preparing for trial?

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by Bear Luv, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    Rush and Bear havent done any agility since November. Well, with the exception with DW/AF reps since it was all I had up in the yard when we got rain rain rain, snow snow snow lol. I was wondering what I should be working on for our upcoming trial? We havent trialed since Oct D:.

    I am both extremely excited and extremely worried lol. We were just getting into our trialing shoes and really getting used to running together when weather made it impossible to even practice. I had the dogs do some AF reps today (mostly focusing on staying in 2o2o with lots of reward). It was all fun to give them something to do, I know Rush has gotten sick of fetch in the house. She was crazy excited to run around outside.

    I keep thinking about what kind of courses I should set up or what I should focus on in practice this week and next week. I never do agility more then 3 times a week, so I want to get in important stuff. I am at a loss on what I should do though!

    I am really hoping to take agility lessons over the summer and possibly a CU class. For some reason lessons always get pushed back!

    Also if there is anything anyone could tell me about CU classes? I would be dying to know. I basically want to train what the book has to offer, but I also would love the proper environment to do it in.

    Diane
     
  2. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    That's kind of an impossible question to answer--no one knows what you need to work on except you!

    I feel you on the weather though. This weekend my backyard is FINALLY starting to show through the snow, so I made the most of it and set up weaves and a couple jumps and practiced the various crosses and weave pole entrances.
     
  3. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Practice a few of the well-used jump drills; 180's, serpentines, threadles.

    Practice those with and without a lead-out, also alternate with front and rear crosses.

    Weave entry drills. Just use 6 weaves and set out a jump at one end and a tunnel at the other. Practice entries by starting with the weaves straight on and slowly angling them out.

    Contacts and table practice.

    Keep it short, don't drill too hard and have fun!

    Good luck at your upcoming trials.
     
  4. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Although you can tweak and improve upon things, if you have any major issues sadly they generally can't 'fixed' within a week or two.

    Do you keep a trialing and/or training journal? If so, go back and read it, what you need to work on should be there.

    Good luck and let us know how you did or if you have any other specific questions :)
     
  5. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    Rush doesn't have any 'major' issues. We have had a few problems in trials with weave entries and pulls, though at home she completely nails them. Her contacts are extremely solid and so are her weave entries (at home). I am just trying to get ideas on what kinds of things to practice! Though now that Outline mentions it...we probably could brush up on threadles and serps. Honestly the only thing I could think of was weave entries. Her pulls are so awesome at home and at trials she is just like WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, and doesnt pay attention to my body language, though last trial as we were going she really started to pay more attention after we redid some things after she took an WC.

    Maybe I am curious if anyone knows of a method to train a tighter pull? maybe like a body or verbal cue or something that I could possibly start using in trials. Obviously its not likely to be trained by our trial, but for future reference. I honestly havent though of it until now. I keep hoping that eventually she will grasp self control as she only recently turned 2. Shes only broken two start lines and never has she broken a contact in a trial. I guess all her crazy BC energy goes into RUN RUN RUNning into a WC lol. I dont know if maybe there is some way to kind of gain more control over her? I wouldnt honestly change anything about the way she does agility. I think we might need more practice on harder courses down the road, but I feel a lot of her miscommunication with me is either ME or will get better with trial experience. Still I am curious to hear what people say about a signal or something? lol
     
  6. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    Video for people who wanted to see it.

    YouTube - RaisingK9 NADAC Trial, Oct. 23rd - 25th - her last trial, which was only her second NADAC. Its long so feel free to skip it.

    YouTube - 11-22-09 - last time we actually did agility (i think), I cant remember if those are just weave clips or if I show the rest of the course we were doing.
     
  7. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Set up courses or exercises that allow you to work on your pulls.

    In trials you may need to use stronger body language (a more pronounced turn) or even her name to get het attention. It's really just a green dog mistake though. She will get better with more trial experience.
     
  8. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    I watched the 2nd video. You need to nail your weaves down and practice that way. She is able to move the weaves side to side with her body and all weaves at trials (except nadac) are nailed down.

    Just something you might not have noticed, but it does change the behavior slightly.
     
  9. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    I am still getting used to my handling, but I think I will practice more pronounced handling in practice see if I can get used to it. Shes so fast sometimes it jumbles my brain and I say the wrong command and I cant think accurately so I have no problem taking the blame for our issues lol.

    I will do that! I have honestly never nailed them down. The only time there has ever been an issue is with Honey bear and thats because her footing is inconsistent and she tends to just plow through. Shes knocked the base over a few times. Maybe I can use my tunnel bags to hold the base down? Hmm, guess its time to get creative!
     
