Wow, it's your 5th lesson already! I hope you had great holidays and you are all ready for your new list:
1. heeling: make the "glued to the leg" exercise more like heeling: still do different kind of turns, but also some normal forward walking in different speeds (slow, normal, fast) to teach them to adjust and keep the right position in every situation
2. figure 8 backward: tell the dog to go into heel position and start spinning as we were doing on the target, then very suddenly stop and step back with the other leg (if the dog is at left side - with right leg), you can also make a gesture with a left hand to try to get them to keep circling below the heeling position, eventually all the way around your leg, so that they come backwards between your legs back into front position. If the dog insists on staying in heel position, you can help with the hand a little bit, lure his head out (left for 90 degrees if the dog is on left side) and say back to have them back up in your direction. Step back with the other leg enough to have them back up between your legs. Reward and tell them to heel on the other side (right) and repeat the process. As soon as you get some smoothness with that, stop rewarding for coming in between, always first tell them to come to the other leg and reward at your side in order to avoid having them back up too far - they need to stay very close to your legs all the time.
You can see the steps at 2:51 of this video:
3. skateboarding: try to find a skateboard (kids department) and reward for making it move with front feet. Don't reward 4on, but 2 or 3, the criteria is they make a skateboard move.
4. cik&cap: find a table leg, dog-food container, traffic cone or similar and shape the dog to go around it - first just a step, then two or three circles, both directions (ideally, reward both right from the start if you are getting it - if not, start with just one, but then on one session, don't reward that direction anymore but wait for the other)
5. fade the object for side legs: if the dog is already heaving both legs up at the same time, click&reward that before he even touches the object, so that he understands the idea is picking them up, not touching something. At the same time, try changing objects as much as possible. Going to vertical objects shouldn't be too difficult, then go to "empty" objects like a chair that looks like an object, but doesn't really offer much support, so at this point, the dog is already free-standing, the object is just there for mental support. Next step in a table leg and then you don't need an object anymore. For a free handstand, you go through the same process, only that it takes longer as it's physically more demanding - you can start working on it, but do not rush it, especially not with young puppies!
6. don't forget on recalls and playing, stays with distractions (you can combine it all in a really fun game), try the hug on a plastic bottle or something similar that is light enough for the dog to hold it and have them hold it independently, add more steps to backing up from you, tape the 4in the bowl trick again so that I can see to what size you managed to get: the smaller the better!
And most importantly: have fun!
Another great list, but I can’t keep up!!! 🙂 I think I need 3 weeks in between lessons instead of two, but that may be because I’m working so many dogs, LOL.
The video for the Figure 8 backwards is very helpful. I’m still trying to get my dogs to give me full circles in both directions on the pivot! I’m really behind on this one.
How do you pronounce cik and cap? I have your DVD and it sounds like tik and tap? I think for me zig and zag might be easier to remember. So we don’t just want the dog to go around it once, but to keep on circling it? So do we reward while the dog is in the circle instead of rewarding when the dog returns to us?
Yes, you do want to have a heeling position without a target already before going for figure 8 backwards. You can choose any two words for cik&cap, you could even use one and cue the direction with body language. I used cik&cap until getting Bi who was struggling with direction unusually long, so I went for cik&tap, if that would help. It didn’t, she is simply not much of a listener. She is very good at directions by now, but it sure took a while for her. But of course, direction is not important at this stage -- tightness is. As our first goal is tightness, you want to reward close yes, by tossing a treat at the base of the object or reaching in with a hand -- so close to an object that the hand is touching it! You can sit right next to an object, to be more precise with rewarding, no need to stay at the distance.
I always used left/right, but I think I’m going to copy Louise’s idea and use zig/zag.
I’ll take some agility classes from Silvia in the future, and I’d like zig/zag to match cik/cap. However, I’m not sure which direction cik/cap are. Is cik clockwise or counter-clockwise?
Wow, I’m falling behind too. We’ve only had a couple practices of side-legs up, holding a pole or heeling… and Dash still can’t sit up (beg). I’m glad there aren’t too many new things this week.
I’m also training for conformation stacking/gaiting, as Dash is going to America for his first AKC shows in a couple weeks. I forgot to teach him to stand-stay or gait, and we just started tonight. Oops! And Dash has his first agility seminar this week with Zsofi Biro, who is visiting Istanbul for just one day. So many things to teach, so little time!
I use left&right too, but for different purpose 🙂 I use let&right for turns after tunnels and contacts and for extension jumping in one or another direction and then I use cik&cap for collection jumping -- in one or another direction, but collection is more important here, that’s why I said one can also use just one word and cue the direction with the body language. I use cik for conter-clockwise.
