly never taught a teeter before - the very first time Auggie saw a teeter, he ran straight up it, rode it down, ran off, then immediately circled around and did it again like it was the best thing ever. No training necessary except asking for a target at the end. Because Auggie is perfect. And I know the trainer I work with would recommend I lure it, but I'm not really game to lure. Payton doesn't "get" luring for one thing, because he's been shaped so much. He looks at me like "WTF are you waving the cookie around for??"
    So I just did it with the clicker and let him offer whatever he wanted on it. It's not an adjustable teeter which would have been ideal... he definitely isn't 100% sure about the movement. I'm thinking of trying to make an adjustable teeter and re-clicker training on that with it down low, then raising it up?

    I haven't played Bang Games with him beyond getting him to interact with stuff that makes noise - I googled quickly, is this what you recommend?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1KXLbFkxzY

    He is a hell of a tugger. I worked hard on that.
     
  12. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I wouldn't worry about getting an adjustable teeter and retraining that way. Honestly, considering you've just shaped him on a full sized I think he's doing pretty good! Yes that is basic idea of the Bang Game. I use a chair to hold the teeter really low at first then by repositioning the chair, you can raise the height over time. That way you don't really need an adjustable teeter and the dog is learning that making the teeter move/make noise is the object (and very fun and not scary at all). I think going back to the Bang Game would really help him get that boost of confidence, which is the only thing lacking right now. He's obviously able and willing to do the full teeter, so the Bang Game will sort of isolate the area he's lacking in and work on that. And it works great with shaping :)

    That same Youtube poster has another Bang Game vids that show how you can use an upright jump to lower the height of the teeter for the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcwfNOAH3Fg

    Here's another: http://youtu.be/OsVxN4aJyso

    Here's a dog further along in it: http://youtu.be/jedeov6FIvM

    It seems to progress really easily to a full teeter if you go slow and make it really rewarding. The class I'm in pretty much just does variations on this and the dogs don't seem to have any issue going between this and eventually a full teeter. Since Payton already has the shaping on the full teeter, I think it will go real easy for him for sure.
     
  13. allaboutdogs

    allaboutdogs Mr

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    I agree with you. We need to discuss that focuses on the agility training to our dog especially the younger ones. I have also a planned to train my puppy.
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Sloan is having trouble hitting her weave entrance when asked to collect in sequences. Collection is not either of my dogs strong suit (Backup can't collect over a jump to save his life) but Sloan didn't used to have this as a drastic issue. Now, from most any angle and most any distance I can practice asking her to weave and she'll hit them but if I put a jump 10 feet in front, straight on or angled, she will almost every time miss the entrance and shoot past in a way I can tell she knows she missed it.

    How can I help her fix this? Should I go back to open 2 x 2s and practice that way?
     
  15. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Is it a traction issue? Zuma rocks entrances at our home school where we have fantastic traction, but blows by entrances on more slippery mats. Took me forever to realize it was a traction issue, not a trialing issue.

    Either way, still solve it the same, I would move that jump back to where she can be successful and gradually bring it closer. I don't think I would open up the 2x2's at this time, unless it can't be solved.
     
  16. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    The floor I've been using at my new work is more slippery than my last work. Once we've de-glassed (the previous owner must have never heard of a trash can) the yard at the new house I'll try this on grass as well.

    Thanks for the tip, I was hoping to not open up and restart so I'll just try excessive space and creeping in the jump. She's really reliable without collection so it's perplexing to me.
     
  17. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PFChzt9hp3Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Or if we can't embed... http://youtu.be/PFChzt9hp3Y

    We're a bit rusty. :-x However, I was hoping to take Sloan for a private this week but she's in heat so this crazy nut gets to go. Wish us luck that the trainer doesn't usher us out with crosses and holy water.
     
  18. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Who is your private with? Good luck.
     
  19. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Peak agility, I need to get the dogs evaluated and back into classes. Unless of course, she turns me away. lol
     
  20. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Oh, Barbara will love Backup. This is her BC, Speck:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGjIirAYUTM
    He had a hole this weekend big enough to bury himself in. It was awesome. We had to put up cones around it so nobody would fall in it.

    You used to have to ask him where the snakes were to get him digging, but now he just digs whenever he can.
     

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