teaching my first class

Phew!

Wednesday night I held my first agility class, with 4 lovely people (and 2 dogs). We have a kelpie and a merle border at the moment. Both couples have signed up for the full 5 weeks after completing the first lesson and were really keen and excited about it! So I must have done something right…!

Tell you what though, teaching adults is much more nerve-wracking than teaching 45 kids…! At least with kids I can bluff and be a moron and they won’t know better, or won’t criticise me!

But we did some running and chasing, a bit of shaping, and then a human clicker game which I thought worked really nicely. A brilliant idea I stole from an instructors course which helps people see how to shape little movements into actual behaviours, how important timing is, and how frustrating it would be for a dog trying to figure out what you want.

We then did some tunnel games and that was the end of the night! It went quick! But I think it’ll be fun. I can see where our kelpie will need most work (flanking in) and the border seems to be pretty solid at this point, so we’ll see what he’ll need. Anyway, it’ll be fun, I have more things to play around with next week, and just received another inquiry through my inbox, too.

All in all, a very successful night!

I also found out tonight that if I say “hup” to Lumen when there’s no bar, or just a flat bar on the ground she leaps into the air. Sigh. So I need to stop using that word and retrain a new one. Amazing how quickly she understood that ‘hup’ means ‘jump a bar’. Such a shame too cos it was such a short, easy word. Do I use “over” or “jump”… ? Any other suggestions? Can’t use “go” as that’s my “go fast” word.

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6 thoughts on “teaching my first class

  1. Wait, wait. If you say “hup” she jumps. Right? Isn’t that what you want? or did you want to use it for another command? *confused*

    I say jump… but then, I think pretty soon the dog “gets” that in a sequence of obst they jump when they see a jump. I rarely say it now except for “out jump!” to get him away from me. I also say “go on!” when he’s to go straight and take whatever is in front of him. Working pretty well. Probably you need to use the SAME jump word you used with Mal… I find when I tried to switch commands with Rumble (from what I used for Razor) I forgot in the heat of the moment and reverted back to the old word. Figures (ours was “spot” for contact, which I wanted to change to “touch” but it’s not working). Sigh.

    • Em says:

      Well yes, she’s supposed to jump, but not if that means reverting back to monster leaps, or over-jumping, which is what she’s doing- she’s not recognising that the bar is super-low (eg. literally just lying on the ground) and is jumping as if it were say 30cm high… I don’t want to say “hup” if it’s going to make her do her stupid bar-smashy jumps that I’m trying to fix.
      I’ve found I haven’t had much issues in -training- at least with using ‘hup’ for Lu- Mal’s was always ‘over’ or just ‘go’ but I want ‘go’ to be run fast so possibly I could use over but I feel it’s long and clunky. It’s been about 3 years since competing with Mal though so it’s not as ingrained in my head anymore as if I was still trialling with him, at least. I mean, she certainly doesn’t NEED a word and follows my body -beautifully- and doesn’t miss jumps in an obvious sequence- we’re still working on some bits of a serpentine so a ‘hup’ command there to say: hey, actually, there’s a jump here I want you to take, remember? comes in handy.

  2. ‘Potatoes’

    Because I want to hear you run around a Novice course constantly yelling ‘Potatoes’, ‘Potatoes’, ‘Potatoes’, ‘Tunnel’, ‘Potatoes’, ‘Potatoes’, ‘Potatoes’

  3. I feel your pain… I’m trying to figure out what to do with Ruby’s jumping right now. I think his main problem is thinking that small set-up steps are for suckers. He doesn’t take them even for wraps – he tries to jump long and high so that he lands just after the jump – and succeeds quite nicely on 30cm jumps 😦

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