Lu and I have been having super-fun-times at the agility field lately, but I feel like we’re slightly unbalanced, and we’re repeating things we love and can do well and missing out on things that need work.
For example, we’ve been doing lots and lots of extension/collection exercises in straight lines, and also lots of serpentines (and working out kinks with them as they appear) but then I noticed that if we’re doing a sequence and she needs to wrap and I can’t ‘show and go’ (show her the wrap and run off) she slows right down as if to say: uhh… why are you standing around? When in fact I can’t move because I need to be there for some reason.
So this week, we’ll be working on those little sequences from our foundation course, but actually breaking them down into 2 or 3 jump sections, and rewarding, possibly from hand, after those parts where I have to stand still. Hopefully this will help her understand that it’s just as fun to do those wraps cos you get to play, as it is to do the ones where we keep running all the time.
I’m also going to go back to playing the ‘race to the bowl’ game. Our weaves have been pretty meh lately, but I think that’s in part because I don’t have a consistent reward system with her for that yet. With the ball she gets too obsessed and forgets the job, and she doesn’t race to anything else. So I might play race to the food a bit this week on the flat, and down a straight row of weaves. Lots of repetitions of that should build a good base so she is confident of where the reward is, and hopefully gets there with speed. And if not, I’ll pretend to eat it by myself. And if she does a good fast one, she can eat it and then we’ll play.
I think in our Foundation Class we’re going to be working on doing the back side of the jump- something Mal was always so useless at. I think I’ll use the word “Push” and I’m excited to give it a try. Possibly it’s threadles, and I’ve always hated threadles (again, Mal was no good) so it would be so lovely to have a dog who could do them, and do them well.
I’ve also been working on a little side project, but I need to speak to the woman who owns the land my field is on before I unveil it (Hi L! If you’re reading!). And I revamped the blog a bit. Not sure if it’s the ‘final version’ yet, but I’ll keep tweaking.