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.
Just reporting in on our progress. We have not trained much this past week due to extreme wet or hot weather and then I was away for a 5 days 🙁
Anyhow, sending her to the tunnel is going much better -- she’s faster and I am working on moving farther and farther away from her (NOTE to self: do NOT practice anywhere even remotely close to a DW or A-frame becasue she will run to them each time! lots of value in them right now)
The cik/cap are not going as well as I hoped, but I am working on and using a ball or frisbee and she is getting faster, but I still cannot send from more than 1.5 meters away 🙁
The weaves -- well, since I read that you said it is ok to retrain (ie. open them up) and still trial at the same time, I’ve decided to do so. I origionally trained using the 2x2 method. I worked all the hard angles (which I did not show on my video -oops) but I am finding it very hard to keep her in the weaves with distractions from me! Soooo -- I opened the weaves up in a channel and and sending her through while I do stupid and crazy things slowly for now. I think it will work.
Sorry no video, I will try and get some this weekend after the agility seminar (but don’t worry, she is not going to the seminar all weekend 🙂 I am auditing most of it)
Great for the tunnel sends: keep it far enough from contacts for now, but do slowly bring it closer&closer. For cik&cap, keep working, adding distance very very gradually (maybe put something on the floor as a mark to then really start only a very tiny little bit further). Great for the weaves, mixing methods for weaves is never a problem. Have fun at the seminar!
Here is my weave video, I left in the mistakes bc I need to work on running the other way. I also need to work on onside weave entrances.
Wow, that’s very good already!!! When you’re crossing his line, it’s still hard for him, so maybe first do it when he is like in the middle of weaves -- they’re less prone to pop out then as if you do it right at the end. Try sending to weaves and immediately running to the other side, crossing his line -- I think he will be fine with that. And then you gradually cross it later&later.
Will do, I have to practice sending to the onside, he curls in. But I can probably send to offside already. Any ideas on getting him closer to the poles and dropping his head. He tends to weave very bouncy and side to side instead of swimming.
Yeap, send from the easy side for now (as I call so called off side 🙂 ). Most small dogs are somewhat bouncy in weaves… And with his not-bending-my-back problem, he is actually doing pretty well. You can try to improve it some by opening a channel just a little bit -- just enough to promote staying close to the middle and then close it VERY gradually, trying to keep the style…
I have a question about spacing of the channel when first training weaves. I am using stick-in weave poles & set them up at 24″ between poles, in 2 rows 24″ apart with the left row closer to me. I had a pretty good session with Elsa with this setup--throwing the ball & releasing her to “go” & she ran right through the channel (need to work on my throwing though :)). But then I went back & read “independent weaves” in our homework above. Am I reading it correctly--should the 2 rows be 1 meter or 39 inches apart? Should I change my spacing?
PS My neighbors are letting me use their field which is big, flat, fenced in, & right by the water! Doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂 I’m so excited! Elsa did great today even with sheep in the next field—guess she loves agility as much as tricks! 🙂
Oh, no, I only wrote 1m to make sure people aren’t starting 10 inches apart (NOT unusual -- some channels don’t even allow setting the two rows further!). It’s better to start somewhat wider as necessary as too close for the dog to succeed. I’m not surprised 24 inches worked perfectly well and you can of course set it even closer within the next session -- it goes pretty fast at first, it’s only later on that every inch makes a difference 🙂 Just make sure your poles within the row are set correctly, not sure if I was clear enough. Looking at just one row, poles are 48″ apart -- and when you bring the two rows together, poles are 24″ apart.
OK, great, that’s how I have them set.
here is our weave training from today. The poles are 20 cm (7.87 inches) apart. I think it looks like I can`t move, but in normal life I can. I have to work on my bodylanguage in training. We didn`t try any crosses or something like that because the channel is too wide and Fine runs fast, too fast for me to try a cross or any other challenging movements. But we had some angles for entries.
The cik&cap and the tunnel excercise will come this weekend.
Looking forward for your comment.
Cool, that’s going really well, you can put it somewhat closer now and keep making entries harder&harder. I know changes are not yet possible, but you can try running and then suddenly stopping, changing direction for 90 or even 180 degrees while running with her, falling, strange rear crosses etc. But yes, very nice speed and hey, she is fetching the ball now!!!
Yes, she is fetching the ball that is why we didn`t edit the whole video, I wanted to show this. And she loves her ball and the play “bring it back and then I´ll throw it again”. I`m really happy about this…..
Now the running contact training is much more easier too. We can have more than one or two runs.
Le is the same. I used to have 6 balls at first of her training and by the time we lost/destroyed the 5th one, she didn’t need more as one anymore 🙂
Sorry, something went wrong………..
We didn’t train for a few days because we were traveling to and from a trial (my other two dogs are competing). Anyway, here is Synergy’s progress (unedited video so you can see all mistakes:-)
Cool, the multiple wraps are getting really nice now. On figure 8s, I can’t see much and from a tunnel exercise I can only see that she is driving more now 🙂
Yes. Sorry about that. Both jumps on the figure 8 are there when I edited but when I posted to YouTube, they were cut off. I think I had it widescreen and it won’t post that way. Anyway, I will do more later today and will make sure the jumps and tunnel are in frame.