Sounds like you’ll be very dog-training-busy in next weeks to come! 🙂
We are so far behind we will never catch up! But then that’s the story of my life -- why worry! 🙂 BUT -- we had a skateboard before we even started tricks class. So here is our video from last month with Pippa’s first skateboard session.
Next month we are moving and she will have a huge, fenced concrete patio to practice on.
That sure was cute! I especially liked the part when she is standing on with 3 feet and pushing with one, that’s a great skateboarder in a making! 🙂 Good luck with the moving, I guess that will keep you extra busy for a while…
Tic-Tac ( =cik-cap ) : I started Tic-Tac during summer, but we have a pause since October. So, it’s perhaps a good idea to restart shaping it ( without any cue ) with new objects to get more spontaneous double and triple circles, isn’t it Silvia ? Garlic had fun with 8 between two trees ( 3 to 4 m ) me out of 8 just sending for next 8.
Figure 8 backward : I propose to delay learning it until we (Garlic and me) master lesson 5 1. heeling. Ok ?
Yes, for backwards 8, you need to have the heeling down already… And yes, definitely do some double&triple circles, it’s a very important step to teach them tightness. You can select for the tightest tries and focus on her bending her body while wrapping -- very important for future training!
Hi Silvia and classmates 🙂
Just wanted to let you know Edge is out of action for a few weeks 🙁 He got an obstruction over Christmas and has needed surgery to remove it. Once he is better we’ll get back on track 🙂 Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! Silvia I also wanted to say a HUGE thankyou for all your help with Liryk and her running d/w, we had World Team Tryouts last weekend so missed posting a thankyou to you on the other site.
Megan, Edge and Liryk 😀
Good luck with Edge! I hope he recovers thoroughly and quickly. We had our senior dog at the emergency vet for the four days just before Christmas, so I know how it feels. I’m glad the outcome was good.
I hope your senior dog also is okay??
Yes, he made it. His agility days are over, but he is still with us. Thanks!
Rufus is my 12-1/2 year old Bichon Frise (ADCH, MACH). Four days before Christmas he suddenly could not walk, would not eat or drink, and looked like he was completely out of it. He spent the days at the vet’s office on an iv, and came home at nights. A specialist finally diagnosed a spinal cord infection on Christmas Eve. He is getting better, but his balance is still not 100% and I think it has affected his vision and hearing.
His last agility appearance was at the UKI Open in November. It was a great finish to a fabulous career. I am always proud of him.
Oh, that’s really scary… But very good to hear that he is doing better! Being able to compete until he was well over 12 sure shows he is a tough little guy, I’m sure he still has many happy years to go, even if with somewhat worse vision and hearing!
Oh, that’s scary, poor boy… I hope he is back to normal soon! How did Tryouts go?
Oh, poor Edge! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!!
That is always a scary (and expensive) experience. I hope Edge feels better soon.
I was definitely mentally drained after his surgery (I did his anaesthetic) but he made me smile! While he was waking up the first thing he did was wag a little tail 😀
Today he has his smile back and his naughty pants on, and he’s just started with very very small meals and so far no vomiting 😀
@ Silvia I was soooo proud of Liryk at Tryouts the only d/w she didn’t get was a tight 90degree turn, and I really think it’s just because I got there way too soon 🙂
I actually got on the Australian Team with my other dog Epic and so will be going to Belgium in May to compete at the World Agility Open. Only downside is we can’t take our own dogs 🙁
Thankyou to all the well wishes for Edge!! I’ll pass them on to him 😀
Hi Megan. Hope Edge makes a speedy full recovery!!
I’m sure he will be back in no time! Big congratulations on qualifying (and Lyrik’s DWs, of course 🙂 )! How is that Australia is sending people to this event and not World Championships? And with which dog will you run then if the dogs are staying at home?
Thanks Silvia 🙂
The problem with Australia is not so much getting dogs out, but getting them back in due to the strict quarantine 🙁 The minimum time is 4wks!
So unfortunately we have to run “host” dogs. People that may have tried out with their dog in their own country but maybe didn’t get in, or people that may have multiple dogs that are willing to let someone else run them. This didn’t work to bad for me this year in the UK where my host dog “George” and I came 4th in the 525 height 🙂 And it would be great if I could run him again in Belgium but unfortunately he’s the reserve this time for England 🙂 LOL
So basically we start from scratch again looking for another dog 🙂 So if you know of anyone?
