Video

some little videos

First of all, how cool is this little guy?

Oh… that video didn’t work (why is it only 1 second?!). I’ll put the proper one up tonight.

 

Second, here’s some of Lu’s training. I was SO impressed with her being able to hit and get that jump off to the side (first run was a NR)… obviously still needing to work on a tunnel pull, though it is very close… I think what I’ll do is what I’d done for the last run, where I’d pulled the ‘push’ side away a bit, so the only real option was to be pulled in. Obviously my timing wasn’t great cos she got confused about where to go but it looks like it should work anyway. 🙂 And the threadles are coming along- I think the theory is, once they can do this really hard version of a threadle, the straight line ones will be easy!

loki rave

I just can’t stop raving about my puppy and nobody except agility people really understand so you’re going to have to listen to it here.

The other day I took a tunnel and some wings down to the park. I wanted to do Silvia’s pretty simple wing – tunnel – wing cik/cap/tunnel drive exercise. I thought: he’s great at driving to tunnels, he’s great at driving to cik/cap, let’s combine the two.

Well… I think what happened was that he’d come out of the turn fairly wide (my bad, time for some re-wraps) and then run past the tunnel. It blew my mind- why is he running PAST the tunnel!? Then I realised that the only tunnels we’ve really done have been curved tunnels which involve me standing still and sending, not running alongside. So when I start running alongside, he’s thinking: “Wrapwrapwrap and RUNNING YAY!!!!!” and it was the cutest thing because he’d do the wrap, run along the tunnel, then send out to wrap the wing at the other end. So we did some tunnel stuff… Then I was at school early this morning so dragged out a tunnel, made it straight and used nearby bushes to wrap him around… And suddenly he could do anything I asked. Hitting the tunnel entrance from a hard angle while I was running? Check! Wrapping and running into the tunnel? Check! Doing stuff like this (using a threadle arm ALA Justine Davenport)? Check!

threadle tunnel

(Loki’s path in the blue)

 

And I’m really making sure that even if he finds something difficult, like when we did the above little sequence thing and he went in the tunnel straight after going around the bush that I’d still reward him, every time. Just the rewards for doing it the ‘right’ way would be a bigger party, and I’d have made my handling more obvious in the meantime.

But you know, it’s just so nice to not feel any stress about him. I think that’s the main thing, and one of the huge differences with him and Lu. It’s so natural and easy for him, and he does it so quickly and with so much drive that I don’t worry about how he’s going to go later on in sequences or anything. He’s so responsive and seems to just ‘get’ this stuff that I don’t feel any need to train anything. Everything we do is just cos he loves working and we can go out and have FUN playing around with this stuff. He’s just a really cool little fellow.

 

Video

graduate BC

And now it’s Loki’s turn.

I was really lucky with Polona’s class because she let us video and comment on more than one dog, so although Loki is SO not lacking in motivation, I did lots of the stuff with him, too, and focused on getting a retrieve. I’d say that within the last 2 weeks or so he’s really got the hang of bringing me toys back to continue the game, but it was certainly much more of a process than it was with Lu!

 

goals: June update

A few days late of a month this time, but let’s check in on my goals from May

 

The other day I went through my goals from a month ago and realised I’d done some of them! So here’s our new goals:

Self:

  • Allow calf to heal- give yourself a week off from running. If at all possible. Seriously. 2 weeks would be even better. Update: Well, this was going ok but then I had competitions to get to. It feels pretty good today so I’m going to try and be careful and if I do some RC on Thursday I’ll try and not overdo it. 
  • Continue to watch your eating. Update: Umm…. Yes and no. Nic was away for a couple of weeks so while I didn’t overeat, I didn’t necessarily get lots of nutrition, either.
  • Look into an exercise bike on Gumtree Update: Nah. Let’s face it, I don’t like bikes, I don’t have time to bike without taking the dogs, and the idea of being on a bike when Lumen sees a kangaroo or something is quite terrifying (assuming she’s attached to it). 

