Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bug Wraps

Last night in Bug’s class we worked on Front crosses and wraps.

The first sequence Bug took off before I released him and did the jump and tunnel. I think he is beginning to have enough obstacle drive and agility joy that I need to think about a start-line. I called him back, released him, and then proceeded to accidentally SEND him into the tunnel; understandable because I was moving too fast and facing the tunnel. My body was saying “Tunnel!” Smart dog!

Second try – we had a nice tight wrap even given Bug’s long back. Third time not so tight…. I wasn’t aware of exactly what I had done wrong at first, but Kathleen told me I actually moved beyond the plane of jump #3 and was still accelerating so all of the information Bug was receiving said “take the dummy jump straight ahead” and then I called him off it. This equals a wide turn. I should have been decelerating and never even made it to the plane of jump #3. Lesson learned, and next time looked better although not as good as the first time.

Next sequence (image below) Kathleen wanted us to put a front cross between 2 and 3. She used chalk to draw dashed lines and a straight angled line (blue and red on the diagram), and then she had us walk it. These lines represent two ways to do front crosses, the correct way and the not-so-ideal way. Ideally you want to take the angled line – you are giving your dog more information and allowing them to make a tighter change in lead.

Kathleen commented that she has often seen me use the dashed path (although last night I walked and ran it “correctly”). It’s funny, I had a hard time learning front crosses and that is the method I was taught – visualize where you will turn – drive to that point and then turn.

With the visual aid of the chalk lines it is very obvious that the dashed line does not give your dog the best information. If you are even a little bit slow in your front cross your dog will think they are taking the jump directly ahead of them. Hopefully now that I am really comfortable with front crosses I can begin to refine how I do them and set my dogs up for more success.

The last sequence of the night contained another wrap.

I accidentally had Bug go over a jump that was not only NOT included in the sequence but was set at 12”. Poor Boo. Good boy that he is, he took a deep breath and jumped it! I have never done a lot of wraps and it is a skill I am finding useful for a dog and handler to know.

I need to start thinking about a start-line.

I also need to think about Bug’s crate behavior. I crate him while I walk the course or sequence and this week he was barking a lot. Usually he is really good in his crate. I started walking over to treat him when he was quiet and another classmate actually continued to treat him for being quiet while I was walking other sequences. Next week I might bring a sheet and see if it is that he is visually over-stimulated. Yesterday there was a new dog in class and it was a bit more confusing than normal. In addition to the sheet I will be diligent about treating him for being quiet and not taking his good crate behavior for granted (that is a surefire way to lose it!).

As you might have figured out, I have decided to break the boys’ posts up into two posts. They are working on separate things and one long post can be both a chore to write and a chore to read!


Taryn said...

Covering the crate works pretty well for me. Jimmy is so gung-ho about agility, he just can't tolerate seeing other dogs doing it w/o screaming. Even with a cover, he screams if he knows it's Wilson running. He gets banned to the car now when Wilson is up.

Sara said...

How cool that you're to the point where Bug NEEDS a startline stay. That's great!

Kathy said...

Sounds like you had a great class, those look like some nice sequences. whoo hooo for dogs that are needing start line work now, LOL.