It’s pretty stressful not knowing if you’ll click with the dog, or even if it’ll run for you!! But such an experience that I wouldn’t want to miss out and my ultimate goal would be to take my own dog 🙂
Megan …. dreaming of GREAT things 😀
Yes, I know it’s getting back that is a problem… But yes, it is an extra challenge to run with a dog you don’t even know… For me, it’s easy to run with dogs from my friends who have the same cues and know the same handling, but to run a completely unknown dog, huh… Unfortunately, I don’t know anybody who would be going to that competition to land an extra dog as I think it’s mostly just UK and USA who is competing on that event -- that’s why I was surprised why Australia is going to that one, but not FCI WC or EO? I could easily find you a dog for those two! 🙂 And oh, you actually could come to EO as a limit per country is 16 teams in large, 16 in medium+small and I don’t think Australia is ever reaching that number! 🙂
LOL yes I don’t think Australia is going to reach that number either anytime soon 😀
I went to the FCI WC in Basil 2006 to watch and was soooo overwhelmed with how HUGE it is. The atmosphere is AMAZING! And I was blown away by a lady with her little blue merle doing INSANE tricks!!! and winning EVERYTHING!! 😀 I’m not sure itty bitty me is quite ready for that yet, though it is definitely something I aspire to!! The WAO seems like a nice small event to start with 😛 Such a shame you won’t be there, would LOVE to have met you in person!!
O.k., I actually checked the date to see if I could come, Belgium is not too far and I’m sure my dogs would be happy to run another trial. Unfortunately, we have a trial that weekend that will very likely be selective for WC… So I hope to see you on another occasion! EO for example is really pretty cool! -- Not as scary as WC, but still lots of great teams competing.
Wow!! Thanks for looking!! I’m sure our paths will cross in the future 😀 And maybe if you were ever wondering what Australia was like… you could come here for a seminar 😀 You’re more than welcome in Perth and my home anytime!!
Thanks, Australia sure sounds nice, my brother just travelled there (for 35 hours!) for his job and loves it -- but for me, countries fall into three categories: “can drive and take all the dogs”, “have to fly and can only take one of the small ones” and “no dogs” -- and you can imagine in which I don’t travel often… I think I was dog-less for just a couple of days in last 20 years… -- and I didn’t like it!
LOL yes I thought you might say that!! 😀
Happy New Year!!
So glad to see everyone else’s comments about battling to keep up -- because so are we! 🙂
But I’m thoroughly enjoying this class and all the fun things we are working on. Just love how my boy works.
Yes, this class has pretty intense program 🙂 I included so many tricks as there are some who already mastered some of those before the class, through my DVDs, to keep them challenged too, but if you are starting from zero, it’s hard to master all that in 3 months! That’s why I’m underlining those tricks that you want to address first and you can play with other tricks also after the class is finished, no hurry.
Even the underlined tricks make for a challenging curriculum! 🙂
Pippa and I have had to kind of stop where we are for the next week or so. She has a lovely “zag” -- clockwise wrap -- after just three short practices. It’s time to start proofing it! But after five practices at “zig” -- counterclockwise -- she still doesn’t have a clue! Same with pivoting -- she pivots freely going clockwise. She can take five whole steps now going the other way. She can heel forwards, backwards and sideways on my left — and pivots into position (yes -- otherwise she can’t pivot that way at all!) . On my right ……. So we will stop where we are until the “other side” tricks look at least a little better!
But I already have everything I really hoped for from this class. 🙂 Pippa thinks I am the most fun thing on earth — and I think she is!!!! I’ not worried about the tricks -- my beautiful, quirky, brilliant, hard-headed little puppy will get them all. She’ll just do it on her schedule, not mine. 🙂
That’s the spirit! Dogs learn at different rates and it’s important to not rush them. Afterall, it’s the training as such that is the fun part, not a perfectly mastered trick! And dogs really learn differently. Bi for example looks like a complete mess when we’re starting with something new and looks like we’ll never get anywhere… We often joke she has lots of heart, but not much brain. However, I noticed that in my tricks DVDs, it’s always Bi who is starring in “advanced” tricks section!!! She is slow to start, but she has brilliant generalization skills and once we somehow get her in the right direction while other dogs are already much further ahead -- she all of the sudden beats them all to the end!
And yes, some dogs have very strong preference for one side… It just means that you need to train the other side that much more that she can do both sides equally well at the end, it’s important for their balance.
Hi Silvia many thanks for all your tips and support it makes a lot of fun. I have a problem and may you can give me some advice. We work now with a lot threats and rewarding. As long I do that my dog works very well and motivated. But during a competition like obedience there is not allowed to give any food. I can clearly see that my dog loses his motivation as longer the examine takes. I guess she thinks that she is doing something wrong because of no rewarding. How to you train the dog to stay focused a longer period without giving any food?