 

Lu:

  • Continue proofing weave entries but more especially independence once IN the obstacle. Been injured, haven’t really had time. 
  • Train one-jump body awareness and obstacle independence using OMD techniques. Whoops, forgot about this one.
  • Dogwalk exits. Find a good starting spot for consistent hits and then try different pulls/pushes etc. Try it into weaves, an almost-90-degree exit onto a table, etc. I was doing this and as a result shook her confidence a bit. I know now that it’s ok to run out straight THEN turn. 
  • Get that A-frame behaviour solid. She hit 3/3 beautifully at the trial the other day so I’m not worried about it now.
  • Backside bars and threadle arm – especially into tunnels.Been working on these.
  • Check out that Justine Davenport stuff and get working through the lessons. As above.
  • Do hill-running/sprints. Nah but letting Lu and Loki off-lead instantly results in lots of sprinting. 
  • Make time to do strength tricks often. Not as much as I’ve wanted but I just haven’t got time at the moment so we’ve been doing lots of playing and being excited for food instead.
  • Continue play class. 🙂 This was happening but the last lesson was on putting longer sequences together using different methods so I’ll just have to wait until we move for this part.  

 

Loki:

  • Play for the sake of playing. Yes! He’s starting to get really good at bringing me toys back so we’re starting to just play more and hang out and cuddle.
  • Keep working on recalls especially on a long-line around wildlife. I haven’t been doing so much on a long-line but I did call him off a roo the other day in the dark which was impressive (I’d stolen his lead to use as a head-halter for Lu who was being insufferable… possibly because there were roos around). 
  • Visit big animals like cattle and horses to learn appropriate responses. Visit the dog park for more dog interaction. Continue socialisation in general. The first bit is still coming along. Response seems cautious but curious… Dog park yes, but he spends all the time obsessing over Lumen.
  • Start working on restrains to food, and on ignoring my movement while eating from a target. Do restrains to a thrown toy.  My little mate is very good at this. The toy can be dead dead dead and he’ll still run to it. And like he could care less what I’m doing when he’s running to food. I could be doing cartwheels on the back of a wooly mammoth and I don’t think he’d mind. 
  • Continue to work on puppy tricks (wraps, perch pivot, body awareness, foot targetting, backing up, leg weaves, GO GO!, stays, and recalls in general) Yep. Continuing. 
  • Shape him to pick up, mouth and carry a rubber ball to help with his jaw development. Gosh we’ve done a lot of this. He can put his ball in a little ramekin bowl now, and put shredded bits of paper in a little bin. 
  • Teach a “leave it” (or continue using “uh uh”) for food on the ground. Uhhh… Working on this one. He’ll leave it alone if I tell him to quickly enough (eg before he eats whatever he’s found) and is actually spitting food out now, but this might be a long road. 😉

Mal

  • Pat him as required. 😉
  • Feed him more! The vet said he was too skinny because if he gets sick then he won’t have any reserves to give him energy to fight off the infection or whatever. I found this surprising – I wouldn’t say Mal is underweight… he’s lean at the moment, yes, but I’m actually very careful to make sure my guys don’t carry excess weight, especially Mal as he’s getting older… He’s currently 18.? kg which is maybe a kilo less than he should be – they want him to be 20kg… I’m not convinced. (and for reference, at Mal’s skinniest, need to fatten him up, still doing agility stage he was 17.4kg, and at his heaviest, should loose weight, feeling pudgy stage, he was 21kg…. Lu is 18.3kg at the moment)…  but anyway, he won’t complain about more food!!! Oh, look, Mal doesn’t seem to want to put on weight. He’s not that skinny, he’s fine. 

 

Home:

  • Look into getting better camera.Well… I’ve looked. I can’t bring myself to buy anything yet.
  • Get a haircut. Seriously, I think it’s been about 4 months. (oh, I added these now for the next goals. whoops)
  • Start packing up the garage and the house.

little Lokimotor

I put a tunnel in our yard yesterday. It took a lot of discussion with the dogs about where would be the best place for it given there are lots of gardens with rock borders, and where I was thinking of having it only has a narrow path or rocks in the way so it affects how Lu sets her line… So, I moved a couple of rocks, pushed a little plant to the side that was being eaten by slugs anyway, curved it around a bush, and BAM, tunnelyard. Which is very very excellent because it means Lu’s little “mini-sessions” for a bowl of food can now include many more things. For example, this afternoon we did a tok-ketschker-tunnel, lapturn, threadle-arm into tunnel, blind-cross, backside push… All in one little sequence. not bad for a very small space and two bars and a tunnel. Actually, writing that all down, I’m quite pleased with everything I managed to fit in tonight. And Lu was BLITZING. I was tripping over my own feet trying to be in the right places for her.

