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 the video on figure 8
Very tight! But could be faster! Don’t reward by throwing a toy at him, it stops him -- reward by throwing a toy so that he needs to chase it, that promotes more action/speed. Also, spread the objects further apart, so that you can move more, that will give you more speed too.
Got it Silvia, I found out that I threw the toy at him when I was watching the video lol I’ll try again with him. Thanks a lot 🙂
Here’s our first video of cik & cap figure 8’s. I’ve been doing more cap with her because that was her wider side, but it looks to me like cap might now be tighter than cik. I left in the two times she pulled off because I can’t pick out why that happened. Something in my body motion or just needing to go closer to the jump?
Neat music overlay. After watching your video I realize that I need to go back to this exercise and start to spread my jumps further apart.
me too. the running in between helps my dog to build speed and is a big motivator for him. can’t send him very far though.
Hey--better workout for you!
Yeap, Carol is using really nice distance between the jumps! It’s important to keep it far to promote speed!
Cool, very good to spread the jumps that far, that gave you great speed and good opportunity to practise sends. Of course, it makes pulling off more likely to happen, it’s normal, but it goes away with better understanding of what cik&cap means, just make sure you say it in time (using it as a send cue). Great job!
Ok heres my first video, if it works, probably won’t. I know it’s a bit late but it’s been raining like crazy here so havn’t been getting much training.
I’m not sure about Buzz’s cik and cap, he seems to understand where to go but he keeps knocking the upright bars as he’s trying to wrap so tight. In the video I’ve got a jump bar on a bit higher and the first couple jumps went well but then he crashed. To try to make it easier I left it on the lower height but you will see he keeps banging into the bars and I’m worried he will just keep doing this as we go up in height and he’ll keep on knocking them. Otherwise I think he’s got good drive, he gets excited when he sees the poles!
No video for the tunnel but he is driving very well towards it as he loves it! The only problem I’m having is when I do a front cross he turns so quick he grabs a hold of my legs!
For weaves we have previously been doing susan garretts 2x2 but it hasn’t been going all that well so I’ve started the channel. He’s picking it up quite well, racing through and staying in until the end most of the time. Will get video some time of that.
All right heres the video for cik and cap, I’m thinking the file might be too large as it took ages to upload to youtube (my first video so new to this) even though it’s only about a minute
(yay it worked! yay for me!)
Yeap, it works perfectly 🙂
Wow, what a great dog! Love his speed, accelerations and flexibility! His turns look perfect -- almost too tight as he is hitting the stanchions with his shoulder 🙂 Hm. I never had this problem as our jumps are not as light (it’s always wood or metal), but I think the problem will go away with more height, he won’t be THAT tight then anymore, so I would just keep working on it. Great job so far, looking forward to see the rest!
Thanks! Those jumps that I use at home are just pvc piping so they’re very light, I’ll have to practice more with the metal poles we have at my club when training starts again. His problem though is he doesn’t care if he hits it, it doesn’t hurt him, as long as he gets to his toy quicker! I have a similiar problem when he’s jumping his full height, he’s going to be in the highest height which is called 600 here in Australia but he flattens out when it’s at that height. He can clear it easily, no prob in that regard but by flattening out he gets to his toy faster! To him a dropped bar really doesn’t matter!
Well, flattening is good when you want extension. But he should of course still keep the bars up. Bi was the same, though, she doesn’t even notice that she touches the bar when in drive, her major goal is to get to places FAST and didn’t mind crashing into poles with her head, shoulders, whatever… What helped A LOT was making the jump look “stronger” by hanging clothes, buckets and other objects on bars, setting many double and triple jumps, setting one bar somewhat higher etc. That got her attention, she started to look for jumps more and knocks less even on normal jumps. HOWEVER -- I only recommend that for dogs as you describe: good jumping style, but just not caring. If the dog has a jumping problem (bad style, stutter stepping, taking off too early etc.) “stronger” jumps will make it worse -- as they actually care too much and would need “softer” (lower!) jumps to feel more relaxed over the jump. To address bar problem, it’s very important to first diagnose WHY the dog is knocking bars.
