Here comes your new homework:
1. straight line as a serpentine: now that you mastered straight lines too, it's time to show the dog they can come in different forms 🙂 Let's try angling the jumps as you can see in a video, still working on extension vs. collection. Keep angling the jumps all the way to a serpentine. You should still throw in some wraps to keep them attentive to possible collection cues.
Showing the angling in 4 steps, but try to go even more gradually and make it a serpentine in 6 or 7 steps:
With long-strided dogs, 10 will be hard - so you can simply take the other entry instead.
3. let's check how far you have got with weave entries: send in your "top 5" - choose the 5 hardest entries your dog found, the 5 you are most proud of.
I wanted to work on some more Cik&Cap in a sequence. So here it is. Now I see we have new home work. We’ll get going on that, too. How do you think we’re doing?
Cool, nice precuing of turns, but sometimes a little late with verbal cue. Also, don’t forget to run as much as you can, she sometimes goes into trot before tunnels as you slo down. But when you run, she can be really fast!
Yes, I can see how important it is for me to be running with her. I need to always remember that! Thank you, too, for the reminder about my verbal cues being on time.
Now we have almost caught up to where we should be by now! I have included in this video this week’s exercises, and the sequences from Lessons 2+3 that we had not done yet. I still owe the sequence from this lesson and I will put it in the next video. I’m sorry about the video quality -- my camera is rather basic and I can’t get a new one just now. The further from it I get the harder it is to see.
For the serpentine exerice, I decided it was an OK time to take the jump bars off the ground. They are at 15 cm (lowest option, her final jump height will be the third set of cups -- 35 cm). At first Sen knocked them all down! but it only took a few runs before most of them stayed up.
The first problem I got was (happy days!) my dog is so fast it was hard to direct her. When the line got closer to parallel I had to send her around a jump or in a tunnel first so that I could get ahead of her. We really had few problems with any angle of jump until she could no longer see a line through the jumps. You can see here what happened, and how I tried to fix it. Clearly she does not understand these cues to jump yet.
What is your idea on what to do with your arms through serpentines? My other dog understands that a change of arm means turn to that arm. This does not seem to work so well with Sen because she is too fast (or I am to slow??). Moving just one arm (whichever was closest) in and out seemed to work better.
I was a little suprised that we got through the sequences. I had not tried them for a few weeks, and before they had been quite impossible. Now they went fairly easily. Main problem was my own coordination. She is moving a bit slow at times, but that is because I kept going when I knew she was already getting tired (not wise).
The weaving examples are not that spectacular and the entries are rather simple. We have not done that much work with weaves and the harder entries are improving slowly. This was the first session with the poles so close that she cannot run the line without having to weave a little. This really messed up entries and exits for a while, but they improved.
Huh, with serpentines, you progressed to fast, you skipped some steps: angle the jumps slower as that! It’s better as helping her more as necessary as you will get more of a straight line as with pushes out and recalls in. I never change arms for serpentines as they’re just a straight line for me, so I use a normal arm, but yes, move it up and down. But I would open the line some for now and then close it more gradually, maybe even only moving one jump at the time. And yes, you definitely want to use a tunnel to get ahead for all those exercises (also lesson 5)! Great job with sequences! You’e sometimes too late with precuing turns or giving her your collection cue, but when you’re in time, her wraps are beautiful, especially as it’s pretty high for her already. Don’t forget to do some multi-wraps in this height too! Getting there with weaves!
I did many more steps with the serpentines than I put in the video, as I said she was fine until there was no line through -- even if the line was very tiny. But yes 2 weeks is not enough to learn this.
I had another question: when do you use out as apposed to “around” (for back of jump)? In the case of a parallel line of jumps at the end of the serp exercise (where there is no visible line) would you say “around” or “out” to have the dog jump towards you?
Ok, I just watched lesson 5 instructions, which kind of answers my question. But as there is no sound on most of the video, it would be nice if you could post a clearer example, as someone suggested. Thanks!