But this post isn’t meant to be about Lu. It’s about the other L dog. The little Lokimonster.

So he’s helping me set up the tunnel. One end is open, the other is facing the ground. He trundles in and of course, then he’s stuck. He just stands there. I open up the tunnel and he’s all: “Hey, you wrecked my cave. But it’s cool, no probs”. And I’m all like: Ok dude, you’ve only done tunnels twice but you’re looking keen so maybe I’ll get a ball and some food and see what you think.

Seriously, he’s done tunnels twice – straight ones, chasing a ball. That’s it.

And with no trouble at all, I achieved:

Sends from at least 3-4m back

Threadle-arm into the close end of the tunnel (because I thought why the hell not? If he doesn’t do it, he doesn’t do it… but nah, he can do it)

Cik/toks around a bollard, into the tunnel, out of the tunnel, around the bollard, back into the tunnel…

(that video doesn’t even give you a good idea of what we were doing but it’s very hard to hold an iphone pointing at the right place and cue with your body, too)

He is one way too cool little puppy. Gosh it would be so easy to overdo it with him. You’d just want to play agility all the time because it’s so easy and fun. I’m trying very hard to not do too many cik/caps, or too much of this thing or that thing… but he’s so fun, and so keen, and just wants to do more more more more!

Gah. He’s so cool. What a little dude.

I love my Little Mate.

goals: may update

The other day I went through my goals from a month ago and realised I’d done some of them! So here’s our new goals:

Self:

  • Allow calf to heal- give yourself a week off from running. If at all possible. Seriously. 2 weeks would be even better.
  • Continue to watch your eating.
  • Look into an exercise bike on Gumtree – especially if you can get one for cheap and Nic’s going to be away for 2.5 weeks and that’s the amount of time the physio suggested doing rehab on a bike for.

 

Lu:

  • Continue proofing weave entries but more especially independence once IN the obstacle.
  • Train one-jump body awareness and obstacle independence using OMD techniques.
  • Dogwalk exits. Find a good starting spot for consistent hits and then try different pulls/pushes etc. Try it into weaves, an almost-90-degree exit onto a table, etc.
  • Get that A-frame behaviour solid.
  • Backside bars and threadle arm – especially into tunnels.
  • Check out that Justine Davenport stuff and get working through the lessons.
  • Do hill-running/sprints.
  • Make time to do strength tricks often.
  • Continue play class. 🙂

 

Loki:

  • Play for the sake of playing.
  • Keep working on recalls especially on a long-line around wildlife.
  • Visit big animals like cattle and horses to learn appropriate responses. Visit the dog park for more dog interaction. Continue socialisation in general.
  • Start working on restrains to food, and on ignoring my movement while eating from a target. Do restrains to a thrown toy.
  • Continue to work on puppy tricks (wraps, perch pivot, body awareness, foot targetting, backing up, leg weaves, GO GO!, stays, and recalls in general)
  • Shape him to pick up, mouth and carry a rubber ball to help with his jaw development.
  • Teach a “leave it” (or continue using “uh uh”) for food on the ground.

Mal

  • Pat him as required. 😉
  • Feed him more! The vet said he was too skinny because if he gets sick then he won’t have any reserves to give him energy to fight off the infection or whatever. I found this surprising – I wouldn’t say Mal is underweight… he’s lean at the moment, yes, but I’m actually very careful to make sure my guys don’t carry excess weight, especially Mal as he’s getting older… He’s currently 18.? kg which is maybe a kilo less than he should be – they want him to be 20kg… I’m not convinced. (and for reference, at Mal’s skinniest, need to fatten him up, still doing agility stage he was 17.4kg, and at his heaviest, should loose weight, feeling pudgy stage, he was 21kg…. Lu is 18.3kg at the moment)…  but anyway, he won’t complain about more food!!!

 

Home:

  • Look into getting better camera.