We’re not finished lession 1 allready, because we had a 3-days seminar with Polona and needed some rest afterwards. But we will catch it in!
I think he often jumps to the wrong place at full height, has to be closer to the wing?
Would multi-wraps helps for this?
Nice right wraps -- much wider on left wraps! Focus on left wraps now, you definitely need to do many multi-wraps and sends to the left wraps, starting with maybe even lower jumps as the lower one in your video… Right wraps were very nice on that lower jump, but yes, so with those, you can start on that height, but still go up VERY gradually to keep that tightness. Great sends to the tunnel, nice and tight on shoulder pulls and front crosses.
Here is our 1st part of Lesson 1.
I came back from overseas holiday 3 days ago so these are only lessons I have done so far. (I’ve done speed reading and quick looked at the important videos/comments but not everything)
*Cik/Cap (I am calling Cik/Tap) mix of Bar on the ground and Bar 5cm up.
*Tunnel with front cross and shoulder pull practice.
He doesn’t pull to obstacles! (He doesn’t like me grabbing his collar) so I am trying to wait for him to look at obstacle for now. I will get harness in the near future.
I will post cik/cap with height, (let me know if he is ready for height) figure 8 and independent weave soon.
Sorry for late posting!
Thank you :)
Emi & Niah
ps; I am enjoying lessons and reading/watching so much!
what a great classes!
Very cool! Nice and tight on cik&cap, you can definitely add some height. No problems with tunnel exercise either -- he could maybe drive some more towards it, but I think it will come with more practise. When you do a front cross, try to turn for 180 degrees, as if going back to the same entry of a tunnel he just exited.
Thank you for front cross advice.
As he doesn’t like to be restrained from his collar, He is destructed and starts with slow run so I was thinking of how to make him excited about running faster 🙂
I will try to restrain him on his chest and try again this week. Hopefully this will improve his drive to obstacle. Thank you again.
If you think he would start faster from a stay, you can as well start from a stay! -- Or from doing a simple trick. I like restraining for building obstacle focus, but it’s certainly not the only way and you definitely don’t want to do something he doesn’t like!
Good point! Thank you for your comment!
He loves spinning and barking trick, I will include that before obstacle too 🙂
Dudley takes pleasure now. It starts well undestanding CIK / CAK.
It is much faster on these phases of training. In training it’s become a much faster dog and I like that. But it’s still hard to see progress in the competition. This speed increase is not felt yet … I may have to be more patient.
Yeap, that’s definitely faster, but I would aim for even more speed, so I would really do everything from zero: the bar on 10cm, one jump only (from the angle I showed) and a wild game of chase and tug after each one -- no food anymore. I would also open a channel and work some more on entries, independence and speed. Multi-wraps, I would first do with no bar, to have him very close to an object all the time, not going to the middle of the bar. If you’re going to retrain, I would definitely do it radically and go for really full speed this time, not just faster as before.
I took the beginners CIK CAK, without the bars. with only the chandeliers.
I made three 30s trials with Dudley. There were some jumps failures. Dudley on some jumps in the middle of the bar. But the others seem better. It wraps around the chandelier. what do you think of this training? At the same time I work on Dudley configurations on short (4-5 hops) with no fence bars to keep the speed. Do you think this is a good choice?
Cool, that’s definitely faster! To promote speed even more, put the two jumps even further apart so that he can run more inbetween. To keep him tight, do figure 8s, front crossing every time -- he is somewhat wide on some tries. And I’m sorry, but I don’t totally understand your question… Can you rephrase it? Or maybe just pose it in French?
I’m sorry. English was never my strong point. And google translation IS a bad teacher ….
To continue to gain speed in Dudley. I work on short, simple series of jumps (4 or 5) on which I removed the bar. He runs at full speed. Should I continue or do I enter a bar (10 cm) in the middle of configuration?
Yeap, Google English is hard to understand 🙂 I would keep working as you say, very short fun sequences with no bar at first and once you’re completely happy with his speed and tightness without the bar, you can put a bar to 10cm to all the jumps.
