Saturday, February 06, 2010

Agility run-throughs today

In an effort to be more consistent with what we're working on and training, I'm posting the course from today's run-throughs at Waggles. The caveat is that this wasn't my design - Lori left this setup in preparation for run-throughs today. What was great about this course is that there was actually space for the bog dogs to get moving, more often than not it's hard to get enough space between obstacles to allow the dogs to move out and extend. It's just a function of the dimensions.

Walking the course I didn't have a good plan for #2 to #3 (tunnel to weaves). I could lead out to the tunnel opening and front cross and send into the weave poles, but the dogwalk was so tempting out there for one and I was concerned that I'd block his weave entry, sending him in at pole two - there just wasn't a lot of space for me to be there yet out of his way. Since this was a run-through and therefore nothing at stake, I decided to see what I had if I called him through the poles. I generally do a startline stay/lead-out - even to just get myself setup on the other side of the jump. In this plan though I ran with him from the start, over #1 and send to the tunnel. Once he was committed to the tunnel (position A) I was able to move backwards to (position B) and call him through the weaves and then pivot to the table.

We've been working on tunnel/contact discrimination and that work has paid off - (#4-#5). The #5-#6 combination is probably my least favorite combination in all of agility. There just doesn't seem to be a particularly safe and efficient way to get out of the tunnel and far enough out to a) not waste a lot of time, but also b) give the dog a safe approach with enough momentum to get over the a-frame. Teller will take the a-frame from any angle I ask of him - but...just because he can, doesn't mean he should (one of my favorite training phrases).

We're still working the box on the a-frame and a couple of cool things happened today - first, I pulled off the a-frame around the #5 tunnel as I headed to #7 and Teller popped off the a-frame above the contact (one hit on the way down) - AWESOME! I took him back around and he did the same thing - really cool. The problem I've been having is getting him to miss the contact in training - now I had a scenario that I could reproduce. It took him another miss before he got it - and it was a bit of a lightbulb for him I think. And the fourth time around he slammed a second hit into the box. JACKPOT! So we schooled it again, this time I very obviously broke off at an angle to try to pull him off the contact - Fool him once, twice and thrice - but no more than that. What a super thinker he is!

The rest of the course was pretty straight forward, his sits on the dogwalk are becoming more automatic with less deceleration from me, he's also letting me run ahead of him while he's remaining in a sit on the dogwalk. As much reinforcement he's had on the a-frame lately, I am always pleased when he takes the tunnel when asked.

Murphy for his part got to play with his favorite terrier, chased some balls, pick-pocketed from his favorite poodle person (free cookies are high on Murphy's all time best list). We came home this afternoon and the boys got to have green tripe on the deck outside - another favorite treat for them - though not so much of a treat for me.

All in all, I think it was a really good day for the boys!

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