There is no sound in slow motion part, but it’s on in normal speed videos. I say “okrog” for around/out/back/push or however you want to call it, name of the dog for coming to hand and cik/cap for collection. Together with left&right, those are the only verbal cues I use. Somebody asked for sequence example as I didn’t tape it this time, I’m not sure what is not clear about threadles/serpentines/outs?
Around/out/back/push are just different names for the same thing -- pushing to the other side of the jump and jumping towards me. In a serpentine case, I don’t even say it as they’re already on the right side of the jumps, so I just run.
Sorry for the delay, but I haven’t got time to up load till now :S I envy that people that can train in his backyard!!! In august we have to drive more than 40km to a club to train :S Our club was closed 🙁
Well here’s the video, the last part is very dark, I don’t know if you are able to see something… I hope that if
Well, but now we’re on September so now we can train more often!!! 🙂
Very nice wraps! The speed might be somewhat better though, try to excite her a lot before the start, maybe make her bark and jump up at you and then reward a lot in between, preferably with a thrown toy. Lots of straight lines/serpentines are good for her too. For mistakes, never stop, always keep going, she looks like as if she is trying too hard to be right, worrying about mistakes too much, so make sure you never let her know about the mistakes!
Yes, he is very worried about mistakes 🙁
Althought I never punish him, neither I never reprove him. I only say ops, and we continue running and I say “ok, don’t worry” and we start again, always playing and in a happy mood.
But it’s true, I repeated the whole sequence, because I want a straight line between 8-9, and he slows down in the next repetitions. I don’t know if he “understands” that when we repeat something is because he did a mistake.
Ok, I’ll consider your tips! 😉 Thank you 😀
He sounds a lot like my Anouka. I wouldn’t say even “ops” with her anymore, just run forward and then be able to reward her for the next successful thing she does. And I think it has helped with her at least.
Sorry, didn’t know he was a boy! And well, with soft dogs, you don’t need to punish them to make them worried! -- Even ops can be too much! And yes, even repeating can be a problem! If that is the case, I always try to make a sequence look different: start it another way and sneak in the problematic part somewhere at the end.
Here is our latest teeter work. I think Bree likes the tug reward on the bottom of the board better than the food. Does it matter?
I see some places where I shouldn’t have rewarded the bang game (#5 & 7) because she didn’t really meet my criteria. Oops. 🙂 Am I looking for more drive on this?
When we did the full teeter, I actually pushed the board down on # 9 & 15. She has been stopping to wait for the board to drop before continuing to the bottom and someone suggested that I slap the board down to let her experience diving to the end. Not sure it’s what you would have suggested but it did make a big difference. At this point I usually just slap the first and last time. I’d like her to drive even harder to the bottom so am open to any suggestions you might have.
Many thanks, Carol
Sure, tugging is great for 2on2off position, you can definitely use it! I don’t like to manipulate the board as I don’t want to make them think it’s unpredictable. I teach driving till the end by making them believe pushing it down hard is great fun -- through banging game. I had some problems with Le as she was offering 2on2off position but was too light for it and the see-saw was moving under her too hard, so she started to hesitate about going all the way up, preferred to wait sooner and then continued when it stopped moving. So I lowered the see-saw again, retrained to 4on and helped with a lure: I ran till the end and waited with her toy there and started to tug as soon as she was there, all the way down (she is very light so it takes a while 🙂 ). That really made a BIG difference and she is perfect as long as I’m close at the end, but we still need some time to get the same thing without me.
Anyway, I think you need some steps in between: either jumping on from more in the middle or lowering the see-saw. And if she still doesn’t drive all the way, I would help with a toy, first waiting with it at the end and then later on leaving it on the floor where it touches the ground (Le’s problem is she doesn’t care about static toys…) to get the same speed without you there.
Thanks, Silvia. I’ve had some trouble getting her to jump on farther back from the end. She’s been pretty determined in her efforts to jump on at the end so I’ll work a bit harder on that. I can also easily lower the teeter. She does dive to the end much better if I run with her, holding her toy in front and tugging as soon as she gets to the end. I was worried about doing that too much because I thought it would make her dependent on me being close, but perhaps I will worry about that later. For now, we’ll have fun combining all these different choices.
