Agility training

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

  1. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    I thought I'd drop in here as I'm also training in agility and LOVE it. We started in June 2010 and it's been a slow progression for us for a couple reasons. The main one is we don't have a yard and so I don't get to train at home very often. I own a few jumps and a tunnel and sometimes pack it all up to take to the park but it's such a pain! But I also have (had?) the slowest, most mellow dog. Seriously, our video at our first CPE trial (last November) was embarrassing. We did manage to get one Q, but oh GOSH were we slow. She sort of trotted along through the course.

    Since then we've been speeding up and getting more and more accurate. I'm amazed at the energy and drive she seems to have suddenly developed. I spent over a year waiting for my dog to catch up to me and now I'm having to keep up with HER! I really need to get a video sometime just to see what she looks like when she's on fire (for her at least!).

    Her major trial issue has been contacts. She's brilliant on them in class, but balks at trials. We've been working on hard the past few months to get her even better on them in class. We go go our third CPE trial next Saturday and I'm nervous already!

    I've been enjoying everyone's videos here! It's good to see some other folks and where they are in their training.
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I've started using the slant weaves for Backup. He's starting to figure them out and doesn't seem as panicked with them. In only a few sessions they're almost closed where as his 2x2s were stuck at the "can still clear in a really tight straight line" point since, oh, um, November. 0_o

    He's still an insanely frustrating dog to work with but we're making progress slowly. I have thrown all toys out the window and am working him with food only. He's got to stay in the lowest drive possible, he's never cared much for food, in an effort to slightly slow his feet and more importantly his brain.

    We're getting to short simple sequences and I'm seeing some progress with his jumping style.

    I'm finding he works much, much more comfortably away from me and he's still frantic in some ground work when asked to come in close on my right.

    He has always had space/touch issues but I think they get worse with age and we're just going to figure out new ways to work with them in agility. Attempts to desensitize or ease his anxiety about it seem to just compound the issues. Has anyone else worked with a dog like this before?
     
  3. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Have you checked out Silvia Trkman's Speed and Conditioning DVD? http://www.lolabuland.com/training-videos/speedconditioning/

    I haven't seen it but others here love it, and I really like her training and attitude towards agility. She also has a lot of free articles and information on her website. :)
     
  4. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Are the touch issues only in agility or all the time? I'm assuming you've tried the collar grab game and similar things to counter condition it. I had a similar issue with Pan. In the horrible puppy obedience class that we took (I honestly don't know why I went there, only stayed for 2 classes), we were "teaching" the stand by physically manipulating them into it and Pan snarled and bit me, lol.

    I started doing a lot of work with the collar grab game, and even though she wasn't really food motivated either, it payed off after weeks of doing it. I also found that teaching her to jump into my arms helped, by turning getting man-handled into a game.

    For coming in close on your right, what if you taught it away from agility, just reinforcing for being there or even luring with toys if that's what he really likes?

    Of course you may have already tried all of this. :) I'm kind of intrigued by this though, can you get video of him at all?
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yes, he's a strange one. He either hates being touched or smoooooshes into you in a frenzy. He's never just comfortable with touching.


    He'll jump up and hug me, etc, but again, it's a bit frantic.


    I've been trying and tonight I made a tiny bit of progress. He sucks at luring into/past me. If I guide a treat he'll stop, snap/lunge like a snake and bawk backwards. He's spazzy too, so fluid following movements are not his thing. My trainer didn't really buy it until I showed her, I'll try and video it when I get a chance. I had to train him to wrap between my legs and out on my right to reset him because pulling him back on my right and resending him just wasn't working at all.

    I've done a lot of circle games as ground work and he does alright on the left but on the right he freaks. Tonight I took a class with him just to see how he was in the environment, etc, and it was apparent how strange he is. He likes to stay away from me, a lot, he's very wide but attentive. I have been told in the past he moves like he's herding me (or anything else).

    This was Backup tonight on his last run. The first two were a total mess and I apologized profusely for wasting her time. LOL He was avoiding jumps, blowing off, doing whatever. I think he had to pee something fierce but I don't know that it's an excuse. Either way, he started to settle in and we made some progress. He's listening a bit better these days and tonight I actually had some fun with him.

    http://youtu.be/ayfvvN_Uqkg

    Notice his wide birth around that dropped pole? Yet he'll plow into poles on the jumps. :/ He's jumping 12s because I haven't addressed his jumping style yet. I started him in flyball as a pup and I think I compounded some natural issues. He jumps super flat and low, he also has no regard for his body which doesn't help at all.
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    So, just popping in to tell you all that you suck, because this thread in conjunction with going to a trail last weekend with SaraB and Zuma has put the agility fire back in my bones. So, Frodo and I are going to give agility a go. Because of my work schedule (work until 9:30pm every night) and my attempts at saving money (so no private lessons), Frodo and I are going to try and train alone. YouTube is my friend, and I'm sure I'll be posting lots of videos for anyone who would be willing to critique and help.

