Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Agility 3.5 summary

Only three people (including myself) were in class today. Usually there are five. We did a number of drills one at a time, all of us observing the person practicing. We worked on sequencing 2-3 obstacles.

One was jump, front cross, jump, decel. Next was jump, pull, backside of jump. Then we switched to a tunnel and two parallel jumps, first doing a 180 pull and then a serpentine. Finally, we did tunnel, jump, tunnel and then tunnel, jump, decel to work on cue discrimination.

I am proud to say that Cai aced almost all the exercises, mostly because we've been practicing similar sequences during the past week and he recognized them. He had a little trouble with sending into a tunnel, and would stop and come back out when he saw me not running in the same direction as him. Later he had a lot of trouble when the new tunnel we added  was under the (gated off) a-frame, and he couldn't handle that much lateral distance and me having to go around the gates. If the instructor held him and I moved out laterally and ran forward quickly, then he would go in. So we need to continue practicing lateral distance. I also need to work on being able to quickly turn around/change direction and set a new line without getting disoriented. I'm better at it when I've set my own practice courses. Doing someone else's exercises is more challenging.

In two weeks we'll start weave poles and the instructor will be using 2x2s! I'm a big fan and used the method to start teaching Dragon the poles. He was amazing at finding the correct entry with 2 poles thanks to that. We were working on closing up the second pair before he died. I will try to build at least one pair of poles soonish, so that we can practice. I also need to do more work on teaching Cai to quickly lie down on a rectangular cut of yoga mat, which I plan to use for a modified running contact. Right now he'll lie down on it, but he doesn't do it as quickly as I would like. I need to build up the reinforcement history more. I want him to be reliable on both contacts and weaves!!

Speaking of practicing outside of class, I am stoked that the kennel I'm now teaching classes at allows me to use their yard to practice agility, and I can store my tiny-sized equipment there. Before April, there were a few months when I did not have anywhere to practice other than my apartment, since Cai is too reactive to practice off leash at a park. That's why we're having so mug trouble with lateral distance. We're making way more progress now.

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