Duke and Mavrick Agility Update:)
I still don't have any exciting photo's to share yet as a certain border collie that resides with me chewed up my camera awhile back *cough cough Mavrick* but I thought I'd share a few of their updates from their adventure in agility.
Today was Duke's fifth private training session with my talented friend. It was also the first session Mavrick came along with us and I spent their session switching them out of a crate for a turn to play. We all hoped in the car and commenced our hour and fifteenish miniute drive down to the Niagra region where my friend lives. I love driving to her farm, it's freaking gorgous, with beautiful fields (now snow filled) which back on to her own private hiking trails! If I win the lottery that's deffiently the kind of place I'd love to live in.
We warmed Duke up with some rear end awareness work, getting him to target his two front paws to a cat litter box and gradually shaping him to move around the box using his hind legs only. Duke's making big strides in this area HOORAY!
Next we continued having him target a clear C.D case gradually lowering it to the ground. I admit I haven't worked on this much outside of our sessions, but even still slowly but surely he is making progress.
We also let him up on the A-frame and had him come down and just clicked/ rewarded him for landing his two front feet on the ground and then worked on some targeting. It's not the full picture but it was still fun for Duke.
Next we worked on progressing him on the 2 x 2's. My friend has been kind enough to watch the DVD over and over for me and to print out the work book so that we can progress forward while knowing where we are going. Highlights from previous sessions include:
-Duke offering a look forward through two poles
-Duke offering movement through two poles
-Duke offering deliberate and confident movement through two poles without looking back at me
-Duke offering deliberate and confident movement through two poles, without looking back at me even while my body was at various angles around the poles
Today we warmed up by reviewing our original criteria, something he remembered right away and very quickly we were working the arc, as Susan Garrett says and Duke drove forward away from me confidently finding the entry. I have never seen Duke work so intensely, focused ahead and be so happy in the process his curled tail wagging back and forth the whole time!
We ended here for Duke, my friend e-mailed me to say she was so happy to see how confident Duke was during the session and how much value has been built up on the 2 x 2's.
Mav missed a week of agility at his foundation class due to freakish accident he had one day while running at the park with Duke. He happily came trotting up to me only for me to see blood pouring out of his back paw. I got him to the vet, but the whole nail had to be trimmed back to the bone as it had shattered while running. The vet suspects its because of the uneven weight he puts on that leg because of his hip dysplasia. They anestitised his foot before trimming back the nail so he didn't seem to notice too much. He had antibiotics and sedatives for a week as he wasn't allowed to run but he's feeling much better now.
During todays session we warmed up by reviewing perch work which was the first behaviour he learned via shaping. He loves it and happily moves around the cat litter box using only his back legs with his front feet firmly planted.
We then began working on the stairs and clicking/rewarding him for landing in 2 on 2 off position followed by working targeting.
Lastly we began working on 2 x 2's. We kept everything super short and had play breaks in between every click/reward as Mav is still pretty new to shaping and hasn't quite figured it out yet and is quick to walk away from a shaping session.
We started by clicking/rewarding him for looking through the two poles and then breaking for play. Pretty quickly we got forward through the poles with Mav running forward on his reward line to collect his toy. We ended here for today to keep everything on a fun positive note.
That's all for our updates,
I hope to borrow someone's camera soon for future training sessions as I prefer to record sessions to review my own handling but it's also nice to have pictures
<3's March because it's Epilepsy Awareness Month
“Violence begins where knowledge ends.” –Abraham Lincoln