Agility training

BostonBanker

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How do y'all handle threadles? I have always pulled my opposite hand across me to pull the dog in but the handling I just watched had the handler rotate in and end up sending with the left, facing backwards (opposed to dog's direction) then calling in with the right and then rotating towards the jump and sending with the left.
Obviously subject to change depending on where the course goes next:

With Meg, I can generally just drop my inside shoulder and bring that hand back while calling her name; she naturally wants to turn in to me and has a very, very tight point of commitment. If she's particularly wound up and being silly, I will also use my outside hand to really check her. For what it is worth, I also had basically zero handling knowledge when training her. If it wasn't a front cross or a flip, I didn't see any way of doing it (I still see almost all rear crosses/flips if I'm walking a course with Meg in mind).

Gusto has more skills, a longer point of commitment, and is less responsive on course (I mean he's fine, but Meg will slam on the breaks or turn at the drop of a hat if cued). He also has more actual training in handling, and I'm getting more and more as we go along. I'd be more likely to do something "different" with him, depending on where the course goes next and what I think we could actually pull off. I'm still incredibly novice at all the "fancy" handling stuff (K turns and J turns and Lap turns, oh my), and I don't always "see" where to use them in a course. But I'd like to pretend that I'd figure out some very cool, savvy way to handle it.

More likely, I'd wind up trying to handle it like I would with Meg and he'd take the second jump the wrong way.
 

Beanie

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Payton got his novice FAST title today and nooooo one cares. least of all me. only means we now get to open FAST with 12 weaves which is what I wanted.
 

Laurelin

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Yay Payton! :D

Here's what we did with threadles and the shoulder turn seems to help. These aren't in order (which would have made too much sense) so sometimes I backtrack in the video lol. But he definitely reads the shoulder better vs the other arm coming across me.

[youtube]gzIiscbjY2M[/youtube]
 

BostonBanker

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Have you tried just working with a single jump, teaching him to slice it tightly? So having him set up facing the wing, looking at the jump the long way, with you standing just a foot or two away lateral from the wing and facing the same way. Release, treat at your side (so he is between the wing and your leg), then releasing again to take the jump. If that makes sense? I am terrible at explaining stuff. Basically training and rewarding the second jump first, then adding on the first jump when that is easy. Backchaining the whole movement, and adding in your motion later.
 

Laurelin

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We have done some of that kind of work as far as taking the jump at different angles but any time I've tried multiple jumps he just kind of assumes what I want and jumps in whichever direction.

We are also having some teeter issues. Anyone have a cheaper teeter recommendation? I think I may need to buy one.
 

Finkie_Mom

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YAY Payton!!

OMG going to kill weaves. I hate them. Jari is coming along SO brilliantly but he will not do weaves in new places/my training facility where he goes like 3 days a week. Arghhhh. But in the yard he's amazing with ridiculous entries. Thinking of retraining completely (even in the yard) and calling them something else. I don't even know what else to do. I use 2x2 method. (Don't have access to anything else either ATM)
 

MandyPug

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Qualified 4/6 this weekend. Jumpers, Standard x 2, and Steeplechase.

BUT! Better than all that... The Pug managed a FIFTY POINT gamble opening with FOUR mini gambles... One that had a dog walk (eats up time). Didn't get the end gamble due to me trying to get a second teeter in before the buzzer went for the opening and I pulled her off the teeter so when i tried to send her back on away from me she was like "uhhhh wait, you just pulled me off this"... so made a mental not on that but OMGFIFTYPOINTS, was right up there with the border collies and whathaveyou. Just proves to me that yes the pug can do this.

Good weaves, great speed, and maybe I handled alright lol.
 

xpaeanx

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I'm at a loss. Last fall we had some really good weaves.... with all this snow I had no where to practice them so we borrowed a 2x2 to practice hard entries. He nails all the weird angle entries and silly me thinks we're going to have fantastic weaves once we can start doing them again.

We have no weaves. NONE! And the more I try to fix the problems with them, the worse they get. I don't think it's a case of take a break Bc we just had a break. I'm Super jackpot/partying his successes. But it's not really making a difference. And I dropped him down to 6 while trying to work on them.... And they are still terrible. I kinda want to cry actually.
 

xpaeanx

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I'm at a loss. Last fall we had some really good weaves.... with all this snow I had no where to practice them so we borrowed a 2x2 to practice hard entries. He nails all the weird angle entries and silly me thinks we're going to have fantastic weaves once we can start doing them again.