    I would probably drop over dead if Frodo and I ever made it into the ring, besides his dog/dog issues he is also almost 7 years old, and lazy. But I figure this is a good way to get his brain moving because I'm sick of teaching him stupid pet tricks and he's my only dog, so he doesn't get a choice. I'm going into this with no expectation except for us to have fun.

    We have done a few foundation get-togethers with friends in PA before I moved, but nothing concrete. He does LOOOOVE his tunnels though, and we took a weavers class with SaraB. When we did the foundation work he was full of p!ss and vinegar, and we went through a couple tug/treat toys because he tore them apart, and he DOES NOT tug outside of the house. So there is hope I guess :p

    And just for funsies, here are two short clips of Frodo at our "come and train what you want" class when someone left agility equipment up :cool:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/izfro/5724195557/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/izfro/5724196643/

    I can't seem to find the one where Ryan nearly steered him into a pole :yikes:
     
  7. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    Go Frodo go! I think you guys would have a blast doing agility!

    Would he leave the ring to go after another dog, or just doesn't like them in his face? I know quite a few dogs around here that do agility that are DA/DR.
     
  8. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I don't see him leaving the ring to go after a dog, I really don't. But I'm also super paranoid and would probably be dragging friends along and stationing them at ring exits just in case. But like I said, I doubt we'd ever trial, probably more because of me than him.

    I do think he would have an absolute blast on a tunnelers course though :popcorn:
     
  9. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Okay, after watching even this short video, I agree....he is weird. :p

    He did great though with coming into your right side on the front crosses, and I was impressed with his responsiveness to the crosses.....it looks like your circle work is paying off!

    As for the distance, I've seen some Border Collies behave the same way, where the handler has to get used to handling from afar, definitely a herding thing I'd say.

    It looks like you both had a good time though, woohoo!
     
  10. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Cute! He definitely wants to do some agility. :)
     
  11. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Watched the video and TBH I was expecting a way more frantic, weird dog from what you have described LOL I have seen BCs who could not do any of what Backup is doing here because they were grabbing their handlers pant legs in a frenzy whenever the handler got too close, moved to fast...or too slow. I know BCs who are so worked up in agility they scream (and often knock bars) the entire run, take whatever obstacle is in their vision and are in general fairly out of control. Ziggy was sort of difficult to run to to start off because of his frantic nature and to some degree he always will be.

    I have a few ideas that might work with Backup, maybe some food for thought. A lot of people pick their dogs weakest issue and work the most on that in attempts to fix it. But to the dog, working on the stuff they are the least good at the most can't be very much fun and is probably stressful. We don't know why Backup is weird about your right side but he is. Since you do obedience and IPO with him, it may have something to do with that. I have seen many obedience dogs of all breeds and temperaments get extremely weird about being worked on the right. At any rate, he is weird about it. So in agility practice, since he's still a beginner instead of focusing on that why not just make any right sided stuff super easy for him? Over time, you can gradually start making it harder and harder until you're asking the same from him right sided as left sided. Away from agility, maybe try teaching him to heel on your right side and seeing if that helps at all.

    The distance stuff...that's not a glitch, it's a feature ;) Really, a lot of people spend a great deal of time trying to get their dog to work away from them. Your's is naturally good at it, so use it whenever you can! Like Panzerotti said, it's a common issue with BCs. Many herding breeds can be that way to some degree because what they were designed to do required they be sensitive to pressure and space, both concerning sheep and the shepherd.

    Mostly what I see in this video is a dog who's trying hard and willing to play the game but doesn't fully understand. I think he'd benefit from trying to run less complicated set ups where it's very easy for him to follow your cues and make the right choices without having to be micromanaged.
     
  12. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Definitely suggest this DVD for anyone having speed issues with their dog. And really, for anyone who wants their dog to be all they can be even if they are already fast enough :)


    Look at him go!!! He looks like he loves it :)
     
  13. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Backup looks AWESOME!!! I too was imagining a much more frantic dog. There is a mal we train with who has been in agility for as long as Classic (they started together) and he can't even sequence 3 jumps yet without spazzing out. You guys are going to be a great team. :)
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    We've worked a lot to get there and I am super proud of where he is compared to how he was.

