So... Here is the plan. As agility is easier to show as to explain, you'll be getting your homeworks in video form. You'll always get some new assignments, but you need to keep practicing the old ones too - we'll be checking back on those here and there, so don't forget to keep working on those!
1. restrained send to cik/cap - the purpose of this exercise is to play a nice chasing game, while teaching great sends, distance work and commitment - see how early I can start running in the other direction when sending Le to the jump.
Things to pay attention to:
- height: If you only did cik&cap on other objects so far, start with a jump now, but without the bar for first 3 sessions: and then put the bar VERY low - max. 5cm (2 inches) for smaller dogs, 10cm (4 inches) for BC size and bigger. You can then add some height every 5 sessions: 3cm up for small dogs, 5cm for bigger dogs - SLOWER with young dogs! If you already did cik&cap with more height, do this exercise on your normal height, send a video and I will tell you if it's o.k. or you need to make it lower.
- distance: Start the dog very close to the jump first and then further&further every next try to slowly add distance. If the dog turns back to you (as Le does once in my video) or waits for you, start closer again and add distance more gradually.
- angle: Note from which angle I bring Le to the jump and in which direction I run away to reward. The purpose is to teach them to jump close to the wing, NOT in the middle of the bar! That's why I always do this approach FIRST and do lots of it before trying any straight approaches.
- speed: You can't expect much speed with multi-warps, but you definitely want it now. Restrain the dog, wait for a good pull, let him go and run away for them to chase you&the toy. Make sure the dog is rewarded when still moving - don't stop and reward: run and reward! 🙂
2. If the first part goes well, you can also do some figure 8s + chase it game: it's the same game, only that you use two jumps now and run from one to another, sometimes still rewarding the first wrap, sometimes 4th, sometimes 2nd, sometimes 5th, sometimes 3rd... Note the angle of the jumps and the distance between them: you want BIG distance to get good speed - something like 10m. Again, you want the jumps under this angle to make sure the dog is jumping close to the wing, not in the middle of the bar. DON'T do figure 8s on one jump, it teaches the dog to jump in the middle!
3. restrained send to a tunnel (obstacle discrimination!) + come to hand vs. go game
Restrain the dog very close to the tunnel, as he is pulling towards it, say "tunnel, tunnel" to them: pulling in the direction of that thing is what you want when you say "tunnel" - and then let them go. Slowly add distance. Later on, you can add more obstacles (jumps&contact) close to the tunnel to make the discrimination harder: only say "tunnel" when the dog is pulling in the right direction, you can feel it if you hold him. You do the same with jumps: call cik&cap and release to the jump that is first the only thing around and then add tunnels closer&closer. The goal is teaching obstacle discrimination AND actively pulling towards obstacles you call (as opposed to hanging with you, waiting to take them all the way to each obstacle).
To train even more things at the time, when the dog is out of the tunnel, either call to hand and when he is at your side, either do a front cross or a shoulder pull (see the video) and reward for closeness - OR say your magic "run FAST" word and throw a toy ahead when the dog is catching up with you - meaning that you're moving in both situations, do NOT stand still when you send!
4. independent weaves
If you haven't started weaves yet, set 12 poles in two rows (left row must always be 60cm/24inches closer to you when you stand in front of the channel in order to teach them correct entries), at least 1m apart, restrain the dog at least 3m before the channel, throw the toy through and release. As the dog is running to his toy, sometimes just stand back, sometimes run after him, on both sides, sometimes far, sometimes close, sometimes run and stop, sometimes run and turn etc. The purpose is to teach the dog to ignore your body language when in the weaves and complete the task. Slowly switch to a static toy 4m after the channel, bringing the two rows closer&closer as you practise independent performance (I'm using bowls with treats with Le as she isn't too excited about dead toys... - but I quickly switched to a toy, thrown after she is out then to get more speed). See the video for some ideas on what to do when the dog is in channel. If the dog already knows the weaves, send the video of how independent it is. If it's not, go back to the channel.
Here are examples of our progress.
Remember Arrow is 10 months old and 3 months new to me so we have a lot to work on and somewhat overwhelmed and confused!
Although the channel weaves video is a struggle to watch, it gives a good idea of how much more we need to develop play skills and relationship.
Any suggestions and instruction is appreciated.
Thanks for a great class!
Very good sends and commitment! I think his toy drive is great and I wouldn’t worry about a victory circle with a ball. Keep working with two balls and laugh with him when he does the victory circle and the problem will disappear as soon as you won’t perceive it as a problem anymore 🙂 You can also close the channel some and try the figure 8s with cik&cap.
Thank You! It is fun to watch him run the yard with his toy for laps so I can have fun this way too when he victory circles.
At 10 months old and about 20# (I think that is about 10 kg) would you start increasing the bar heights? Right now we sometimes use 2″ but not higher because he gets wider turns.
Sure, you can put it on 2″, but then leave it there for a while, until he is really tight on 2″ -- and then add an inch or max. two. No worries we would come too high too soon, we still have plenty of work on that height!