I think lowering it will give you pretty much the same effect as jumping on from the side. Helping with the toy helps them understand they can run all the way and that it’s fun, but of course then you still need to work on it also without you there -- first leaving the toy there, then throwing them the toy.
Here is my sequence for Lesson 4. I’m posting most of the 2 sessions I did with Leia today in hopes of learning something from all of my mistakes 🙂 I notice that I need to run forward more as I throw her ball so that I’m not sending her while standing still. Would you agree? What other things should I work on with my handling? How can I be more clear about which end of the tunnel I want her to take? Was my cuing really that bad each time she took the wrong end?
Sorry about the wind noise, we have a storm passing us this week and the ocean is getting crazy.
Looking forward to your advice!
Mara--You & Leia look GREAT!!! Watching Leia in the weave poles was so cool! Looks like a perfect one leg pattern!
I felt like I was watching Elsa when Leia was taking the wrong tunnel entrance & then refusing the tunnel--we had that problem too! And I think one of the problems (besides needing to run more) was my hand signal was too curved & crossed my centerline, flipping up towards my left shoulder (similar to 0.49 $ 0.56 on your video). Elsa (who is way too handler focused) would just follow it & curve around in front of me. Once I started steadying my arm & kept it more in line with the tunnel (like 1.13 in your video) the problem went away. Don’t know if this will help (I’m certainly no expert :)) but I thought I would share this as it seemed so similar to the problem I had with Elsa.
PS.. Glad to see Bermuda isn’t in the direct path of Hurricane Katia!
Thanks Kathy! Yes, what you observe sounds right to me, I’m doing all kinds of sloppy cuing on the tunnel. Poor Leia! Thanks for your suggestions. I’m thrilled that Leia is single stepping in the weaves! I should dig up some old video clips. I had taught her to weave with 2x2’s last winter but, the result was very different. She understood how to get through 12 poles but, did it in a much less efficient manner and had no enthusiasm for it. I’m not blaming the method, maybe a better trainer could have gotten the same result with Leia on 2x2’s (I had great success using it with my first dog) it just seems that the channel was a better way for Leia. It’s nice to have options and I’m happy I now understand how to train weaves using a channel. I’ll post a few photos of my poles.
This is the list of items that I got from the hardware store to make each pole into a stick-in-the-ground:
Hexagon Nut 3/8
Carr-Bolt 3/8 x 6 1/2
Washer hose rubber
Cap 3/4″ PVC
Oh, and yes we are happy that Katia is missing us too!!!
and another photo:
Thanks for the pictures, good to know for my next poles! And yes, channel definitely promotes single stepping, you always get it at one point, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the dog will be able to do it also with completely closed channel, unfortunately.
Thank you for the photos & supply list! My poles look like this but the bolt is a bit smaller in diameter & maybe this is why they are all bending right up under the hex nut. I think I can take them apart & put new bolts in--I hope so! If not, I was also thinking of getting some lengths of Rebar & setting them in the ground a foot or so, then sliding the PVC poles over the Rebar. These would be a pain to move but I think they would definitely stand up to Elsa’s pushing--we’ll see…
Great! Really fast and still tight, I think you can as well raise the bars some! For tunnel entries, the problem is when you are there too soon and stop too early as that often pulls the dog off towards you and in the other entry -- so for now, try to adjust your speed so that you can keep moving with her towards the right entry, but of course, work on sends to tunnels -- when the dog pulls well to tunnels and has good commitment, that shouldn’t be an issue. So clicking for taking the tunnel and rewarding was a good idea, I did a lot of it with Le who is not a natural fan of tunnels as Bu or Bi. I think your handling is mostly very clear and fluent, but sudden stops can still distract her, like for that tunnel entrance and also cap at 2:16. Nice weaves too!
Wow, more height, cool! That makes sense about stopping early. Would it help to spread the obstacles out more? or Just leave as is and work on timing my movement better?