    LOL He wouldn't dare... that is Sloans style, run up and bite me or bounce/do a wall turn off me if I'm too slow or confusing. That, I can work with.

    He started barking in the last run, and spinning, which at least told me he was thinking enough to be frustrated, maybe I am taking that wrong though. I did however put him in a down stay outside of the ring to bring him back down. If I run him with a toy of any sort he'll behave that way. I had to remove the use of targets (lids) because he can make those into toys as well, if we need a target in the future we'll try an actual dinner plate to deter picking it up. Again though, I am really happy with this run. To be honest I started walking the course like I would with Sloan and had to think, no... stop, this is for him but he really impressed me. He's starting to click... that or tomorrow I'll swear again he's a moron and I want to die. LOL

    Yeah, I'm sure why but I venture it's the obed that either hurts the right OR laid foundation for being used to being on my left, basically meaning I'm not sure he even likes to be on my left but he tolerates it because he's been doing it with me since 8 months old.

    I'll do that. It's funny, I feel so clumsy, after years of obed, trying to train a dog to heel on my right. I finally got Sloan in but for her it was me totally, she had minimal trouble and I had motor skills izzues.

    Thank you very much for the advice and compliments. We'll definitely take him back to more simplistic stuff. I am usually just asking for 1, 2, 3 obstacles with minimal turns (mostly just pulling him back into me since he naturally goes wide circles the whole ring).

    I'm spending most of my time trying to figure out his weaves these days. If we can champion those then we'll address the fact his Aframe isn't very nice. He hits the aframe up like he's going to do a wall turn (which he'll sometimes offer) and then flies off the down. He will offer a 2o2o if he's going slowly but with any speed we lose it, plus because he's long in the loin I'm not sure I want his 2o2o on the aframe. So we have been trying using a stride regulator or loose hoop to pop him over the top and a board (obed broad jump segment) at the floor 3 feet out which he avoids with a mission but it doesn't seem to be curing things just yet.

    His dogwalk and teeter are relatively controlled and he offers a 2o2o. I know I can speed him up later but I have had to pull some of the dreaded slowing him down for safety or at least my own mind of safety. Sometimes he'll get moving so quickly he'll stumble and I caught him in my arms literally 5 feet out from the full height dog walk yesterday when Denis tried to run him over it. I'm not sure how he managed it but he did, talented clutz.

    This isn't the best, or even okay, handling but I wanted a video.

    He normally finds his 2o2o much faster and with more confidence (for some reason that is usually something that clicks nicely for him) but I think I was weirding him out holding my phone and not moving with him.

    http://youtu.be/ZU6ycUORVRk
     
  15. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Fro-yo is going to be awesome at agility!! I will gladly block ring entrances :D
     
  16. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Honestly at least from this vid he reminds me a lot of Kim about two years. Complete with being a bit weird about space and suddenly deciding strange stuff is To Be Avoided when a second ago it was no biggie, but in general trying hard to figure out what the heck I wanted, and disconnecting a bit when confused. If he really is like Kim then a lot of the zoomy spastic stuff you've been having happen (not in this vid of course) is also related primarily to just not understanding.
     
  17. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    He looks really great and like he does want to be a good boy. Aleron's advice is awesome, as usual, and I think he'll do very well if you go back to the basics and bring him along slowly.

    The barking and spinning, as you mention, might signify frustration, I'd reward more often (hence the short sequences) so that he really knows when he's right and doesn't get the chance to enter the frustrated frantic state of mind.
     
  18. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    We're finally moving into more handling training, starting the fun stuff! Here are 2 short vids of her first front cross sessions. The 2nd vid is at 22" jumps and I'm really liking how she's bending and judging distance this early in the game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5lm2OKj5t8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvs3M6bzz6s

    I've also started RC from scratch and am going to get a super thin board this weekend....I've had her running a carpet for the past few sessions.

    I'm also building a teeter this weekend (yay) and am looking into the best site to order 2x2s from. I'm thinking here http://www.waytoweave.com/2x2_weave_pole_training_bases_s/35.htm.
     
  19. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Looks like you guys are having fun, Panzerotti :)
     
  20. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Thanks, we really are! I think she's going to turn out half-decent. :p I'm happy with the speed she's offering while learning and I'm assuming it'll increase once she "gets" everything. I'm also relearning handling as we go... it's been years since I've done agility with Solo.
     

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