Monday Agility

Well then! The trial is over. We had fun. We have to work on Levi’s brand new weave problems. 🙂 But what’s new? LOL. It’s always something. Levi is such a good boy. He gives me his all and does his best.

This run is an excellent run. This is his Standard run, Excellent B, on Monday. First run of the day. Small to tall. He did an awesome job. However, you’ll see a good shot of his latest weave problems. He’s entering on the second poll, and he’s actually popping on the 10th. This one he didn’t, I really revved him up mid-weaves. But that also made him skip a poll, but it got him to exit on the correct side.

Anyway, it was a great trial. Next weekend we have a break, then we have another 2 day trial. I am going to shape Levi’s entry in the next two weeks, with the clicker, to see if that will help him get better at entering. And also put guides back on the front and the end, to see if that helps, too. I love my boy. 🙂

Chase’s Private Lesson

I had a private lesson with Chase today, for obedience, drive shaping, and general manners.

Have I mentioned how much I adore our trainer? Yes, I have, and I’ll say it again. She is absolutely amazing. She knows dogs so well, she can interpret behavior amazingly, and she comes up with solutions that are appropriate, positive, and effective! I am amazed.

Anyway, so we have some things to work on. First off, she said that Chase probably has some coping behaviors he learned from his prior home (Chase is adopted, we got him when he was about 10 months old). One of them is to jump on people, be wiggly, and pine for attention. Which makes sense. He does need some confidence building. but in some ways he is also is very hard-headed and stubborn. He is a very interesting mix.

So in agility, he sucks into tunnels, he looses his head, he goes really fast, but doesn’t have much thought or control. This is what we are going to do to train him better.

First, at trials, and even at home, I’ll take a treat bag or a toy and throw it on the ground. Chase is great paying attention to me when I have treats in my hands, so we have to get the treats out of my hands. When he looks at me or gives me attention, I click, have him touch my hand with his nose, and then run to get treats or the tug toy and reward. This way he’ll learn to pay closer attention to me even when I don’t have the treats on me.

We are also going to practice our heeling, both straight and right turns and left turns. With a target stick on my wrist. We are also going to teach him easy, for slow heeling, trot, for normal heeling, and hurry, for fast heeling.

And we are going to play the fast sit & fast down games. Run with Chase, and do a pop-sit with a treat reward. The collar pop is really light. Not even really a pop, more of a signal to let him know what I want. Then he can give me a fast sit and be rewarded for it.

Chase needs to keep his head while he is running fast in agility. This all will help. Fast dogs are great, but there are so many dogs in agility that go fast and lose their heads. Knock bars, go off course, and generally just go BLAH!!! all over the place. Chase does that now, and it’s not what I want. I want speed, with calm control. It’s possible. I’ve seen it! 🙂

So that’s our plan for now.

[tags]dog training, clicker training, border collies, focus, obedience, agility[/tags]

Left Side Walking

Okay, Went to a Bobbie Anderson Seminar last weekend, and it was pretty good. Her dogs were very impressive. Though I still prefer clicker training. She seems to use repitition and positives, but also believes on very mild correction.

So, it inspired me to start working on obedience with the boys. Lucy is, I think, pretty much messed up. Not sure how to fix her. She works great for treats, and the clicker, but when the treats are gone so is she. I feel bad that I messed her up, poor girl. I was just trying to do what I was taught. Which I now know was wrong.

Levi is doing really great with Left Side Walking. I had him in the backyard last night without any leash, and the sweetie was really starting to understand that being on my left side got him a C/T. If he was on my right side, he wouldn’t move to the left… but if he was behind me he’d chose my left side to come up on. I think that’s great! And only our second session.

Chase is also doing well. He doesn’t chose the left side yet when he’s on the right, either, but if he’s behind me he’ll come up on the left. I walked around a lot with him on my left, C/T ing, so he’d get the idea.

It’s just so cold outside. 8 degrees this morning. I think it was in the low 20s last night outside. Ugh.

But, hopefully this will work our way into the obedience ring. Rally for sure!

March 9 Update – Chase

Had class last night, it was another fun class.

Crate Games:
Chase is getting fairly good at his crate games, though we need to work on this more at home. I’ve been doing more weave poll exercises with him instead.

2×2 Weaves:
Last night at class the teach instructed me to throw the toy out paralell… err, I think that’s right, to the weaves. I’ve been throwing it out perpendicular.. so he goes through the 2x2s, just straight, and I throw it straight. Well, that’s silly of me, because I want him to weave! So I threw it at an angle and viola, he is more like weaving. So I will work on that, I think that’ll help me understand the process. And add a jump in too, so he goes jump, and wraps to the weaves. Once he gets some distance, she says we will add another 2×2 set.

She set up three jumps in a row, also, to see how these new dogs do with jumping. Chase waited for me while I walked out one jump! Yay! (lol it was like three feet from him, but heck, that wait is hard!) And we got him over all three jumps. He seems to jump with his front shoulders a lot, instead of his hind quarters. So we are supposed to practice this so he becomes more comfortable jumping. I’ll need to enlist Aaron’s help.

Teach set up a single weave poll and we stood right by it. The dog is supposed to walk around it, the C/T, and then get more distance from it. Chase is so quick, he knows that whatever I put out, he should do something with it, so instantly he walks around this thing. 🙂 C/T! He is so smart. He’ll pick this up in no time.

I love clicker training!

February 2005

Life goes on, eh? 🙂 Things are good. I’m running 3.5 miles now regularly… or mostly regularly. Sometimes I’ll go the 2.93 mile route, if it’s a particularly hard run, but usually it’s 3.5 miles. Which is more than a 5k, so I can probalby do a 5k in April. Though I hope I’m not nasty slow.

It is cold… was 12F this morning. Ugh. Not fun at all. I want spring to come, I’m buying brightly colored clothes because I’m tired of the dull drab weather and snow. It snowed a lot yesterday, today is sunny but freezing cold.

Agility is fun. Haven’t had a trial since Jan but there will be another one on the 19th of this month. That’ll mark the first trial I ever went to last year. 🙂 I’m excited. 1 Year and we are in open, I think that’s awesome!

Clicker training the dogs is a riot. Been working on getting them to go backwards. All of them but Lucy has it down pat. 😀 Lucy, however, gets too frantic about the treats and is having a hard time moving backward for me to mark her with the clicker. We’ll get it, though! I think Chase needs to learn to roll over. 😀