 

 

goals: 1 month later

I thought I’d do a check in on my goals… I didn’t realise but it’s been exactly a month (less one day) since I wrote them. So here’s how we’re going:

 

Self:

  • Increase fitness by doing sprints every second day with the dogs in tow. Go back to doing tree wraps with Lu (tie Loki up if needed) because this will be beneficial for both of us. Do lunges and other easy ‘on the go’ exercises when out with the dogs. Walk up hills. Update: Not so great here. Doing more agility sprints with Lu on the hill where we’ve been training seems to have caused a small tear in my calf muscle which makes sprinting very very bad. I ignored my physio after I went to her yesterday and did more agility and was in agony last night. So, sprints are going to be on hold. Tried doing some lunges but I’m very bad at doing things ‘out and about’. Might have to give up on this idea.
  • Watch your eating. Stop buying lollies and chips (who are you? You used to be so proud of never going down those aisles!). Eat smaller portions. Update: Good! No chips consumed recently, and Nic has started the 12 Week Body Transformation which means I am watching my portions and we’re eating healthier meals. 

Lu:

  • Close the weaves and proof independence and entries. Move them to Anne’s place for additional setups with entries etcUpdate: Weaves are closed and she can do them in different locations! Last night I did a rear cross from a hard angle and she DID IT! I was so impressed. Also did a fairly extreme right entry (which she did – amazing since I haven’t been teaching right hand entries), 90 degree entries and fast straight entries. Also proofed independence with me hanging back and her going on. This was HARD – resorted to throwing her food bag ahead, but she slowed down a lot. It will come.
  • Train one-jump body awareness and obstacle independence using OMD techniques. Don’t worry so much about handling just yet, but do focus on how you can make her jumping more confident, proof her jumping, and teach her to jump regardless of my actions. Update: Done this once. Have had to pack up jumps because of selling the house but now that the house is sold, I’ll get back onto this. 
  • Get back to full-speed confident running dogwalk by backchaining from the down-plank. Go backwards every successful session or as she appears confident. Don’t rush. Update: Seems to be achieved! We’ll see what she does at a mock trial on Saturday but she ran Penny’s in a new location beautifully, and at Frankston, too. I haven’t been watching what she does where we normally train so it could be weird there, but it doesn’t seem to translate to other places. 
  • New goal: Train exits! Including pulling across into wrong tunnels, blind and front crosses, rear crosses, etc.
  • Try some compression jumping grids in the backyard- start at a comfortable bounce distance and decrease space between jumps as she appears comfortable. Aim to help her feel confident in compressing and adding a stride. Change between extension and compression jumping within a week. Update: Nope. Haven’t done this once. I hate jumping grids.
  • Keep visiting those kangaroos and make attention on me the default response to spotting a roo. Update: Nope, haven’t had time. 
  • Do hill-running/sprints. Update: Done plenty of sprints, chasing balls, 200 ball game, etc.
  • Make time to do strength tricks every 2nd day. Update: Maybe not every 2nd day but more regularly than we were.
  • Continue play class. 🙂 Update: Going well. Definitely seen a change in food-related behaviours, but not toys so much.

Loki:

  • Play for the sake of playing. Follow play class for fun with him. Update: Yep. I feel like we’re finding our ‘groove’ in terms of how to play together for fun. 
  • Keep working on recalls especially on a long-line around roos. Update: Haven’t done it with roos, but have with rabbits, moorhens and magpies. 
  • Visit big animals like cattle and horses to learn appropriate responses. Visit the dog park for more dog interaction. Continue socialisation in general. Update: Mixed. Met one horse, been to the dog park a couple of times, and he’s come to school for lots of human interaction a few times.
  • Start working on restrains to food, and on ignoring my movement while eating from a target. Do restrains to a thrown toy. Update: Yes, a bit. Not a huge priority. 
  • Do some puppy ‘on the flat’ stuff, just for fun. (eg. lap turns, etc) Update: As above.
  • Continue to work on puppy tricks (wraps, perch pivot, body awareness, foot targetting, backing up, leg weaves, GO GO!, stays, and recalls in general) Update: Yep. Working on lots of these things but not over working any of them. 
  • When running together, drop a toy on the ground on his line to discourage just chasing me all the time. Update: Tried this once and he was oblivious to the toy. Will wait until he has a bit more toy focus for this!

