Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Agility 3.6 summary

Halfway through the introductory curriculum! I checked with the instructor: if our dogs are keeping up with where their skills would ideally be at the end of this 36 week course, what's next? She said that we would go into a sequencing course afterwards. When we can nail sequences and courses without a problem in class, we'll be ready to start entering matches. In the meantime, of course, we want to be practicing our current skills in various environments and around distractions. I have practiced agility with Cai at home, in my parents' condo, and in the play yard at Dublin Creek Kennels, but we have lots or distraction training ahead of us.

We started off with a couple of rear cross drills. We've been practicing rear crosses on our own, but Cai wasn't getting them consistently. Today he nailed them. Hooray!!

We moved on to 180s, and this time Cai just couldn't get it, even though he'd done them fine in previous classes and we've done them a lot on our own. He kept sniffing the ground, the bars, the standards... I guess his brain was just fried after the rear crosses. Couldn't figure it out.

At the end we worked on sending the dog ahead to a jump, which we've done at home but not at this distance. He would go forward a few feet but then turn back to me. We just need to continue building distance in our practice.

He used to whine and bark terribly whenever I would step away from his crate, but he's improved a lot. At first I focused on stepping away for short distances and returning to give a treat for being quiet. Finally I decided that he didn't really understand that I didn't want him to bark. I remembered that when he was younger and would bark in excitement when I got home, it helped him when I have him a cue to be quiet. So for the past few weeks, I've told him "shush" or "shhhh" (cues he already understands) when he starts barking, along with a little calm talking if he needed more help. It's made a huge difference. I've also started sitting on a chair just a few feet away but partially out of sight when he's in his crate. With these two changes, he's now letting me walk a sequence or stand fifty feet away to watch another student run. Thank goodness!

No comments:

Post a Comment