Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday Night Agility

Bug is driving up the A-frame, albeit lowered, but he is DRIVING.

Kathleen’s courses give me a headache! :-) As I said before, they are much more AKC-style and I am not used to it. I feel like I am learning a second language. I’ve had this feeling before, when I was taking lessons with Erin, and I said the exact same thing.

Tuesday night’s course had two wraps in it that I had some difficulty figuring out how to handle. Well, that isn’t entirely true – but I could only immediately wrap (ha-ha) my head around one way to handle it. With Bug in both instances I threw my hip forward and had him go beyond me. Or tried to do that. In both instances I think I stopped my motion too abruptly (what me?) and Bug started to cut behind me, although I was able to correct his path-of-travel.

Later when Ike ran the same course Kathleen had shown someone else how to do a front cross by driving forward as if you were going to go by the jump then pivoting on the take-off side and sending the dog over the jump. This worked beautifully for Ike and I think it would have for Bug too.

The course also contained two 180s. Bug has enough natural propulsion and seems to understand what his job is in this instance. Ike is a bit loggy. I will need to practice.

Things of note, Kathleen typically ends the class with a speed circle of some sort. Bug was flying. I pulled him off a jump and faltered – do I try and make him do it again or keep going? I opted to keep going, but that second of hesitation and suddenly I had a dog that was moving slower and worrying about being right for the rest of the course. Argh. I am making my dogs slow. It is ME!!

Ike and I were having a speedy little run. I used the phrase, “c’mon” as he came out of a tunnel. Kathleen said he immediately slowed down. She suspects it is a word he has heard so many times when he was running slowly that running slowly has become a conditioned response to the word/phrase. Gah! Must remember not to use “c’mon” with Ike – ever. Run quieter.

We worked some more on “go” with Ike and he was really driving over the jump. It is going to take MUCH longer to train me than Ike. We ended when we actually got a little Schnauzer smile!

I am hoping I will retain enough of the course in my memory that I can try and draw it out. For whatever reason I had a very difficult time handling it. I got lost every time I ran it with Bug.


Sara said...

I know all about those seconds of hesitations and how they effect a dog! You think they won't notice, but they do!

Humans. Are we trainable? LOL.

Diana said...

Lol, I think its been much harder training myself than my dog. Diana

101mutts said...

I'm waiting to see a class focused on TAGteaching humans to handle well. Wouldn't that be awesome!

Perhaps you need to tell Ike to "slow down" and he'll speed up. :P

Jules said...

I agree 100% - I actually wrote a post about it more than a year ago but never posted it to the web.

Nancy said...

It is always harder to train the human part of the team!
I would like to learn more about TAGteaching also.