Mal

  • Pat him as required. 😉 Update: Actually, lately Mal has been coming up on the couch between Nic and I, so he’s been getting heaps more pats and cuddles. Until Lu lays on my lap.

Home:

  • Bit clean up, de-clutter, prepare house for sale. Get rid of unneeded things, take the piles of clothes to the op-shop bins. Just generally get all the shit sorted so it will sell quickly. Update: HOUSE SOLD BIATCH. 
  • Fix the hole in the roof that currently has gaffa tape over it. Update: Done.

 

Tonight, I’ll think of some updated goals and post them up on Monday. But, considering I haven’t actually been consciously following my goals, I’m actually really pleased with how we’ve gone… given most of them were “matter of course” goals, it’s still good to see that we’re getting through stuff.

 

repetitions

You guys, I’m pretty proud of myself.

Firstly, Lu is well within a no-overtraining-zone right now. Going for walks when it’s still light is winning out big time over training. If I can only train and not walk, I walk. If I can do both, I do.

Tonight we got out of school early because our Principal told us there was no staff meeting because of the ‘impending weather’, and that we ought to get home before the storms etc. Well, I checked out the rain radar and amazingly there were only light scattered showered on the horizon. Jackpot!

Raced home, grabbed the girl, went to our agility place. Walked a quick course, ran it. Made a promise to reward every attempt – if it was a wrong tunnel or something, the reward was kibble, if it was awesome stuff- meat in her tug bag (yuck). Made a promise to not run the same sequence twice – and stuck to it! If she missed the angle of the weave entry, I’d only do the bar preceding the weaves, and then the weaves – not all the stuff that came before it. This might seem like a ‘well duh’ kind of thing for most people, but for me, I’d always find myself needing to do the whole thing properly. Which is stupid. Especially for someone whose dog doesn’t enjoy working for a long time.

We did about 5 sequences with about 11 obstacles or less in each, and included the weaves, dogwalks, wraps and A-frame in some. And I must say, I was super impressed with everything she did tonight. She was very happy working- didn’t wander off on me, was keen for her treats and rewards, worked out her weaves and did them really nicely even when I threw in a front or blind cross at the end… her cik wraps were terrible and her A-frame isn’t a solid behaviour yet (um… this is the 2nd session), but she has some amazing lateral sending skills that I somehow accidentally taught her (and this is great, great to know and test, because so many of our courses require lateral sends if you want to be able to be pointing in the right direction at the right time)… her dogwalk hits were all great (and I would be surprised if they weren’t, to be honest! Not to brag, just she knows how to hit, and how to hit well- can’t run an up-ramp properly, but can hit the contact every time!) although I couldn’t pull her into the other tunnel entrance we haven’t done that before, so I’ll know this now and try and be on the side to push her to the entrance instead, maybe. Or just work on it more. In general she wasn’t reading the off-arm pull to wrong tunnel entrance well tonight, but I’m so not stressed- she was driving to tunnels really nicely.

I didn’t film anything because my brain couldn’t be bothered figuring out where to set up the camera so you’d actually see everything. Maybe next time.

And then, after practising the A-frame a couple of times, that was it. Done. Off we went to the dog park so her and Loki could run around together.

And it was really nice. It was a really nice session. It was so nice to be able to put everything together and not have to avoid this thing or that thing because she can’t do them yet. To be able to look at the whole course and see options because the weaves are there and there’s a possible entry there and a wrap onto the dogwalk…

Look out for the 24th! It’ll be our first agility competition (and jumping, too)… This Saturday is a ‘mock trial’ fun run thing with an Excellent Agility course (level above ours)(which we’ll do, it’ll be great practise), Novice Jumping (our level) and Masters Jumping (top level… I’m going to walk this course and then decide if I want to try it… I don’t want to shut her down by pushing her too hard.)