We’re back working cik&cap with one jump and a tunnel. I hope we’re doing better here. I’m feeling a little discouraged. When we’re coming straight on to a jump is it normal and correct for her to jump in the middle but then turn tight to the appropriate side of the jump?
Good luck and have fun! While you’re gone, we’ll keep working for tight turns and speed. Maybe we’ll try a little more height as we do better with turns and speed. We can work on Teeter bang it and 2on 2off, too. We’ll have lots to work on.
Way too late with your cues!!! And yes, ideally, she would be tighter as that… She can jump in the middle if coming from straight, but turn before or in the air, not only after… You don’t need to mix in the pushes, simply work cik or cap over the jump back to the tunnel etc.
Back from vacation here is our 1st lesson.
This building is new to Wylie but it works well in the summer heat.
1. Weaves to bowl and to Toy: I included the weaves to the bowl target training issue. We had not done weaves for awhile so I put the target out for the first few times, but as you can see from the video he pulled out and got rewarded (I had a treat in the bowl) then he kept pulling out. The next video I removed the bowl and just reward with the toy. I am trying to mix up my body position more than I normally do. I opened the channels up to one inch since working on body position. He likes to weave.
2. Send to Tunnel: One issue is he likes his toy so much I have a hard time getting a hold of him to do restrained recalls. I really don’t want to use the collar due to breed trachea issues so I should maybe get a harness like you do?
3. Sends to left and to right: are these tight enough? The jump up a bit at 4″ which is half his normal height. I would like to get more of a restrained send but going well. Is this tight enough?
4. Figure 8s: in the video this is the 2nd or 3rd time we have tried figure 8s.
Thanks Sara and Wylie
One more question on the sends to jump and figure eights…. am I waiting too long to take off and run?
It’s o.k. for this stage, but do work on his commitment by taking off earlier&earlier.
O.k., real quick as you might be much further along by now: Sure, you can use a thrown toy vs. a bowl with food at this stage of weaves. Keep making entries more&more extreme. With such a small dog, I would be adding height more gradually as I would prefer tighter wraps… But then, I wouldn’t obsess about tightness too much as with those legs, he won’t be very wide either. With small dogs, my major focus when teaching cik&cap are sends/distance and commitment as those are much harder with smaller dogs as with long-strided dogs, so that’s actually my major focus. Restraining by harness makes it easier, but it can also be done without it, of course.
Silvia, we did some weave work before my sister packed up her beautiful poles and headed back to California on the weekend… I practiced running way ahead and farther away laterally in a V-line from the poles, but forgot to practice staying behind : (
I can get my stick in the ground poles out this week and work on that
Question: Do I want her to single step through? she naturally does that two paw bounce… but I notice she gives single-stepping a try in the channel… should I encourage that? Or is that physically harder on the dog?
and we are still pretty lame on kik&cap
I have four more days to work before we leave on vacation without Stella… I wonder what of foundation and running contacts she will remember when we come back? We have never left her for so long before…
For this size of a dog, single stepping would be much easier on her body, so yes, I would open the channel and encourage single stepping. You need to work some more on independence and entries anyway… Why did you do 13 completely straight entries anyway? I don’t think my dogs see 13 completely straight entries in their whole life!!! 🙂 I would open the channel even more and focus on entries and independence with way more extreme distractions as running forward (see my video).
For multi-wraps, you need to show it better yes. It’s also easier if you stand at the side vs. infront of the jump. Combining it with tunnel is good too, to give her more speed, but angle the jump for 90 degrees, as I’m suggesting the whole class already. You don’t need to do so so extreme pushes to the back side as you do on a video, focus on tightness of turns and speed instead.
I often give my dogs a break from agility and they never forgot anything, not even when they’re very new to the game, so I wouldn’t worry about it at all.
she CAN do all kinds of entrances, so I don’t know what I was thinking!!! Obviously not much.
so here now, I switched it up some… but notice how I have to verbally encourage her to go-go-go when I lag behind her and I am not running too!! what to do about that? sometimes she even stops, but then goes right on with go-go-go!
Hm, maybe try with a static toy/treats after the weaves for her to have something to run too also when you are hanging back. She needs to learn it doesn’t matter where you are.
here is last two session in weave poles…
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Cool! At one point, however, you will need to switch to normal, wooden poles (as I guess that’s what you mostly see in trials?) as after working on the soft poles, wooden poles can be somewhat depressing for the dogs. Le did great on soft ones and then needed a while to accept the wooden ones too -- much less fun for the dogs!
what are soft poles versus wooden poles?
on this video it’s a normal weave poles, what can be opened to do a channel, or closed to be normal weave poles.
Ah, o.k., I thought those were plastic “stick in the ground” poles as the most common ones come in that colour. They can push them some out of their way (see Gaby’s video of Bono -- or my video of Le) and once they learn that, they often don’t like normal poles, especially if they’re somewhat sensitive. Le was not impressed by normal ones at all.
