2010-01-18

Agility Learning

Everytime we have a lesson with Annelise, she points out something obvious I should have known. Tonight was no different! I told her my issue is contacts. I've tried with little success to teach Bailey running contacts. Tonight she asked "do you have a cue for it." Uhm, no. "Did you have a cue for your stopping contacts?" Uhm, no. She looks at me... I think your dog is confused.

Doh! Dog is VERY confused! We worked the dog walk first. I said "ok, go target" as she was starting her descent and the first time she was slow, but didn't stop. We repeated the exercise a couple more times and she began to run. She was running all the way down the contact to her target. I think it helped I had beef liver for her!

I was SO pleased with it, that we started adding a cue "run it." We also worked the A-Frame. Smart handler I am, I tried just saying the "run it" cue, lo and behold the dog stopped on the A-Frame. Annelise kindly suggested I start with "ok, go target" and what do you know, the dog runs through it. Good girl.

It was an excellent lesson. A lot of progress in just one session. I showed her our teeter performance and told her I'm pleased with that. As long as I tell her it's a teeter, she goes up it pretty quickly, waits for it to tip and does a 4 on for me. If I don't tell her it's a teeter she goes too fast and gets scared.

Lesson of the night. CUES ARE GOOD! Remember to CUE the dog!

Good girlie Bailey.

2 comments:

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

i'm really glad things are going well for you! what made you decide to switch to running contacts?

are you using a specific method or just having Bailey run across to a target? By starting on a full dog walk aren't you worried about Bailey gaining confidence and starting to jump? So far Vito has running contacts using Silvia Trkman's method and I'm really happy with it. But I didn't have enough time to devote to training Lance using that method with winter here and all so I switched his. Lance was just a pain in the butt on runnign contacts and while he was getting it it was really hard for him to understand what my criteria was. Sorry for so many questions, but teaching a reliable running contact really intrigues me!

Megan said...

Bailey's stopping contacts were more than reliable, but they are NOT quick and we waste a lot of time. I couldn't get her to speed them up either. Thus, running contacts. I began working on it last spring with on and off success. If I throw something she leaps, but if there's a target on the ground, she runs all the way down (I could attribute that to our spring/summer training, and it probably plays a part, but I think part is just training for her 2o2o).

Annelise and I also talked about a "reliable" running contact (and Kristen and I talk about it a lot)... the consensus is that it CAN be done, but it takes a TON of exposure to various different pieces of equipment because it is all about striding.

Bailey doesn't do things if she doesn't know exactly how to do it. It was really fun for her to show Annelise that she HAS speed for an almost 10 year old dog. I have a hard time getting her to work on group classes because of all the dog pressure and me feeling pressured to be running her RIGHT now. She was so relaxed yesterday, it was wonderful.