You can definitely try with bigger distances, most dogs like it as it makes you run more 🙂 That way or another, the problem goes away with more experience and more sends.
Hi Silvia! Here is our sequence and you can see two versions, one is the warm-up! 🙂 Second one is wide at #6, I think I was so worried about #5 that I did not direct Arrow enough with a pull of my left hand.
Great job! Even 6 doesn’t look very wide to me, but saying cik there would help, I think you didn’t say anything there? But again: great obstacle focus, great wraps and in time with your handling cues!
Thank You! Funny I feel late to every cue, not smooth to get to turns or fast to change my position. I am trying not to babble so much and now I forget to give verbal cues sometimes. I will practice this more without the dog.
He is faster than my other dogs so this is my challenge.
I’m trying to play a little catch up here between hurricanes, tropical storms, and trials.
I am still working through the serpentine progression and we’ve got the jumps almost parallel. She seems to be handling it fine and we’re starting to be able to get some collection amidst the extension 😉
This week, we also did some more weave poles with the channel more closed and did some entry work. I still need to do more proofing once she’s in the poles, but she’s giving me good work and speed.
I also attempted throwing a toy with her dogwalks again. Ugh, I am a BAD thrower. Sometimes way too late and sometimes straight up in the air. My dogwalk was also having issues with the ramps getting bouncy. Poor girl….I’m amazed that she gave me a few good hits with all that, haha!
Here’s that video:
Also, at Melanie Miller’s suggestion, I am posting a couple of trial runs of Rue’s. I hope that’s okay. I’ve mentioned before that I’m really trying to get more speed/motivation out of her. We are working well on that in training and at some trials she’s giving me a TON of that. However, it seems that either some trial environments are more stressful for her or the courses don’t allow me to run much or whatever and I get a slow dog.
Our last run of this past weekend was slow and she actually checked out on me once, which hasn’t happened in a long time. It was the 7th run over 3 days which is the most she’s done in a year. I guess I’m just wondering what you would do in these types of situations? In cases where she doesn’t give me much effort, she may or may not get a little reward outside of the ring, but then I put her right back in her crate. If it’s a good effort run, I give her a huge party, lots of cookies, and she gets to hang out with me ring-side for lots of attention.
Last summer I only ran Rue on 5-8 obstacle courses at trials because I was trying to get more drive off the line. She’s tended to be slow off the line and speedy fast at the end. That seemed to help at the time and I still will occasionally do this. Not sure that is the best thing for her?? Thinking maybe I should just run her in 1 run a day instead of multiple. Her first run of the day is typically the fastest. She much prefers Standard courses with the contacts than she does Jumpers courses. However, if Jumpers is first in the day I’ll generally get a pretty speedy run.
And again, there is a stark comparison of running speed depending on the trial site. I’m learning which places she loves and which ones she doesn’t so I can avoid those.
Here are runs from our last 4 shows. Thanks for any thoughts. I figured this might be helpful for others on this list?!?!
I just realized that a lot of these runs that I posted from her last 4 trials have me doing a lot of rear crosses. I generally do NOT do rears, but it just happens that I picked these courses to show you, haha. In a lot of the areas I had plenty of time to get to a front cross, but for some reason doubted myself. I do need to be braver…she loves it when I handle “on the edge”.
I noticed yes 🙂 And yes, I think fronts or maybe even blinds would be better. Most dogs really speed up on blinds 🙂
Yes, I love blinds and throw them in when I can with her. She definitely digs them. Like I said, this wasn’t a true sampling…I just threw together some runs over the last 4 trials for comparison 😉
Huh, yes, she sure has many different speeds… You’re already doing most of the things I would normally suggest (starting with her, not stopping for mistakes, marking the good things etc.), but I’m thinking maybe it’s simply because she is not used to run so long before the reward? Speeding up at the end is a pattern I can see in every run. How often do you train without rewarding for 20 obstacles? If you do a lot of it in the training (try to do 10 trainings where you run whole courses only, no rewarding in between) -- does her motivation drop too?
