Last night Carmen had her first agility class in a couple of weeks. Katrin had set up a speed circle of jumps and we worked on distance and switch. There were a set of six weaves set up at the back of the barn from the a.m. class and before all the other students got there I ran Carmie through them.
First we did the weaves with all the cages on, then with one side off, then with no cages. Carmie did three perfect sets of weaves with no cages (and no *helping* by me). We have been practicing a lot, but it still amazes me that she is finally getting it. It has taken SO long. Different dogs, different brains. And I would say we are still probably at 70%? Maybe a bit better than that? It is hard to judge.
On to the class portion. It was not one of our best classes, not a bad class – just hard for us. I was a bit foggy. Katrin wanted us to stay toward the center of the speed circle and move minimally. Carmen wasn’t really committed to working away from me and I had to support her more than I anticipated. She was also very cued into my lack of consistency in my movement and would turn into me when I changed my speed poorly. After a bit she was fairly pattern trained and committing more easily to taking the jump ahead of her at a decent clip.
Switch remains something we need to do a lot of work on. After a few gaffs, I think they started to have a bit more flow, but it is still not natural for us. Lots of practice on that one. However, there was much less spinning than I typically cause in my dog. I tried to draw my line slower and I only did the switch for Carmie once. That is an improvement!
Katrin also taught the class how to pace jumps/obstacles. She taught me this a few years ago and I use it every time I set stuff up in my back yard. 8.5 paces = 20” for me. Katrin counts “1 and,” I count “one, two, …”
In NADAC most obstacles are placed between 18” and 21” apart. So it benefits you to know how many of your paces are in 20”. In order to figure this out we walked three panels of the barn (which are approximately 20” each). Then divided by three. I walked it again and my paces came out to exactly the same number as last time.
I have to put some serious effort into switch. It is so much fun to watch dogs that have it down execute switch on command (hehm…Remy, Aidan), and of course it is a huge benefit on course.
4 days ago