We’ll start with the duration training in the next lesson -- and we then take it further in Advanced Tricks class. Frequent rewarding is very important at the beginning stages, when the dog is still learning a behaviour, to give them directions where to take that behaviour. When you get to the final form of a behaviour, you name it and then slowly add duration. For that, they already need to know what is wanted on that or another cue so they’re not tempted to try something else. And then I just give little rewards for short chains, like few heeling steps and huge jackpots for long chains, like long heeling with sits in between etc., to teach them that the absence of a reward is actually good as it means a really BIG reward is coming. I’m not rushing that step though, especially not with young dogs. Hope that helps some!
This topic is of great interest to me too. I have not done a very good job in gradually building duration. Mostly what I am showing in is utility obedience where the routine lasts between 8 and 12 minutes. It is a manageable situation with Secret because she enjoys the work itself as much or more than food rewards. But with my Keeshonden, I have struggled so much because they are not so interested in the work. What I have been trying to do is to make myself more of a reward to them, so that I can reward them with praise and petting in between exercises. But I have so much to learn about how to add duration so I can’t wait to hear what you will say about it.
I’ve embraced the idea from your new DVD about using food to teach dogs to play with a toy. I don’t know if this new play activity will do anything to help them to understand that they are doing the right things even if they don’t get a food reward?
My main struggle with completely positive training is that I am afraid that my dogs will think that they are wrong when they don’t get a food reward. It is a very difficult concept for me to grasp. Because in the early training of behaviors the way that you tell the dog they are wrong is to withhold the food reward. It breaks my heart to think that my dogs believe that they are not doing the right thing just because I haven’t given them a reward. So much of the time I feel like I am rewarding too much. Then I go thru periods where I don’t reward enough. It has caused a great deal of confusion for my dogs I think.
I normally don’t rush them into duration, because I want to make sure that 1.) they understand the exercise perfectly and know it on cue, so they will be 100% they’re doing the right thing and 2.) they have learned how much fun working with me is and by then mostly work for a work as such and not for food. -- But I definitely agree that that part is much easier with a herding breed as with a keeshonden! It took me years to make working with me more interesting for my samoyed as chasing birds in the sky or playing with other dogs… -- And my herding breeds puppies just came to me that way 🙂 I never noticed them worrying about not being right if I didn’t reward, because at the point when I add duration, they already know what is expected from them and the fact that I keep going is their info that they’re right. If they’re not, I will stop and try again. I’ll never keep going if they’re wrong (only if it’s my mistake!), so they know the difference very well.
Can you help with pronunciation of “cik” and “cap”? I always thought they were pronounced “kick” and “kap.” Yesterday, we had a 1-day Istanbul seminar with Hungarian competitor, Zsofi Biro, and she pronounces them “tick” and “tap.” Please let me know so I can match what you use in future classes.
Also, I have to say that Dash was the star of the seminar yesterday out of 14 dogs, including 6 Border Collies. He was sooooo fast, focused, obedient and confident. While other people were chasing their run-away dogs and breaking up fights… Dash happily did all his tricks like “2 left legs up” for tug rewards, and never even glanced at the commotion. I hadn’t yet started cik & cap, but we did at the seminar, and he learned it super fast. After about 10 reps in each direction, I could send him from 3 m away around a post then back around into a tunnel at super fast speed. I guess it’s also easier to do those tight turns when you’re only 30 cm tall. 🙂
Thanks to your tricks class for giving us tons of tricks to show off, and for making me the most fun thing Dash has ever seen. 🙂
Oh, I didn’t know other trainers teach it too now! 🙂 And well, I used to call it cik&cap and then changed to cik&tap as Bi had some major problems with direction and I thought it might help… It didn’t, it’s only time that helped 🙂 but I’m mostly saying cik&tap now. Cik would be pronounced similar to “seek”, I think you can hear it pretty well here:
And wow, so cool to hear that Dash did so well! I had no doubts though, agility is really easy after you master all those tricks and developed a great fun relationship with the dog! 🙂
Thanks for the great video and clarification. Well, I definitely can’t use any word pronounced like “seek.” In Turkish, that’s the 4-letter “f” word. 🙂 I think I might try “zip” & “tap” or “zig” & “zag.”
Maybe not yes 🙂 I think the other two variations are perfectly good, maybe try to use zip/zig for left wrap, to keep things simple -- I once ran a dog from a friend that has same two words but switched around -- that was tricky!