I think it would be important to know what makes her slow. Do you think it’s stress? If she likes to hang ring-side, it’s probably not environment-related stress -- or? For example, I know for Bu that it’s environment (in particular big dogs and yelling people -- if there are some of those around) that stresses her, so I never have her hanging out with me, I bring her in and out as fast as possible and I reward heavily no matter what she gives me as I know she is trying hard and showing her not being happy with not the fastest performance would only make her worry even more.
However, with Rue, it looks more like she just finds it boring to run as long without the reward -- especially in jumpers as those many jumps really are somewhat boring for most dogs, contacts mostly makes them faster. And especially after many runs and many days. If it was environment, I think she would be better every next run/day. I can imagine she finds some environments more fun as others, but I think your major focus should actually be to make no reward be a good sign. Have her heel one step or two and reward with one piece of kibble -- do it 5 to 10 times and then do a really long heeling session with no rewards in between and then a BIG jackpot at the end. Then do the same with tricks. One trick for one piece of kibble or 10 tricks in a row for a big reward. And then one obstacle for one piece of kibble and 20 for a big party.
Anyway, to comment your homework: that toy is not the best for throwing, you would really want a ball for that. However, throwing seems to make her want to do one hit only on a down ramp and that’s not really what you want, so maybe it’s not a good idea for her anyway. Some hits sure were nice, but those from trials for example were more consistently nice, so maybe you should just leave it as it is, it really looked nice and reliable in trials, even with different speeds she had.
The serpentines are going really well and weaves are great too, you can keep adding even more extreme entries and things you do as she is weaving.
Thank you for your thoughts! I wouldn’t be surprised if boredom is a factor, but I also do think there is some stress. Especially when there are a lot of “choices” on course. Her speed varies between trial sites for sure and while I know she’s not scared/nervous like my other dog is, there is something that must put extra pressure on her in those environments. Both of my dogs were slower than normal this past weekend which makes me believe that stress was a part of it.
We’re a very young team and I’m not sure she 100% trusts/understands my handling…which is why I though doing this foundations class with you could help us 🙂
I will definitely try what you suggest regarding having her multiple tricks for more of a jackpot reward. I’ve done some of that before, but definitely have not made a habit of it. Thank you for the reminder!
As far as the homework goes, I’m about to embark on lesson 5 stuff, but will continue with the weaving. So you think I shouldn’t try any more reps on the dogwalk? I have just ordered a new toy that should be better for throwing. If you could have seen my throws, ahhhh, they were terrible. She’s not a fan of balls, so I needed something that we could tug with. Hoping this new toy will work. So the throwing I thought was supposed to get them to extend their stride more. So wouldn’t it be better if she were doing a 4-strided DW and not 5? You think she can’t possibly hit with 4?
Yeap, could be some of a stress too, but definitely work on making working without the reward for longer more fun. Then try to bring some extra fun things to trials, some very special treats, some special toys she doesn’t get on other occasions and similar. Make sure your attitude is extra happy and excited too. Prepare her for things she doesn’t like (like choices) well, train it often to make her more confident about it. You can even throw some more obstacles around those that we need for this class to practice it.
And yes, toy throwing helps with extension and can take the dog deeper with existing strides. But she then skips one and is often too high. She can of course also do it in 4 strides, but it might be less consistent if she then tries it in a trial where she won’t be in her most speedy mode… Ideally she would do either 4 or 5, depending on circumstances (approach speed and her speed while running) and yes, of course you can play some more with it and try again with a better toy, but it can make her DWs worse in trials at first… They really look safe now…
Here are my videos for Foundation 4. I have not made much progress on the serpentine. Paddy is so fast he misses jumps as they get straighter so I have had to backtrack. It has not helped that I have twisted my knee and can’t run so that is why I am so “static.” He took one bad fall which I think is due to uneven ground. Poor boy! I wasn’t able to run much on his weaves but we are working on crossing behind. He can’t handle my crossing unless the approach is pretty much straight on but we are working on it. I worry about his total disregard for his body while weaving -- he just ploughs through -- so I don’t do more than two or three sets at a time.
