finishing on a good note

So Silvia wrote an article in Clean Run on not needing to end on a good note when training agility- that, infact, the opposite could be true- if the same mistakes keep happening, call it a day, go back,review what happened… and for some dogs, the fact that you’re stopping the game is enough for them to think about what they weren’t doing right…

Which I really like…

In principle.

In reality I am so useless at this. Seriously. I just watched a horrible video of us practising weaves today and it went on, and on, and on. And I saw poor Lu go from enthusiastic and running, to confused and demotivated. UGH. I suck as a trainer. Seriously. I just find weaves so hard. I don’t know why. I don’t know why she does and I don’t know how to help her. Today she worked pretty well at a 90 degree angle from a left-hand entry but anything slightly harder than that and she’d go out wide and miss the third pole. Over and over. Moved her closer, no luck, tried shaping with food, no luck, moved the 3rd pole out so it was wider- worked for 2 turns when I made the angle a little easier again, then back to going wide when I took a step to the right. I don’t know… Do I go to 4 poles and just train it that way? Do I reopen the channel more? I think she’s so much thinking about the ball and running fast to the end that she’s not really concentrating on what happens at the start at the moment. I think I could not reward this for eternity right now, and JP the good ones and I don’t think she’d know why. I’ll be interested to hear what Silvia thinks. Maybe I’ll use less poles. And put some in the backyard. And try and not train them obsessively. And like, set a timer or steal borrow a chalkboard from school and tally-mark each try and stop at… 7… or 10… I don’t know.


Also, very angry. I set up my 2 jumps on 400mm, 7.5 meters apart and started working on her extension jumping. The 1st go was a disaster. Massively. Smashed the bar up- I was worried she’d hurt herself actually… but then… a few more tried and she started to look nice. Long and low! I thought it was filming but when I came back – NOTHING!!! So I couldn’t even check if she looked as good as I thought, or if she was taking off from a nice spot of what. But it’s ok, cos I’ll do it again next time- more jumping practise like that can’t hurt… it’d just be nice to know. She was definitely taking 3 strides rather than 2 really long ones & jumping from far though so that’s promising.


Anyway, you don’t get a video because it’s terrible. You can imagine my poor, tired, confused dog in your mind.


One thought on “finishing on a good note

  1. Penny says:

    I swear video cameras are out to get us!! I had EXACTLY the same thing happen two days ago!! I almost punched the video camera in order to feel better…. yeah! Anyway I also have had that same constant thought about ‘not having to finish on a good note’ and I have realised….it’s not Badger that needs it to finish on a good note…its ME! If things end badly in the session I know I have 24hours to obsess over the problem. If it ends ok, then I wont OCD as much 😉 I am making his sessions go for waaaaaaaayyyyy too long at the moment. If I get to the park and I have hauled all those damn tunnel bags up the hill and then he has smashed all the bars….I don’t wanna stop!!!!

    So glad to be able to read this stuff on your blog

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