 

Gosh it’s nice to be having FUN.

weighty issue (goals/plans/action)

Nic and I went for a hike today- we took a photo of the two of us and I cringed to see how much weight I’ve put on. Not that it was surprising – my jeans aren’t fitting well, and while I don’t ever get myself on the scales, I figure this is a fairly accurate representation of the state of things. I suppose it’s been a tough few months in terms of exercise- in January Lu got sick and all I wanted to do (and DID) was sit with her at home and eat comfort food. She couldn’t walk, Mal didn’t really need to walk, to we didn’t walk. At the same time, we obviously stopped doing agility (and I subsequently lost my training space) so an hour’s worth of activity every couple of days stopped too. Then school started and I was coming home exhausted, falling asleep on the couch, and still not able to do agility. And then we got Loki who has spurred me into activity again but of course he’s little, so our walks are under an hour long, he can’t come jogging, and I’m feeling too unfit to do much in terms of hills. And we still can’t train agility regularly so all that sprinting I was doing with Lu? Not happening.

So as we were walking today I was thinking about some goals I’d like to set for the next short-mid term.

Self:

  • Increase fitness by doing sprints every second day with the dogs in tow. Go back to doing tree wraps with Lu (tie Loki up if needed) because this will be beneficial for both of us. Do lunges and other easy ‘on the go’ exercises when out with the dogs. Walk up hills.
  • Watch your eating. Stop buying lollies and chips (who are you? You used to be so proud of never going down those aisles!). Eat smaller portions.

 

Lu:

  • Close the weaves and proof independence and entries. Move them to Anne’s place for additional setups with entries etc.
  • Train one-jump body awareness and obstacle independence using OMD techniques. Don’t worry so much about handling just yet, but do focus on how you can make her jumping more confident, proof her jumping, and teach her to jump regardless of my actions.
  • Get back to full-speed confident running dogwalk by backchaining from the down-plank. Go backwards every successful session or as she appears confident. Don’t rush.
  • Try some compression jumping grids in the backyard- start at a comfortable bounce distance and decrease space between jumps as she appears comfortable. Aim to help her feel confident in compressing and adding a stride. Change between extension and compression jumping within a week.
  • Keep visiting those kangaroos and make attention on me the default response to spotting a roo.
  • Do hill-running/sprints.
  • Make time to do strength tricks every 2nd day.
  • Continue play class. 🙂

 

Loki:

  • Play for the sake of playing. Follow play class for fun with him.
  • Keep working on recalls especially on a long-line around roos.
  • Visit big animals like cattle and horses to learn appropriate responses. Visit the dog park for more dog interaction. Continue socialisation in general.
  • Start working on restrains to food, and on ignoring my movement while eating from a target. Do restrains to a thrown toy.
  • Do some puppy ‘on the flat’ stuff, just for fun. (eg. lap turns, etc)
  • Continue to work on puppy tricks (wraps, perch pivot, body awareness, foot targetting, backing up, leg weaves, GO GO!, stays, and recalls in general)
  • When running together, drop a toy on the ground on his line to discourage just chasing me all the time.

Mal

  • Pat him as required. 😉

 

Home:

  • Bit clean up, de-clutter, prepare house for sale. Get rid of unneeded things, take the piles of clothes to the op-shop bins. Just generally get all the shit sorted so it will sell quickly.
  • Fix the hole in the roof that currently has gaffa tape over it.

 

So hey, not too much, right? Just a matter of finding time for all of it… especially now as daylight hours in the afternoon are getting shorter and shorter, I might have to take the dogs into the sneaky no-dogs park near home… otherwise we’ll never get any walking done.

 

full

This photo has nothing to do with the post, it's just adorable and Penny must have taken it secretly when we were at the beach last time because it just appeared on my phone.

This photo has nothing to do with the post, it’s just adorable and Penny must have taken it secretly when we were at the beach last time because it just appeared on my phone.

 

My head is full right now. Full of ideas and things and training plans. It feels as though I have a swarm of those little midgeflies all telling me lots of things. Good things, but lots of them.

I’m at the OneMind dogs seminar in Sydney right now, and last night we had our introductory lecture. It was a lot of information packed into about 5 hours. Lucky I took notes. I’m also beginning this play class with Polona, which should be really interesting, except for the fact that she recommends you stop all training for 6 weeks. And also there’s some compression jump grid/speed circle stuff I’d really like to try with Lu, and meanwhile I still need to close the weaves, and get her dogwalk back (I think I’ll back-chain this again, so start from a point on the top plank where she’s happy and I’m getting full speed and work my way back. At club the other day she had real issues with running up the up plank, until the first apex. So it’s like she’s afraid of the first plank, or of what’s going to happen after the apex. If I work backwards I should be able to get her back to the start without her realizing what I’ve done), and at some point find an adjustable A-frame so she can learn that, too.