I watched Gabriel’s video. It was very helpful. Matilda and I have been working on tight multi-wraps. I worked with both treats and toys. The toys tend to make her more excited and less tight, but I think we’re doing better. Matilda finds cik easier than cap. When I used the jump, she dropped the bar several times doing cap. Are we okay doing the jump at this height? What should we try next? More height, more distance, or more speed?
Yeap, that’s a great progress, especially with ciks! Time to focus on caps mostly now. When she is fluent at both, try sends to one jump again to introduce more speed. And if she stays tight, you can try the figure 8s again. At this height, they tend to knock a bar as they don’t see it as a real jump yet, so at this height, I don’t worry about it too much, just stop and put it back. It usually goes away when it becomes more like a real jump (about 16″ or 18″ for big dogs I guess), that’s when I start to focus more on it if it’s still a problem -- but usually it isn’t.
Gracie and i need some help!!
This is the first session that i’ve put a pole on the wings. Unfortunately this is the lowest it can go. She is knocking it off almost every time. Do i worry about that at this stage? I think she knocks it when i say “YES” and start to pull out the toy. Wld you agree?
I’m doing multiwraps but she doesn’t seem to like them v much. I forgot to reward her with the toy right next to the jump like you showed, do you think this is part of the problem? Tonight at the park i asked her to do cik around a pole and she didn’t want to
I was trying to break down the sequence and do a couple of wraps at each jump bc she is usually tighter on the second go. Was that a bad idea? She seemed to get a bit confused. In the end, i decided to do it w my pretend dog to save her the confusion … Hope you have a good laugh at me 🙂
I must warn you -- Grace has had a radical haircut! She looks like a lion. I did it as a joke but then decided i quite liked it! I was going to take a few photos and then shave it off but this way she’s got half her coat to keep her warm and only half the dreadlocks!
ha, Camilla, too cute! She actually looks very stylish, like she’s wearing Chanel Haute Couture. You’ll have to call her Coco!
Buddy just plows through the bars too.
I like the part where you are running it by yourself 🙂
Thanks Jen! Yeah, i think she looks kinda stylish too with her sexy legs and her fancy Chanel black jacket 🙂
I hope you got a giggle out of seeing me trying to do the course all on my own 🙂 I really had no idea how to do all the moves so it really helped me
Nice haircut 🙂 I think she is doing really well, she seems very fast and happy with her multi-wraps at first and it’s o.k. to mix them up in a sequence too, but with much more showing from your part. Use your hands to cue what you want! When you just stand there, it doesn’t make any sense, so she is trying at first and then gives up. Also, only do it for really wide wraps, that one was actually perfectly o.k. If you know she doesn’t like it too much, only do a couple at the beginning, as a warm up, and spend the rest of the time sequencing, she seems to like that.
When you’re running the sequence without her, you’re somewhat late with verbal cues, it’s important to get used to saying it early enough that it will still be early enough once bars go higher. For now, that’s not much of a jump for her, so I wouldn’t worry about the bars just yet. But do try to reward the tries when she is not knocking it…
Thanks Silvia-that is great advice! YES, that is my problem -- standing there like an idiot not moving just saying some wierd word to her -- you’re right, she would tries and then gives up. I’ll try doing more sequences and just use multiwraps for warmups. I hadn’t noticed about my late cues either -- Thanks so much 🙂
Grace has been asked to do a tricks show at a cinema for the opening of a new australian film “red dog”. She is doing it with her boyfriend, sprockett, (the dog she hugs in her grad film). It is going to be in front of 400 people!! Don’t really know what tricks to do. It is supposed to be about a 10 minute show -- I’m sure Grace will have a great time but bit scary for me! 🙂
Wow! Don’t forget to post a video of your show for us as well! 🙂 Good luck, you’ll be great!
Very cool! 10 min is A LOT, very good that she knows that many tricks!!! Please post a video of the show!
Yeah, they wanted 10-15 min which is WAY too much so thanfully they’ve added 2 extra dogs which takes the pressure off a bit. I’m so nervous bc when Grace gets overwhelmed she grabs my sleeve and tugs! I’ll post a vid, but it could be embarrassing! 🙂 Performance is 3rd Aug
Cool, looking forward to see it, I’m sure you will do great! I don’t think Grace will feel the need to tug your sleeve at all and if you still happen to see she is thinking in that direction, just stop her by asking her for her favourite trick. And if you can have treats, that should make things easier too.
oh, wow, how cool!! You’ll be great, don’t worry. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!!