We have no weaves. NONE! And the more I try to fix the problems with them, the worse they get. I don't think it's a case of take a break Bc we just had a break. I'm Super jackpot/partying his successes. But it's not really making a difference. And I dropped him down to 6 while trying to work on them.... And they are still terrible. I kinda want to cry actually.
4 hour drives home are good for thinking. I have a new game plan for his weaves. I don't think he "doesn't have weaves" anymore, I think it may be more a matter of his shoulder issues and not having the same muscle strength he had last fall because the winter kept us from being as active as we normally are. I'm going to back off weaves for now, do more shoulder specific exercises/stretches over the next few weeks, and then see where we are with weaves after he's had time to build his shoulder strength back up. I think we might even make a trip to the Chiro for an adjustment.
 

BostonBanker

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4 hour drives home are good for thinking
:p I've said for years that it is the only good part about trials being so far away for me; that long drive home alone is perfect for thinking through everything after a bad day (or being giddy the entire drive after a good day).

It sounds like you've got a good game plan going ahead.

Just for our own random update, we are finally at the beginning of So Much Agility. It has been a really long winter (and a really long year or more, as I've tried to deal with all of Gusto's weirdness), but we are finally coming out of it! Lesson again this weekend, seminar the next Friday, 3 days of USDAA over Easter, another lesson the next weekend, then AKC and USDAA the next two weekends!

Then another lesson, then a week off, then more USDAA, then a 2 day camp.

If I don't break Gusto's brain by the end of May and we are both still sound and happy, I think we are going to have a better idea of where we are and where to go next. I won't trial as much through the summer probably, because he doesn't run great in the heat, but maybe a trial a month. If the trial stress seems to be under control, I'm hoping to take him to regionals in July. Cynosport isn't possible this year, or maybe ever for him, but that can be sort of my Big Trial for the year for him.
 

Beanie

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Let me start with Payton.
This weekend I realized Payton is literally vibrating before an agility run. I have never noticed it before, so maybe it is new behavior. We had twelve weaves only one time in four days. His stay was practically non-existent, including one run when he took off before I had even crossed the plane of the jump. He was almost an entirely different dog than he was two weekends ago. The only good thing is he drove to the table and jumped straight on, stayed on, AND sat each time I asked (although one time he did yell at me and I yelled back and THEN he sat.) The rest was disastrous and we are back to, I dunno, square -20. It is possible it's a result of being on dirt, because he did this in Springfield too (also dirt) after being good before and good after. Either way this is not good and I want to cry and there isn't a trainer anywhere near me that is talented enough to help me fix this without recommending I try zapping him with an e-collar so I have no idea what to do. And part of me thinks zapping him with an e-collar wouldn't be the worst thing since that will probably make him enjoy agility less and apparently I did too good of a job making him enjoy agility.



So on that happy note let me continue about Auggie.
Monday I took the dogs to the house to practice. Auggie was having a hard time getting over the 8" bars, even in the backyard where he is typically faster and a more confident jumper. I considered it might be because the ground was wet and muddy, so maybe he was slipping, but I also thought maybe he just can't do this anymore. After that I just knocked all the bars on the ground and ran him between the standards and he had such a blast with that.
I only entered him two days this year. Friday his standard run was great, fast for Auggie, although he didn't finish his weave poles and he knocked the triple at the end of the run. His jumpers run was slow but he didn't drop any bars, which was awesome.
Saturday he was really slow in standard. He also started having some UTI issues again on Thursday (of COURSE) so it was possible he wasn't feel very good, so I let the slowness go. Jumpers was next and he was slow again... so slow. And then he came around a corner and he crashed a jump, not a double or triple which happened with him a lot, but just a normal single bar jump. Not just knocked it. Crashed it. I made sure he was okay and we went to finish the course, but he came around the next jump. And I knew. So I said "come on old man!!" and ran to the end of the course and he came with me.
And Auggie jumped his last jump ever at an agility trial.

