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.
I have a cik/cap question. I planned posting a video but I killed my camera battery and didn’t realize it was not taping anything on our practice sessions yesterday and it will be a few days before I get back out to the arena to get it filmed. We are making really good progress, she is sending much better both with the jump & tunnel, faster and happier. The problem is, she has crazy herding drive more than any of my other BCs have had and her reactions are so quick! (obviously much quicker than mine) She progresses nicely if I am stationary or moving very slowly but if I mis-time my movement or move quickly she reacts so fast, flips back to chase me before completing her circle. I did a lot of running chasing games when she was a pup where I was working on her turning with me and I think once I start moving she thinks that game is what I want. The good news is if I don’t mistime she is really tight, but I am not sure the best way to work thru her reactions to my motion. Even when I train with it on trees, objects, she will circle multiple times but pull off if I move quickly. If I am still or moving slowly she can do it. Is it just a matter of more practice or do you have any good tricks or tips? (should I get the cik/cap video? Does it explain the process of working thru handler motion?)
Her weaves are coming along beautifully and she is doing very well finding the entrances already from angles, she loves the game and drives very fast. The tunnels are also getting much better, I found a couple ball/rope style toys and we are combining fetch with tug and she does like it more than just tug, it is still not the same drive as for just a plain old tennis ball, but it’s better than it was for just tug. She’s a funny dog, for a puppy she is very businesslike, even though I work hard at keeping everything fun and exciting, and she is having fun and is excited but she is very serious even when she is playing:)
Sounds great! It’s normal she pulls off for now, just keep adding movement gradually. If she has great weaves, then you can practise quick moves there -- if she can ignore it there and keep focused on her job, then she will eventually transfer it nicely to other areas of agility too. Of course, you don’t need to take it to an extreme, you don’t want to run completely different directions as the dog 🙂 -- you just want to be sure she commits well enough that you can leave her some on one part of the sequence to be able to get where you are needed next. So do send a video when you have one, because as I said: you don’t need to take it to any extreme.
with the weaves & the dog walk it seems to make perfect sense to her that her ball will be out there, as soon as she knows that, she could careless what I do:) The exercises where the reward/ball/toy is coming from me makes her eyes glue to me and then it’s really hard to shake her (but of course I did train her for that, so I’m sure not complaining). I’ll just keep at it gradually, and not get crazy weird with it, she is a very smart little one, so I am sure once the lightbulb goes on that I want her to finish the circle no matter what it will all click.
Thanks! I’ll try to get some video soon.
I think tricks are great to teach that concept: “want that ball right there in my hand in front of your nose? Well, go do something”. That’s why I never felt the need to reward from my mouth (NOT that I would think it’s bad! -- I just never felt the need for it): when heeling, I hold their toy/treat right behind their head, in a free moving hand, and they know very well to simply ignore it until they hear a click. Sends require the same thinking: to get that toy right here, go forward and it’s yours 🙂 It’s easy once they get it.
I agree, it’s a great way to train for sure. The only issues we have run into every now & again is she went thru this long stage of freezing up when I had the ball, she would just get stuck in a border collie stare & stalk, unable to think, move or offer anything, just fixated. She will still occasionally do it, but once she remembers that she has to move again to get it she will offer a behavior to get the ball moving again. But it took a bit of work to get her past it.
Here’s a little video, of a little of what we got at the arena before the battery quit and some of our training at home. It’s been really hot so it’s all very quick short sessions and the reason for the unconventional rewarding for some of the cik/cap:)
I will do some more trick work with her ball in my hand to get her better about ignoring it. We have lots of tricks to work on for both classes:)
ooops, guess I should probably add the video:)
That’s a good start! All you need now is some more practise 🙂
Here is my first training video with Sparrow. I know I really need to work on multiple wraps for Cik & Cap. Hopefully tomorrow I will work on more of the exercises.
Great stay, great speed, great sends -- but yes, some wraps could be tighter, so some more multiple wraps would be good.
I am curious what I am doing differently. Some participants videos show with a photo and some with a link address. My link does not seem to have worked.
The problem is in a “user” part that you included. The correct form of a link is httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v= and then the ending letters/numbers, in your case Eza06p8PNNU what gives you:
Here is my tunnel and cik/cap video. No weaves yet, battery died.
I am still doing tick/tock with a single pole and food to try to get him closer to the pole. In the puppy II class I was using a cone bc it was the best I had for inside. Now I am using a single stick in the ground pole.