Catching up on lesson 1…finally received the new tunnel & weave poles I ordered, so here is our video. I just started using the food bowls--I had previously thrown the ball & Elsa had a lot more speed through the channel. When I first tried to switch to food bowls, she ignored them & looked back for the ball 🙂 so I’ve been putting steak in bowls which she likes better than kibble. Am I doing this right? And should I start moving the food bowls? And when do I start closing the channel?
And for the tunnel--I haven’t been running as much as I think you want us to because it gets Elsa a little “over the top” & she has been nipping at me & the toy (ouch!). Any suggestions for this?
Why did you switch to food bowls??? The ball is perfectly o.k.! But yes, definitely start starting her somewhat off line. You can also bring a channel somewhat closer (maybe for 2 inches first, but then more slowly, once it gets more narrow. The nipping will go away once she has better obstacle focus… So lots of lesson 1 exercise 1 practise!
Oh, duh…I guess I switched to food bowls because that was what you used in your video. 🙂 Thanks for setting me straight! She’ll love working for her ball again! And I’ll love not having to hold all that slimy steak! 🙂
Well, different solutions for different dogs 🙂 The problem I had with Le was that static toys are no fun for her and I couldn’t throw straight enough to throw through the channel, so food bowls were a good temporary solution, but as you can see, I then switched to throwing balls -- as soon as she didn’t need a visible target at the end to focus on anymore.
Hi Silvia, I’m auditing the course and have a question on the weave poles. Currently working my 9 month old BC on channels that are separated about 24″ apart. Working entries from various angles, body position, and motion. What is your criteria to start closing the channels? I do not want to have my pup actually weaving until 14 months or later due to the stress on the back, joints, ligaments and tendons, etc. you mentioned you move them 2″ at first but then more slowly. How close together are they when you move more slowly? I realize this will depend on the size of the dog.
I start moving them in more slowly when the channel gets so narrow that the dog needs to start weaving some. You can definitely close yours a bit, I close it some almost every session.
Here is Lesson #1, sorry it is late. I seem to be spending more time on the RC class!
Cik & Cap:
I introduced Bender to cik & cap in February. We have progressed slowly starting with just the jump wings, bar on the ground and then increasing the height by increments of 2 inches. Bender is now jumping 20 inches. I use “dig” for both wrap directions. I also use a verbal “around” for the back side of the jump. I work small sequences of 3 or 4 jumps and a tunnel. I try and practice all my handling as well. I have tried to maintain the tight turns as I have increased the height, distance between jumps and speed.
Bender just turned 14 months today and I have just started the weaves. I am using the 2 x 2 method -- it is really popular here. I will be working all the different entries and adding my motion with 2 poles, then 4 poles, then 6 poles and then 12. I see that most of my classmates are using the channel method. If you are interested in watching Bender’s progress please let me know and I can post some video. By the way I loved your lesson video with all the proofing of the entries and your motion. It has given me an excellent picture of what the end product should look like!
Now on to editing Lesson #2.
Shona and Bender
Wow, great job! Very tight and fast! Why don’t you do figure 8s at the same height too? Very nice sends and tightness in tunnel exercise too, but do try it while moving too. It’s important the dog knows to come in also when you move, not only when you stop and call. If you need to decelerate so drastically for every collection, you need to be very fast to still be able to be reasonably close to the dog. It’s much easier when you can run all the time and ask for collection more subtly 🙂
Thanks Silvia! We have worked really hard at getting some nice tight turns. I only wanted Bender to see collection first before I started any extension work. Normally I do the Figure 8’s drill with just the wings to remind Bender to be tighter and do his “regular” cik & cap height on sequence training. I didn’t realize how much I stopped with the collection on the tunnel sequence. I will work on that -- since I know Bender is going to be so much faster than my present agility dog……..
Yes, I also always start with collection. I think it’s good to do figure 8s with bars too, to challenge him some more. If that makes him go too wide, you can again take them off for few tries and then try again with some height.