Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Today was a brain-intensive lesson for Walter and for me. Also, something new, Walter was rewarded 90% with a tug toy and loved it. It's so nice to have a dog who naturally loves to tug. We worked on a bunch of things:

Get out
Using a c-shaped tunnel, standing at the bottom and getting him to go past the first entrance to the second. Didn't go too smoothly as he kept wanting to take the first entrance so we had to block it until he was patterned into taking the second.

Walter and I have always done serpentines using the false turn method, but the instructor (new to Walter and me since only a couple of months) had us try something different: using only one arm, held kind of back and low, and moving only slightly in and out. After several tries we started to get the hang of it. It was especially hard for me to get the timing right. Then, she substituted one of the jumps for the tire (all set at 16"). He needed a bit of a chance to get used to the idea of slicing a tire since it's not something we've practiced. Oh, and she noted I tend to drift farther and farther from the jumps as I run down the serp, rather than staying in nice and close. Driving home afterward I started to wonder how threadles are handled using this approach instead of false turns. I'll ask next time.

Left and right
Walter mostly knows (not 100% accurate yet though) left and right but I've only really used it as a trick for a spin in front of me and a bit in skijoring. So it was fun to apply it to agility and see him think through it. Did various jump combinations using left and right.

Go over
Worked a bit on a simple two-jump send. Haven't practiced this much lately so it was helpful for the instructor to throw his toy ahead (my aim was pretty lousy).

One of the sequences we worked on used a soft side entry to the 6-weaves with me standing around pole 3. He entered at the second pole every time. He sent ahead to it fine, but if I was standing "too far" ahead, ie in the position required of the sequence, he missed it. Clearly we need to refresh our weaves with me being around the clock.

1 comment:

roxanne said...

Sounds like a good lesson. Oh, what I would give for a dog that'll work for a toy. Lilly will train at home for a very special ball, but not in public.

That new book talks about teaching public play, so I'll get to it eventually.

P.S. I think Walter is *very* handsome.

Roxanne & Lilly