I made it all the way back to our crate space before I started to cry. I know he is retired already. I know this was just for fun. But he really can't physically do it anymore and it's not fair to ask him to do it, even for "fun." So he is done. I will never enter my best little dog in an agility trial ever again.
And it hurts so bad. I don't know why this is so much harder than when I retired him the first time. Maybe because when I did it the first time I knew he could still do it, I just didn't want to keep asking him to compete. And now I know he can't even do it anymore. And maybe I asked him to do it for longer than I should have.

so everything is terrible and I kind of want to quit.
 

iriskai

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Beanie - I'm relatively certain I saw you carrying Auggie through the food court this weekend. I almost stopped you, but with my luck, it wouldn't have been you and it would have just been awkward. Though I suppose it would have made for a good story. Sorry about your old guy, though. And if it was you I saw, Auggie is freaking adorable.
 

BostonBanker

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I don't know why this is so much harder than when I retired him the first time. Maybe because when I did it the first time I knew he could still do it, I just didn't want to keep asking him to compete. And now I know he can't even do it anymore. And maybe I asked him to do it for longer than I should have.
From what I've seen on here, you've listened to Auggie every time he's told you he couldn't or didn't want to do something. You moved him down to preferred when the regular level was too much for him; now you are letting him be done because he's saying this is too much. You've done what he needed, regardless of how hard it was or how much is sucked. I'm sorry for you that you don't get to trial him anymore, but I don't for one second believe you haven't done everything you can to make the right decisions for him.

As for Payton - ugh, I'm sorry you had such a crappy weekend. Do you have a non-dirt trial in the future where you can at least test the hypothesis that the footing is playing a factor?

I stood behind an RV after a trial last summer crying like an idiot because I was so frustrated that I didn't have the knowledge to help Gusto and I didn't see any way of getting the help we needed - and I was sure I had caused it. For what it is worth, the advice I got was to take a break for a bit, and wait until I could discuss the situation without crying about it. We took a month off from agility completely - no practice, no nothing (and then he got hurt and took the rest of the summer off). And I worked on trying to figure out what I could do. I'm stuck in a dead zone of agility as well. There are no trainers in the state actively competing dogs they've trained themselves at the level I want to be at.

For me, I wound up finding someone 3 hours away that I like and trust and who produces what I want in her student's dogs. Another thought would be someone willing to do on-line coaching. I know someone who did that for a bit; discussed what they wanted with an out-of-state trainer who sent them exercises, they recorded it, got feedback, sent trial videos...basically the online training courses before that really got going. I bet there are still trainers who will do that one-on-one. If it is something that might work for you, I don't think it could hurt to decide which trainers, in a perfect world, might be able to help you with Payton. And shoot a few of them emails briefly describing the issue, and asking if they would be willing to do online lessons. You've certainly got the knowledge to make something like that work, and the work ethic. Maybe that could help you get the right kind of help?
 

Laurelin

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Ok so...


directionals.

I use left and right for wrapping a jump/jump wing.

Push for backside of a jump. Go for driving straight

How do you guys handle telling the dog to go left or right while running. I hear a lot of people use 'switch' around here to clue the dog in that they're switching sides at a distance.
 

BostonBanker

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I use 'flip' like that. It essentially means 'turn away from me'. Although I did teach Gusto left/right on the flat, and it would probably work the same for him. I haven't really tried it.
 

Laurelin

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We've been working weaves. Included some bloopers and better ones. We are back to opening up the first set on the right hand and it is helping.

[YOUTUBE]2ju7lTvJAuE[/YOUTUBE]
 

k9krazee

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Crossbone had one of his best trials yet yesterday. He wasn't at all like he is in class, but much better than our November trial.

Ring stress issues were much less than usual--he did better as they day went on instead of getting worse/running out of the ring so I count it as a total success! No sniffing (during my runs) and only looked for ken once.

Ken also ran CBone for the first time! Crossbone was a little confused and sniffy--he's never run with anyone but me and normally doesn't listen to Ken ever haha I count it as a win! Of course, the only video I have is their run.
 

Laurelin

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Hank is totally acting like 75 and sunny is really really really HOT. I'm hoping he eventually gets to adjusting to the heat.
 

FG167

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Took remedial weaves with my instructor last night...there is hope.

We are entered in our first AKC trial this weekend. Just Saturday, JWW and Standard. I don't have any expectations at all. I'm hoping he will have fun with me and that's about it.

I think this might be our only AKC event (unless we somehow Q haha). Then I think I'm going to stick to USDAA instead...

Limit had a BC go after him in class last night. He's a little stress-y today (we also have strange dogs visiting the house), fingers crossed.
 

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