Laura and Blast
Too cute, what an angry little dog 🙂 No problems with the tunnel exercise, still wider on a single pole as you would expect! His hind end keeps swinging out… How is he turning if you ask him to spin left&right just like that, without an object -- does he bend the back some then and spins on the same spot or not? Anyway, it’s definitely much better as it was already, so just keep working that way, I’m just wondering why…
here he is spinning without the pole
Ups, you need a different name for a spin as cik&cap is always a send to an object that needs to be wrapped, never just turning like that. No big deal if you did one session, but you definitely can’t practise it without an object, I just wanted to see how he turns when he spins and his rear-end is actually swinging out some too… Maybe try to do some stretches every day, put him in a stand and have him get a treat you hold at his hip -- things like this. Might help with his jumping style too if he learns that he can bend his back 🙂 It might take a while to see the progress, so meantime, you can still throw in some sends too so that you can work some on that too.
In addition for bending the back, should I go back to puppy tricks and do the one where he puts four feet in a small object, but get the object very small so he has to bend alot?
Oh, yes, that’s a good one too! Good idea! Was it hard to get him in small objects?
Unfortunately Sassy and I cannot participate for now because she has an intermittent limp. Vet says there is no bone damage but rest her for 4 weeks. I am taking her to another Vet for a second opinion next week, so I am hoping I can continue before the class finishes. Damn, I am not happy but I want to make sure Sassy will be OK, so for now no more zig/zag or running. 🙁 Anyway the weather is crap and freezing cold down here so I will just have to watch everyone else’s video and keep an eye on how you are all progressing.
Oh, so sorry to hear about it… Keeping my fingers crossed she is back to running soon! You can also switch to autumn class.
Thanks so much Silvia for your offer to switch to Autumn class. I am seeing the vet next Wednesday, so I will wait for the diagnosis before I decide what to do. I will let you know.
Let’s hope for the best!!!
Get well soon, Sassy!
here a video with our last training, I don´t know if I´m doing the rigth trainning with the weaves. Acqua is too wide in the 8´s exercise 🙁
Nice and tight on a tunnel exercise! Getting there with harder entries on weaves, don’t forget to also slowly add more movement as that seems the biggest distraction for her. And yes, even on just one jump, she is wider as you would expect, considering there is no bar… Did you do enough multi-wraps first and rewarding for tightness? To me, it looks like she doesn’t know it’s about being tight, so I would go back to multiple wraps and click for tightness.
Should I go back and do multi wraps around a pole or around a jump wing? I taught her with that orange cone that you see back.
Multi wraps are not going back 🙂 You should keep working on those all the time. You can either do it on a pole or a wing -- I prefer a pole as you can see better if the dog is really tight, bending the back and everything -- but then you of course need to do them on a wing too before starting to use wings for other exercises.
I decided not to use any equipment because I needed the long line in case he runs off. So just sends and NOT running away for this session, also tried some treats inside the sock.
Is this ok for practicing sends? Outside food works better than toys. Even with food it’s like he is doing me a favor 🙂 Do you think if I keep putting treats in the sock he will learn to play better? Thanks.
It’s a good start, good for teaching them to really take off from a restrain. But the “see that food/toy right there -- go ahead, wrap the object to get it” is an important concept for them to get too.
I have a question about restrained sends. We got Spur’s fancy new harness this week and she is getting used to wearing it and will work with it on. My trouble is that she really isn’t too keen on being restrained. If I pull back on it, instead of giving me resistance, she will just sit. She does want the toy so that isn’t the issue. If I give her her release word she will dash around the jump or through the tunnel to get the reward, but she won’t pull against the harness to get to it. The same thing happens if I put pressure on her chest instead of using the harness. I get a sit or a down as opposed to pushing against my hand. This is the first time I am training this way so I’m wondering what I’m missing.
Well, you could try to just hold a harness (no pressure) and shape from shifting weight to eventually put pressure on it. -- Or, you can just let it be and start her as you can see in Kaisa’s video. Restrain is helpful when starting off, but you can definitely do without it too, no problem.
Thanks Silvia. I had a lesson yesterday with Spur and my instructor and I worked on restraining her with the harness. At first she would sit, but eventually we got her to a point of pulling slightly. We’ll continue to work on it and hopefully she will soon be a pulling fool!
Hi Silvia and classmates, Here’s my last video for this session. It’s a short weave pole session throwing a heavy toy that has little action. My biggest criticism of myself in this is my poor throwing ability. It’s exciting to have the image of Bi’s commitment in mind as we add angles to the poles.
We ran into a baby bear on our run today. My Pyr Shep ran it up a tree right next to the trail we were on. Nero went to check it out, but I firmly called him off before the momma bear showed up. We boogied out of there pretty fast.
uh, scary! we saw a big alligator on our last bike ride! I just pedaled like hell, Buddy racing behind me.
Nero is a big handsome guy now!!
How scary! You are very lucky! There have been quite a few bear attacks this year already that I’ve heard about around here. Good thing you were able to call your dogs off! I don’t think I would have been able to 🙁
Cool, getting there! And well, I’m sure glad we only meet deer and rabbits 🙂
Wow, and I’m just glad that we only meet rabbits and kangaroos..:)