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 is Nessa’s cikcap video. I am using the words tik and zap. After watching the video I realize that there are some things that I need to improve on. I misunderstood how I should put the two jumps but left in the videos since Nessa did fairly well on them. I used food at first and then switched to a toy. I should make sure that Nessa doesn’t choose to start with out my okay. I should also be careful how I reward the last jump when doing figure 8s. I caused her to go wide I think at least once and another time she didn’t realize it was over. I should perhaps run more at the end on some of the tries. I wasn’t using a clicker but using praise. I would prefer if she didn’t bark but realize that she is excited. This is something new she is doing. It makes training at home in the backyard difficult due to neighbours and potentially a sleeping husband. I also had and sometimes still have problems with my older sheltie barking at me on course and refusing obstacles (especially about tunnels).
I must confess that I haven’t been able to keep up with all the other posts but will try to catch up.
Yeap, be careful with how you place your reward… Make her go even more in (bigger % of a circle) for a reward instead of taking her out (less of a circle) -- meaning that you always need to finish with a front cross. Sends and speed are very good, but tightness could be better, that’s why you need to pay attention to it. I would also do some multi-wraps within figure 8s, just as I suggested to Jonina, to make her see it’s still the same game as on one jump and that tightness is important.
So here is where we are as of today:
Cik/cap is going much better I think. I am using a ball which she likes to chase. I still feel we have a long way to go, but we are getting there slowly. I have not added a bar even on the groung yet nor have I done any figure 8’s.
The tunnel is getting better too. I am able to send her to it from farther and farther away. She runs fastest after a ball, but to practice the FC and post turns, I am using a frisbee that she likes to tug and chase. I would still like to see her run even faster, because I know she can run much faster 🙂
The weaves: well, since I have a trial this weekend and one of the runs I entered her in is ‘weavers’ I am still practicing on a full set of closed 12 with not many distractions. I am however also, using a channel (for the first time in her training) to add distractions slowly in the training sessions. Here is where we are. You can see that she has problems finding the entry from the right side of the weaves even with the channel. But she is running through the channel even with my silly distractions (which would have pulled her out normally)
Also I have a question, should I reward on me or throw the reward my way when I am turning and running in the opposite direction or if I am running on an angle? I am afraid that if I don’t I will teach her to just go forward and ignore my position AFTER she has completed the weaves. I’m not sure if I am explaining it right or not.
Thank you, now back to catching up on all the comments and videos!
Wow, that’s a VERY good speed on all the exercises!!! Definitely a great progress! Very nice sends, but yes, some of the wraps and some of the shoulder pulls could be tighter… Select for tightness some when rewarding! With weaves distractions, I reward straight forward for quite a while -- but then start to vary. With Maia, I would keep throwing ahead for a while. It’s no problem if you are using closed weaves in trials and classes as we’re not re-training -- we’re just doing some additional training on it with a channel. Keep making things harder there, you can also put it somewhat closer.
Hello Silvia, here’s Toby’s video on the left side wrap. I use “seek” as right side wrap, then “sap” as left side wrap. The figure 8 video will be up tmr. Im still waiting for my tunnels to come, so we will work on the come to hand after i get the tunnel.
Thanks a lot and pls let me know if anything i need to improve on with Toby.
Very cool, very tight! You can definitely add some more height! Also, try to move with him some more on sends to push for more speed -- you want the same speed running to the jump as after the ball. The shoulder pulls and front crosses, you can practise also after a send to a wrap, in case they come late.
Ok I’ll practice the shoulder pull and front cross after the wrap, I need to make sure that I have a clear pic of doing that lol
Yes I wanna speed up his running to the jump as well, so I’ll try to move with him to see if it speeds him up, thx a lot!!
Well, it’s the same thing, only that he is not coming out of the tunnel, but out of the wrap 🙂
Here is more multi-wrap cik&cap work around a pole. I’m working to keep Matilda tight. It’s not too much fun for her doing this, but I think she’s doing all right. I put some sends in on the end of the video. Is she tight enough there? She likes chasing me with a toy which i throw for her for her reward, but it would also be good to have a good tug with her. She will tug a little but that’s not her favorite thing. Do you have suggestions on how to make tugging more interesting for her? How can I get her interested in tugging? Are we ready to work wraps using a jump?
If she prefers chasing, just use that for a reward. You can make tugging more fun by mixing it up with chasing: having a toy on a string, making her chase it, then let her catch it, tug some and then let her chase it again. On figure 8s, she is still not as tight as I would wish for, but well, yes, let use two really low jumps and then do some multi wraps on each, running from one to another to make it more fun. Maybe doing it on a real jump will make it easier for her to understand you want her tight?
Hi Silvia, here is a video from our last training session, we did some sessions with a pole, they were good. We are doing now multi wraps with a jump wing without a bar. How do you see Acqua? should I raise the bar before we do the sends an 8´s?