  10. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I watched the video's as well, two things jump out at me other than the weaves which OutlineACD's commented on.

    For the pulls:

    Your hesitating and your actually facing that tunnel entrance.
    Recommend that you 'Drive' towards the correct tunnel entrance and with such as young dog and do a False Turn, then continue driving. You can power (drive) forward, do the FT and even use some lateral movement to pull her towards you BEFORE sending her to a tunnel, all that can be done to ensure she gets the right entrance and at speed.
     
  11. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    Thank you! I have always asked for advice on handling and what works at home I guess doesnt always work at trials. My handling is like the only reason I truly want to take classes. People hold back because they are afraid it will hurt my feelings or something.

    I am going to try what you suggested! I decided to have practice tomorrow cause its supposed to be warm out and I think it will be an optimum time to practice improving my signaling.

    Also I was wondering is it better to practice running courses without the dog, or with the dog? I have heard people mention just running a full course without their dogs but I have never actually tried it. Would it be beneficial or should I just skip it and move onto running with Rush so I can get an idea of how I am doing by her reactions to my handling?
     
  12. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    From a fellow amateur, I can't recommend classes with a good trainer highly enough. I'm really impressed by how much you've done on your own! I find that just as much as I need someone there with more experience telling me what we need to work on, I need someone telling ME when I need to be giving cues and helping me work that out. Watching the trial video, I just kept hearing my trainer's voice saying "You're late!" (which I hear an awful lot some weeks!). I imagine getting the cues out with such a fast dog is incredibly hard, and even with my slower dog, having someone there saying "Your cue has to come HERE" makes such a difference for me. It's made it easier for me to work out my timing when I am on my own.

    Good luck with your trial coming up!
     
  13. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Another thing that my trainer drills into us is practicing in different environments. I'll take my goofy little PVC pipe jumps to a tennis court during off-times, or set up my weave poles in the front yard instead of the back, or at a park, or whatever. At the park I have to keep her on a long line to satisfy county rules, but it still works.

    Basically, the more environments your dog can nail weaves in, the more likely he'll nail them in a trial. Lucy's nearly perfect in my backyard, but everytime we go somewhere new there are plenty of things to work on!
     
  14. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Absolutely try running the course without your dog first.
    I know I am going to say things here that you probably already know but it never hurts to hear it again :)

    When I get my course maps, I never try to figure out where the crosses are or what I am going to do. All I do is learn the order of the obstacles and I may make a little mental note that I may need too at the different points but the how's & what I leave until I can get on the course.

    Then I look at the course from the dogs point of view, huge difference than ours. Next I figure out the informaton that I need to give my dog and when and that is usually when the Crosses are figured out.

    I walk it a couple of times, then move out of the way and close my eyes and shadow handle the course.

    Then I run it at least twice, working on muscle memory and making sure I am getting that information to my dog as fast as possble and at the right place i.e keeping an arm up when it needs to be, more importantly not dropping it, facing/turning towards an obstacle at the right time and calling information as soon as possible often multiple obstacles in a row or just tunnel if it is beyone several jumps leading to it.

    Hope that helps.
     
  15. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    I really want to take classes. Every time I get around to it (have the money and the time) something comes up. First I had my class money stolen when I lost my wallet. When I finally had the funds to do it again, we got snow. Then we lost snow and I got Maverick lol. Now I am in a program at the local community college that truly makes it impossible for me to take group lessons. I am hoping to do a private a weekend in April though! I am almost finished paying off his adoption fee and vet bills. Its like every time I turn around I have to pay something else lol. Its hard D:. I will take group lessons this summer if I have to sell an organ. I feel like I have reached my zenith training by myself. There is only so much you can learn and so much you can gain by doing it alone. I dont always realize I am signaling wrong because I know what I intended to do, so I sometimes dont read my body language well enough.

    I try and practice in as many different places as possible! its hard sometimes though. I have a front/side/back yard all sectioned off so they never meet, and there is a field behind my house. I try and switch it around. Lately I have been just in my BY though. Due to laziness lol.

    Thank you so much ado! I can assure you, I have never heard any of what you told me before. I always look at the course map and make a plan of action then go out and change my mind like 8 times. I never walk the course enough. NADAC is simple enough right? wrong, I have forgotten so many novice courses...lol. I will give your method a shot! It sounds very thorough.
     
