Saturday, April 20, 2013

Agility 2.5

Circle work all in a group. Fairly good attention.

Crate games, working on lateral distance. I only did a handful of reps because this requires him running enthusiastically to a toy, which he will only do a few times before he starts calmly trotting to the toy instead.

Fun sequence with a curved tunnel: circle work all the way around the tunnel, rewarding the dog for NOT going in on his own, then sending in and doing a pull to continue on (so we stayed standing at the entrance and our dogs came back to us after exiting, circling around again, and then sending in and doing a front cross to finish up with the dog on our other side. Cai could hear that I was staying by the tunnel entrance so he had a lot of trouble continuing on to the exit, and would turn around and come back out. After a couple of failed attempts I did move to the exit so that he could be successful. The instructor didn't like that -- she didn't want us to change our handling if the dog is struggling. She had us do it again, and this time he was successful without me moving toward the exit, but I think that that was because I had helped him the previous time.

We did the exercise again going in the reverse direction, and again Cai didn't want to go all the way through the tunnel. She stood behind the exit so that the dog couldn't see her, and she had me send him again and tossed a treat to him when he came through the exit (so it was just raining down from the sky). We did this a few times until he was happily going all the way through while I stayed by the entrance, and we finished the exercise without any more problems.

Then another fun sequence with ladders, working on rewarding our dogs for NOT taking the ladders if not cued, taking them when cued, and one rear cross, which Cai did well. Yay!

All the dogs had been doing pretty well at the wobble boards (though Cai was able to handle the highest, wobbliest board, if I may brag). So we lowered a teeter and put a towel under the heavy end, and had the dogs bang the other end. Cai did just fine with this -- we started it quite low, and raised it twice, and he was quickly jumping on and off.

Things I need to practice more at home: running to a toy/food item (sock filled with liver needs the tears sewn up), stand-stay with distractions, circle work among small distractions, lateral distance with crate or our known mini-obstacles. I have also been working on contact training for a while -- I want him to do a modified running contact, in which he does a down on the floor immediately after the obstacle (obviously not for teeter, that will be a crouch/down at the end of the board). I have a target (piece of yoga mat) for him to down on. However he's pretty slow at getting to it and lying down. He lies down slowly. I guess I'll try timing him in my head and do some sessions just rewarding faster downs. I would prefer for this to be pretty solid before we start it in class (which will be a while). I've also been rewarding him for running over a plank at home.

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