Oh oh oh, I’m so behing this class! But if you don’t mind, I will try to catch up (can’t help always training the running contact more than other things)..
Here is part of lesson 1 (she started to limp, the sun was setting and she was very unmotivated so I decided to stop for today). The height of the jump is about 5 cm. The tunnel is very short, I have ordered a new one that is longer. Today it was very hot and she didn’t want to train. But, as I wanted to film the lesson I gave it a shot anyway. Perhaps it is also not bad to show the suboptimum?
I hope my husband is healthy again tomorrow so he can look after the kids and so that I can film the rest of lesson I and lesson II and hope to make lesson III midnext week!
Here we are working on some basic skills, cik/cak progressing from height increase to 4″ from 3″ just 3 days ago. I am clicking early to encourage tighter turns but this is not working! He is just now starting to understand Cik/Cap means even if I am not moving or in other places. We are doing repeated Cik and Cap but it is slow learning because my timing needs work.
Sends are sure going great now!!! Great speed and enthusiasm too! Tightness could be better, especially to the right, multi-wraps should help with that. Keep up the good work!
Okay I’m really behind but here is my first attempt at posting -- I hope it works!
Great, nice to meet India, she sure looks fast and enthusiastic, so I’m sure you’re catching up in no time! Sends to wraps and figure 8s, try with jumps angled for 90 degrees now to practise the harder side approach too, not just front approach. But she sure looks nice and tight on front approach! Still, I would work some more on sends as for now, she doesn’t really pull ahead, but is waiting for you and pulls off easily. To get nice send and pulling ahead in figure 8, you do need to say your verbal sooner though, not in a very last moment. Multi wraps, I would do those on lower height first, she doesn’t seem completely comfortable jumping that way -- is she used to multi-wraps from lower heights or not? You definitely want to start them on low jumps!
Weaves look great, but keep working on difficult entries and add some strange things as she weaves to proof her understanding of staying in. Great run in a trial, contacts sure looks fast! I think she knocked that bar as she tried to turn some more in the air, I think she didn’t know how big of a turn there is: cik would help there. Does she mostly knock in straight lines or turns? If on turns like here, I think it’s because she doesn’t have enough information when taking off. Cik&cap should help with that, if you say it in time. Left&right would help too, I know Bu wants all that information to keep all the bars up and will knock immediately if not provided with all the required info 🙂
Thank you so much for your reply. She is very noisey isnt she! I will get working on what you have suggested for sends to wraps and figure of 8’s. Your correct, on reflection I probably didnt do a huge amount of multiwraps on low jumps so I will do some work on those as well.
I will add some strange things to the weaves I have watched your lesson 1 clip again so I have some more ideas! Do you think I dealt with her ‘failures’ correctly, i.e. bringing her back and making her work it out then rewarding when she got it correct? She does have a strong shaping history so she doesnt seem to be demotivated by it???
Yes she does knock most of the poles on turns, I’ll have a look back at some other video clips and post some pole knocking. Pole knocking is my biggest frustration at the moment, we keep having lots of runs with one pole down and when I look we are the fastest with 5 faults ;-( Again on reflection your making lots of sense, she needs me to give her more information. The problem in the past has been if I have talked to her too much that also caused her to be distracted and knock so I became scared of saying anything at all which is probably worse! I guess its a balance between cueing her calmly with good timing and not screaming at her manically as she is in the air jumping ;-)!
Thanks for your comments I’ll get working on them.
Thanks Louise and India
Yeap, you’re handing wrong entries o.k. Still, I would probably go for somewhat higher successful rate and add angle somewhat more gradually. And yes, late cues are even worse as no cues, many dogs will knock a bar if you talk to them after the take off, trying to adjust direction. But not talking is no solution either as they will sometimes notice from your movement where you’re actually going and still try to adjust and knock… They need to know well ahead: as soon as front feet hit the ground after the previous jump, I’ll tell them how to jump the next one: left, right, cik, cap or straight. If the bar goes down, I know I was too late, that’s the immediate feedback I get on how well I’m doing with my timing 🙂 Bu sure taught me to be in time!
Nice weaves! At this point, you don’t really need targets out, just throw the toy at the end. Also, don’t forget to sometimes stay close to him and crowd him, any sudden changes of speed and directions are much harder when you’re close to the dog as when you’re somewhere far and static, so that’s important part of proofing too.
Thanks for the advise, we’ll already working on this for our video for lesson 4 🙂 !
We learned the weaves by the 2X2 method. Our experience with it is that Hyper learned it very quickly and had super entries. But when we start competing it was terrible, like he has never seen a weave before! I guess that on competition a dog like Hyper was so excited and couldn’t think about it like on training.
Yeap, could be. Another possible problem is exactly that people often train weaves being static and/or far from the dog: but then of course run in a competition and that confuses the dog. I try to push and crowd the dogs in training just as often as I train staying behind or far -- and I’m rarely completely static as I’m never static in a competition 🙂