Hi Silvia and Classmates,
Here is Synergy’s session 9 of all 3 tasks. I think she is getting better at all 3 things. I notice that her commitment to wrapping left is not as good as her commitment to wrapping right. She pulls off the left turn wrap if I start to run in the other direction too early. Her weave pole entries are pretty good, as well as her independence. She also is much quicker sending to the tunnel. I believe she really likes this game now:-)
Well done! You 2 have been working v hard. I love her collection w cik/cap on figure 8 🙂
Thanks, Camilla. It feels good to document the training with video and actually see the progress:)
Yeap, very nice progress! Some VERY nice wraps (and I can see it now 🙂 ) and yes, MUCH better drive for that tunnel!!! Great job!
Hi Silvia, here our cik & caps. I don`t know, but may be her caps aren`t as good as her ciks. Should we add some height? What about the speed in the sequence? I think I should run more forward in the sequence…? The tunnel excercise will be there tomorrow.
Looking forward for your comment.
Yeap, ciks are great, caps could be better… Maybe add height on ciks, but not on caps yet? And practise caps more. And yes, the speed is GREAT, don’t worry 🙂 You run enough, she is going really well ahead on her own, so… Great job!
So, as I said in my introduction, I am behind in my training. I’m glad I have this class as motivation to keep it up. I had done just a little bit of circling a cone prior to the work you see on the beach with the cooler…so these 2 sessions are REALLY early in or cip & cap training. I decided to use just one word because I KNOW I will not be able to remember to use 2. But when I processed this video I noticed that all I am doing is squeaking continously which is a tad bit embarressing and I will try to stop. Also when I went to video these sessions I was amazed and dismayed to find that Bea has no send. What you see her doing to the tunnel is after we started running about 30 feet behind the camera. Ah well, I best just post this, warts and all. It can only get better, I guess. She is awful cute, though, eh?
Oh, and the big poodle in in a coat is my old dog Pogo and the other big Poodle is Gabriel. I sometimes get Gabriel out to get Beatrice more excited.
She is very cute! Her little ‘booties’ are hilarious! Grace thought you were the best squeaky toy ever. She jumped up to the computer and was very impressed 🙂
I do squeak….not sure why…. Kisses to Grace
Really cool weaves! And hey, really cool place to train!!! Very good stays, very nice multiple wraps, very good placement of the rewards, very nice speed after the ball, but yes, very handler focused, she is watching you so much that the speed to an object is not nearly as good as after the ball… Your goal is to have the same speed running to an object as after the ball -- knowing that the ball is coming for running to that thing. Once she understands this game, the commitment will get better too, so let’s focus on that first. She seems to learn really fast, so I think you’ll catch up in no time. And yes, she sure is too cute! 🙂
oh good, I’m glad you think we are on track. Too bad I don’t live at the beach, it was a short vacation, and I figured I better train there because I was so behind. She does look ahead for the thrown ball on her dog walk, so I think she will get the rest soon.
Hi Silvia, Classmates,
Here our second video. I moved the wings closer to the tunnel as a start of obstacle discrimination training. I have the impression that Keen’s right turns are a bit tighter than the one’s to the left. In one occasion I did not really reward a left turn since I thought it could be more tight. Overall I’m really pleased. The sending is not that convincing yet but I have the feeling that Keen will pick it up.
Looking forward to your comments and tips!
We are off for a 3 day “life” seminar now with Polona. It’s going to be fun!
Love the editing on your video. Really nice review of our exercises for me. Hope your seminar was successful.
Yes, I’ve noticed two people using the fade on editing their video. What program are you using? I’m experimenting with a AV4YOU and Windows Movie Maker.
I use I-Movie (Mac). Mac applications are just so user friendly, everything is easy. I edit the video’s since I think it saves Silvia a lot of time.
Lois--I think Windows Movie Maker has this same feature. You can preview the different transitions under “Animations” when your curser is at the beginning of a new segment in the timeline. Just hover over each option to see what you like & click on the one you like to set it. Hope this makes sense… 🙂
Lois, we are using Windows Movie Maker.
Cool! Nice and tight! Thanks for reminding us on obstacle discrimination! For other participants: when you are working on the one jump and tunnel exercises, do set them as close as Inge did and mix it up a little for more fun and some obstacle discrimination work at the same time! Just set the jump for 90 degrees differently, to send to the jump from the side, not from in front.
Here is our 3rd session with channel. Azja never did weaves before. We started it with this class. On the first session I have restrained Azja right in front of the channel and she didn’t have any problem with running trough the channel. Today I was sending her from different places but still close to the entrance. Sometimes she was confused. She loves running and she knew that she will have to run but sometimes she run forward no matter where poles were 🙂 She is very tight (I don’t know english word but I mean that she is prepared and ready to run, I hope you see that on video) before I release her to running. She cannot wait when I release her. Do you think I should go back to easier entries? To restraining her in front of the channel again? In the end of this film I did very easy entry. Thanks for help! This is very difficult for me. Very often I am late with a reward because Azja is faster than ball…:) And I forget about many things when I do sessions. For example, when Azja came back to me with her toy she was going trough the channel poles. I think this was incorrect. Am I right? I didn’t notice this on the training but when I watch this movies I see that I did wrong many things 🙁
You two are doing a great job! I love watching your videos 🙂 Azja is v cool
Oh, no, it’s no problem if she comes back through the channel, but it would be extra cool if she went through the whole one 🙂 (see my video of a second session with Le, she goes back and fourth for rewards). But yes, definitely go back to restraining, you can feel better then if she is going for the right entry or not and you can make it easier if you feel she is not pulling in the right direction. You can also set her more exactly. Maybe even put something on the floor to mark where you are starting and to be able to make it more&more difficult very very gradually. That was too difficult yes, you got too much mistakes. Don’t worry, it’s no big deal, Azja doesn’t seem to mind, but do go more gradually yes. Have fun!