In fact, I have so much information in my head right now that I’m not even sure where to begin writing about it. My thoughts are jumping here, there and everywhere. Maybe a list would help.

  • Play class with Polona: starting with food play. Pretty good at this already, I think. Not too concerned here. Missing a week anyway. Couple of things to try but not stressing over it.
  • Speaking of which, Noora from OMD had been talking about skills you can practice at home for agility, so I asked her later about whether there was a good way to reward recalls that tied in to agility training (I thought this was a fairly legitimate question) but she didn’t seem to have much of an answer other than to tell me don’t stress. Uhh… Yeah, no. And actually, I wasn’t stressing, for once, I was simply curious if we’re on the topic of ‘stuff you can do at home that will tie in to agility’, surely recalls can be a part of that too? Maybe my face was stressed.
  • Need to teach Lu sends better. Lots of this handling seems dependent on being able to send and go. Her sends to wraps were pretty good so it should be ok.
  • There is no such thing as a wrong obstacle. I think I’ve said this before but I’m saying it again so I remember. There were some great examples of the dog being pointed at a particular (‘wrong’) obstacles, and of course doing them. I really want to be ok with Lu doing the obstacles in front of her- I think this will do wonders for her speed and confidence, but to do that, I can never stop her for going ‘off course’ – I need to find the next closest obstacle (in training) and do that then reward her, or, just keep going and try again next time, or try and loop my way back to where the mistake was. This last option will be difficult- I’m not that good at thinking on my feet.
  • There were a couple of little jumping/bar/body awareness things I want to try with Lu, and some proofing exercises I want to do as well. These should be easy in the backyard. The great thing about all the handling moves we’ve learnt about in the seminar is that I can do them with just one bar, or at most, a bar and a tunnel. They have an interesting way of teaching a wrap that might appeal to the Lu, so I’ll be wanting to train this at home, especially since she’s forgotten how to do it.
  • The value and importance of reward placement, and rewarding on the dog’s line rather than from the hand. I realize that this would be better with a dog who drove to a static toy but I might have some luck with her food pouch tug. Or even just a plate with food on it.
  • That I haven’t been supporting Lu’s weave entries very well sometimes, in terms of where my ‘laserpoint’ is and just expecting her to do it, which is sort of ok because she should be able to do it independently but also sort of unfair in how I was doing it. I’m not going to baby her but I think I can provide clearer directions even while she’s still being independent.
  • Thinking of how to combine OneMind dogs, Justine Davenport, Silvia Trkman and Polona’s play class all into one glorious mess. This, I think, is what’s filling up my brain most of all. There’s so many ideas. So many. How do I choose what will work, be good, be what I need, and what I should leave behind?

 

I’m really enjoying a lot of what OMD has to say- the importance of showing your dog where you’re going very early so they know where they’re going! Of making sure their nose is turned in the right direction before they land! Of having very independent obstacle performance and great commitment (which I know Silvia says too, but theirs is said differently for me) so you can cue something and move on and know that your dog will complete it that way without you so that you’re then set up for showing them where to go next.  It’s actually been really nice seeing Noora use food with the dogs all day, like it’s ok to reward that way. In fact she says she teaches a lot more using food before she uses toys and only does toys later, and when the dog is eating its reward from the ground (because its rewarded on its line!), she gets people to move off, so the dog is performing the obstacle independently and not reacting to the handler’s motion so much. It sounds so counter intuitive, like teaching them to ignore the handler’s movement, which frightens me a lot, but it makes sense. I think. Maybe. Like, you should be able to cue “take this bar” and move off parallel to it as the dog has committed and know it will take it regardless of your movement after that point. I think it makes sense. My head is having a hard time with it but I think I like it.

 

My handling diagrams have gone downhill RAPIDLY. This is a prime example. It was meant to be a dog, doing a ... German turn... I think. I could open my notes and check but that would require effort.

My handling diagrams have gone downhill RAPIDLY. This is a prime example. It was meant to be a dog, doing a … German turn… I think. I could open my notes and check but that would require effort. Also the stick man on the left looks like he’s up to no good…