  16. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Your very welcome :)

    Try not to get into a herd mentality while walking a course, where many people are just walking along following each other through a course and doing the same things. Now that doesn't mean you don't stand back and watch a very good handler work out a difficult spot on course because watching people like that is always a benefit.

    Another thing, don't get lazy in training, very easy to do. What that means, is run a sequence as if it is a run at a trial.
    Another thing to do which is very important imo, when your dog makes a mistake, FREEZE immediately and take note of what you were doing, which direction your feet/shoulders/head/eyes are pointing. Is your arm up or down? What did you say? Figure out what you need to do, (may not be wrong, just not right for your dog) and try it again.

    Any course that you had problems with, make notes on that course map (if possible) and then set up those problem areas at home and figure out what works the best for you and your dog. So instead of having 8 different idea running through your head and getting into a panic/concern, you'll only have a couple (which is normal).

    Again, it goes back to not trying to figure out how to run a course until you can be on it because often the course isn't the same as what was on the map. In which case you have to rethink what you were going to do anyway.

    A good tip, is to help course build if possible, that gives you extra time on the course, especially after the judge has tweaked it and measured it.

    If you forget courses.........make note of any landmarks on course, meaning a jump that looks different (color, wings etc), where the frame (or other piece of equipment) is in relation to where you need to do a change of side etc. I could also be where ring crew is seated BUT make sure they haven't changed location from the time you have walked the course :D Pick things that are not going to be changed on course to help you remember where you need to go.

    Want to really test your skills, have someone build a sequence and then run it without walking it, but having said that not recommended for novice dogs. Do that once you have a lot of training and trialing experience, bc guaranteed given enough time trialing, you will miss your walk through lol. And this enables you to put yourself under that kind of stress and understand that it is possible to Q without a walk through.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  17. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Hey, to give you an idea, these are the types of courses that I normally run in AAC Masters level.
    Which is why, we need as many tools as possible to get around a course and clean :)

    AAC Regionals Courses

    I live in Ontario and have run and been successful on many of those courses.
     
  18. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Thanks for posting the courses! I loved looking through them - especially the gambers, which I hear you Canadians do pretty hard core :eek:. How does your gamblers game work? Looks like there are three different gambles in each course?
     
  19. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Glad you enjoyed the courses!!

    I am going to start with the point value for each obstacle, then explain the rules.

    Teeter, Frame - 3 pts
    Tunnels, Chutes, Tire 2 pts
    Spread/Double jumps 2 pts
    single jump 1 pt
    6 weaves-3 pts, then the Dogwalk is worth 5 pts
    12 weaves-5 pts, then the Dogwalk is worth 3 pts.
    one 4 pt jump on course.

    You can do everything twice for pts, do an obstacle more than that and no pts and wasting time.

    Qualifying:
    Starters: min 20 pts, plus being successful doing the Main Gamble under time. Main Gamble has 3 obstacles and gezzz can't remember max distance to the furthest obstacle, but I'll say 10 ft.

    Advanced: min 20 pts, under time, Main G has 3-4 obstacles, max distance 15 ft (there abouts)

    Masters: min 28 pts, under time, usually about 18 seconds for the Main, max distance 22 ft.

    Mini Gambles: during your opening you can do the Mini Gamble for double pts for those obstacles, however you can't cross the line and the same max/min distances apply for each level. There may or may not be one or two mini gambles, they are not required within a course.

    So we plan our own course for the max pts that we can obtain in 40 seconds, (knocked bars and missed contacts = no pts for those obstacles). Then a buzz blows and the finishing time is started (usually about 18 seconds), hopefully we have planned well and we are in the area to start the main gamble (note you can't hang out in that area waiting for the buzzer either, doing that will get you an E). Don't step over the line, don't step on the line, however the dog can cross the line and be sent out again with no faults. If you dog completes the main gamble under the required time, and you obtained the min open sequence pts, then you Q. Placements go first by highest points and then by time if there is a more than one dog with the same amount of points.

    Plus people tend to stay away from the jumps in the main gamble for the simple reason that IF a bar comes down, you can no longer do the Main and you would only get your opening sequence pts. In short = NQ

    Clear as mud, right?? lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  20. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    lol As my math teacher in high school used to say, clear as muddy water!

    So it sounds like our gamblers basically, but you have the option for those other mini-gambles in the opening. There is still just the one main gamble in the closing though, right?

    I'll just stay down here in the States, hoping and hoping to find a few masters gambles that involved contact obstacles so we can get our 3 Qs, and never ever play in gamblers again! Distance is far and away our greatest challenge.

    Snooker is my life, however :D
     

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