On the sequence I would like clarification for 5 to 6. Am I supposed to handle them as cik-caps? (I use zip-zap). I have not trained a right or left direction, but think that I could use that as I am so often behind Paddy. He chooses whatever side of the tunnel he wants, it’s not from my direction. Would left and right be useful there?
Here is the serpentine video:
and here is the weaves, teeter and sequence:
Next time I video, I won’t be using a squeaky toy!! And, I am now working on Paddy’s circling and barking. I hadn’t realized how bad it was before I watched the video.
Great! His obstacle focus is amazing, he really searches for obstacles well -- great sends to cik&cap too! Great teeter too and weaves look very independent too, so I think you can start with more extreme rear crosses. The sequence went great, very nice wraps, great send to 4 and then 5 would be more left -- maybe cik for extremely long jumping dogs, but yes, it would be good to have left&right too with Paddy as he is so fast and often in front. It would help with the tunnel entries too as you can correct his line by left if he pulls in too much or tell him right when you wanted the other entry (in this situation). Anyway, you could front cross somewhat earlier on 6. And then a very nice finish, great send to the tunnel and nice precuing of the wrap on the last jump, it gave you a really nice wrap. Looks like you can raise the bars some! Serpentines are not easy with a twisted knee no, but as he has such good obstacle focus, I think it should go well if only you keep angling the jumps so slowly that he still sees it as a straight line. Happy training!
Hi Silvia, Classmates,
I’m leaping a bit behind, still working on the serpentine, so not ready for lesson 5 yet. On top of that we are out for a couple of… I hope days. Keen has cut her tongue! She has a cut of about 2cm. She does not seem to bother but I will not play tug for at least a few days, so no training.
Time for a question then. About the serpentine. I hear you giving verbal commands, is it a “jump” command or just your “go,go” command? It looks to me that for Keen the “go,go,go” really means straight ahead. Once she needs to start bending and I say Go,go,go she runs besides the wings straigth from tunnel to tunnel. When I shut up she will bend. That’s why I was wondering what you are using.
That’s a very unusual injury! 🙂 But I’m sure it will heal fast and you can go back to training. And yes, I saw hop = jump. I think it helps them focus on the jumps when they’re not completely evident.
Hi Silvia and classmates, this is our sequence for lesson 4. We couldn`t train it before, because of the rain and the slippery tunnels. But we did a lot of cik & caps for preparation. However I don`t think that the turns are tight enough, especially the turn on 4. What should I`ve done to let her turn better? What about my arms. Is it o.k. the way I use them? I think it`s a bit indifferent. I added a few multiwraps just to have your comment on them. And the clicker; it is very hard for me to use the clicker while having a toy in one hand and the sequence in my head. Also for multiwraps it would be much better for Fine to click the best ones. I will try it in future. Looking forward to your comment.
Yeap, your handing looks nice and fluent, you’re using the right arms, move smoothly and turn in time -- maybe you bend and wait somewhat more as necessary, but I tend to bend with my PyrSheps too, especially Le as she is so small I sometimes really think she can’t see my hand well. You could give your verbals even sooner though. To tighten up the wrap on 4, try to start with some multi-wraps there, then go to some figure 8s between 3 (in the opposite direction) and 4, then start her from a stay before 3 and only then use a tunnel again -- to introduce the speed gradually and get more tightness that you can reward.
Thank you for comment. I`ll try to do some more multiwraps in between to tighten up the turns. We would like to join your seminar in April too and I`ve got a question for the time in between: will there be another handling class? Or just something like FC II? Otherwise we would be “classless” `til April and this is something I don`t want to think of, because the fun we have in these classes and because of all the things we`ve learned here. We can do something on our own in between but the discussions and the videos do have so much effect on our learning process that I don`t like to miss them.
Sure, I’ll open a handling class starting end of October so that everybody from this class can move on and keep working on the skills learned in this class in a more “real thing preparation” class. So cool you can come in April too!!! Sounds like it will really be long-distances classes students reunion!