Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Agility 3.4 summary

Instead of warming up with boring circle work in a circle, we went right into taking turns with a sequence: tunnel, front cross, jump (which was at an angle), pull into tunnel, decel at next jump. Chimera consistently had a problem with running right to my side after the tunnel, and then squeezing between me and the jump stanchion even if I left very little room. So we need to work more lateral distance, especially in sequences, and running to a toy thrown ahead in sequences. Good info! My apartment, where I've done most of Cai's foundation training, doesn't have room to do lateral distance drills. Between that and a huge history of reinforcement for being at my side, it's no wonder he had trouble.

Cai is starting to jump on me in frustration if he is confused during jump drills, especially if we repeat something multiple times and can't get it right. Since this is just a side effect of mistakes in training (both his and mine), I'm ignoring it for now. If the behavior starts to escalate, I'll work on redirecting him.

After this we did a simple lateral distance exercise (stay, lead out, toss reward as dog goes over jump), and he did pretty well. The instructor said our goal is to being 18 feet away and able to cue the jump. I was about 3-4 feet away. Practice practice!

We set up another sequence, with a tunnel and then two jumps in a 180. At first we did a push through/back side of jump with just the second jump, then we added the first one in, and then we moved them just a little bit apart laterally. If the dog did well with that, we did the jumps as a serpentine as well. Chimera did this perfectly, even when my timing or balance was a bit off. We practiced it a bunch at home and at the play yard in Dublin during the past week.

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