With the salom I´m a little stucked, with dificult entries if I move before she takes the first pole, she misses de entry, so I decided to do the slalom from straight line and began to move before she takes the first pole and do a couple of sessions like that… is that right?
O.k., yes, you can do it that way… As the problem seems pretty big, though, I think I would actually go back and work on it with a channel. You can do figure 8 without bars too, multi wraps definitely look good enough that you can try it and if it goes well, you can also add some height.
thank you Silvia, yes it´s a big problem and I don´t have idea how to solve, because I think if I work too much doing slalom from a straight line it will be a problem for her when she has to do the dificult entries…..
I was thinking about retrain her slalom, How do I begin with the channel method? I have never done slalom that way. Maybe you can give me please a short explanation about channel.What do you think about using wires or guides?
I don’t like wires/guides -- it’s sometimes not a problem if using them, but some dogs tend to rely on it so much that they’re hard to fade. And I never felt the need for those anyway. So I prefer to know what the dog is learning 🙂 See my instructions on how to set a channel and then some videos to give you a better idea. Let me know if you need additional explanation.
Hi Silvia, here is the video about cik&cap and weave poles. i try to motivate Doucette with her toy first and then i reward with food.
I re-opened the channel, there are a lot of mistakes, we have work. my agility field is at our week-end’s home so we need time to progress 🙂
Well, she sure seems to like the channel! Keep working like that, you can make it even wider to have less mistakes, but she sure has great speed! Wraps could maybe be even faster, try to leave earlier and further so that she needs to chase you more. You can also race her into the turn more. Maybe you need different shoes? 🙂 Also, make it really short and intense, maybe 5 wraps and then a break. Do it at time of the day she is most excited, like before breakfast and dinner, before a walk and similar. Love her new summer look! 🙂
Okay, I apologize in advance if my video brings up issues that have already been discussed. I’m only about half way through the pages of comments under this lesson. I wanted to post our start with the channel to make sure we’re on the right track before proceeding. I trained Leia to weave with the 2x2 method up to the point where she can weave 12 poles but, I found her motivation to weave lacking and her speed inconsistent. She would weave fast the first and 2nd time through but, then get slower with each try. The weave training I did was in March/April/May and since then we’ve not done weaves. I thought maybe the channel method could help Leia realize that weaving is fast and fun. I do notice that she will try to weave through one row of poles sometimes when we were doing the channel -- but not often. One of the times was my fault when I said “go” which was her 2x2 cue to weave and another time I accidentally rewarded it. She seems happy enough to run through the channel which is good. My ball throwing needs improvement but, here is a compilation of our first few sessions.
Yeap, that looks really fast and independent, the only thing is that the distance between poles in one row is double as what you’re using… For now, you can take every other pole out, but you’ll soon need something else… Maybe some stick in the ground poles?
Thanks, I didn’t realize that! I’ll work on getting some spikes I can use with the poles I have.
I decided to work on some cik&cap with a jump. I think Matilda is staying pretty tight. Are we okay adding the bar? I’m able to use this ball for some tugging as well as throwing, but I would love to get her interested in a long tugging toy. Any ideas on how to make that transition? She likes the ck& cap more with a little bit send. Is this okay. What should we be working now?
Why do you prefer tugging over a ball? To make tugging more fun, be more active, move more, growl, let her win and then “attack” you with a toy etc. For multi-wraps, please see Gabriel’s video, that’s how they should look like. Do NOT pull her off the jump and then send back to a wrap, that doesn’t make any sense. You can use two jumps and do two/three multi-wraps on each before sending to another or you can keep circling her on one, but she needs to be as close to the pole as possible ALL the time, no pulling off!
Yes, I am still on lesson 1 😛 We were behind because we added the class late, so we’ve been working on the stuff we were supposed to work on before class started as well as lesson 1. Here is a video of Indie (my other Border Collie) working on Cik&Cap. We are still working on restraint training, since I have never done this with her and I’ve been training her since she was a baby (she is now almost 5), she is taking to it kind of slowly.
And here’s a video of Swift working the tunnel again. I use both treats and tugging instead of the ball this time -- which one do you think works best? Am I doing it right?
As far as weave poles.. Indie knows weaves, but they aren’t very independent. I don’t have access to any channel weaves right now, is there anything I can do to work on independent weaves without channels?
Cool, the cik&caps looks good, you can add a little bit of height. After the tunnel, do something specific, either a front cross or a shoulder pull and reward from the side, not facing her, to teach her to come to side too, not just front -- see some videos of others to see what I mean. You can work on independence also on normal weaves, you can first leave her toy at the end for her to have something to focus on to make it easier while you do some strange things.
Here’s the video of our remaining lessons of lesson 1, sorry I’m late! I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong with the front crosses or it’s supposed to look like that? The first one look really good I think, but the rest looks as if she knows too soon what she’s supposed to do 😛
Very nice, fast and tight! The front crosses look great, I think she is somewhat late on a first one, but very tight in all others 🙂 Time to make a channel more narrow.