My trick for this week is NOT dumbbell related (although it could've been as I have made a lot of progress with the DB and will have to show you sooner or later - LOL)! I have been working on my new trick off and on for awhile and finally have something to show you. Most dogs stand when they do this one but I prefer to sit!! :)
Mom says I need to get all my feet in that littlest bowl but I think she's completely looney!
I love the jump in place exercise in the video - I could do it all day! What could be easier - stand, boing, get treat, repeat! LOL! For my agility guru foundation friends - does it look like I push off from my back legs and jump like I should? (same video but with some slow motion editing here)
Yesterday I made major progress with my dumbbell (you'll be relieved to know that there is no video of that!). Mom stood up straight and acted more confident and I held on to that DB and walked in a circle a few times (on leash). I only dropped it once. We haven't tried it yet today but I am sure we will.
It was sunny and 25 this afternoon and we went on an awesome walk at the park! Even though mom hates winter, she does like going to the park in the winter. There are very few bikers (there was one though on a snowy bike path - crazy) and joggers (there was one of those too) and cars and people. We got to walk in some places we never go - like on the bike path. We saw an opossum out in broad daylight - poor guy was maybe hungry and hopefully not sick? I met a miniature American Eskimo dog that I had met awhile ago but hadn't seen in months and I actually PLAYED with him a little (until he annoyed me and I had to growl to get him to stop). It was all very fun!
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! I finished my annual holiday video yesterday so I'll post it soon!
We went to open agility practice at our club again today! It was very fun! I have been so cooped up in the house with not much exercise so it was great to be able to go somewhere and do agility!
Mom warmed me up with obedience and tricks again and then we worked on the double and triple jumps and the chute. I hadn't seen the chute there in many months but today I went through it with zero hesitation! We had a curved tunnel set up so that I could go in the tunnel and come out and do the double (this time set up with wings to make it look different). I did all the jumps - no refusing, no knocked bars. Of course, I am pretty relaxed at the club so stress is not usually a factor.
The woman with the dog who was crashing the triple last week was there today too. Her dog did much better. And mom talked to her quite a bit and found out a little more about their training, etc. After talking for awhile, mom admitted that she had been upset last week at watching the dog get punished for knocking the bars. But the woman said it has been years and years of trying many training options and that since her dog just doesn't care if she crashes, she has had to figure out something to make an impression on the dog. She said she hates it too but the way she is working with her dog now is the only thing that has improved the situation. Mom felt a lot better about it all and was really glad they talked!
Actually the woman was super nice and gave us some good advice. They discussed the possible ETS issue and the woman just said - so what if he has it or doesn't - you still have to come up with ways to help him. (something along those lines). Made sense to mom and me. She also thinks that dogs who don't hold their startline stays are often just stressed (as opposed to super excited to run) and that while she trains the dog to have a good stay, she always runs with the dog at a trial. She thinks mom is getting too far ahead of me and that is demotivating me. Like mom should stay with me when I come out of a tunnel and drive towards the next obstacle (yes, we have heard that before but had been trying other things - always experimenting a little). I did a jump to the tunnel and mom yelled GO GO GO at me while I was in the tunnel and I sped up quite a bit. Also if I come out of the tunnel and am headed for the double for instance, mom should tell me - BIG jump - as I am exiting so I can focus faster on the jump instead of focusing on mom first. And the woman thinks that if I do speed up more and get a little more power I might have less trouble getting over the big jumps or if I take off too early, I will have the momentum to clear the jump any way and have more confidence approaching the jump too. So even though mom has always been a cheerleader for me out there, she might need to do even more and be more assertive about it.
Sorry but we really ain't got nothing! LOL! Mom has been working with me on signals - you know, for open obedience - where I am a little distance away and I sit, down, come on hand signal alone. Some times it seems like I know what I am doing and some times I don't! And we have been working more on holding the darn dumbbell! Look at the video - mom says I know what "hold it" means but she can't at all figure out how to get me to WALK while holding it! (this is a new video from today but it is very similar to our other dumbbell videos - I'm beginning to think mom or me is the actual dumbbell!)
Yesterday we went to open agility practice at the club for the first time since June! It was so cold outside and we needed an indoor activity. I got to practice lots of doubles and triples. Two other people there with their dogs were also having trouble with the spread jumps. Those dogs were crashing them - especially the one dog. If her mom ran with her, she jumped fine. But if her mom lead out and was standing there without moving, then she totally came crashing down right on top of the triple! We're sorry to say that her mom got mad at her for knocking down the bars. We think the dog is doing the best she can but maybe we are wrong since we really don't know them at all. Mom ran with me each time and I once again didn't fly freely over like I used to maybe last year, but I didn't refuse and I didn't knock the bars down. Mom also changed the way the jumps looked by adding extra jump standards or on the triple she took all but the highest bar off and then added the bars. We also had fun doing some obedience in the warm up area. It was good for us and we are going to try to go every Wednesday this month.
Today was our last class of the year and of this session so we ran two courses. There was a double jump that was repeated in each course and I did all of them. Mom supported me and didn't take off running too fast and didn't try any fancy handling - she presented the double to me as well as she could each time and that helped. I didn't fly freely over it but I didn't refuse it or knock a bar or anything.
It is super cold outside so there won't be any demo video this week. And there are only a few points that mom wants to try to remember from today. One is that she is not thinking enough about setting a line for me. Like if a handler is doing a lead out, she should think about the line she wants her dog to take and that will tell her where to stand (or where to do a cross if she is not leading out). With all the things that mom tries to think about, she still is not really looking at MY line! Also the handler has to go past the plane of a jump to encourage the dog to follow and not to back jump (this really needs video to show what we mean but hey, not this week - LOL!). And finally, what about lead changes? Every time Jenn brings up something about the dog being on the left lead or right lead or changing leads mom hears, "LaLaLaLa" and her eyes glaze over. So during the three week break from classes, maybe mom will study that a little bit and then she can help me even more out on the course.
At the end of class we started to try some "bombproof" weave drills. First one, put your dog on a stay and go to the end of the poles. Recall your dog through the weaves and as your dog starts towards you, you walk in the direction the dog is coming. Disaster!!! I thought I had done something wrong when I started weaving and then saw mom coming towards me - so I stopped weaving and wouldn't go any farther. (Mom wishes she wouldn't have even tried this one with me as I was a little demotivated and bummed by it). Oh well, we won't be practicing that one but it might be good for some dogs. Then next drill was the handler leads out or just gets ahead of the dog, the dog starts weaving and the handler runs through the poles to the other side (like around pole 8). We were good at that one. Another one which we didn't get time to try is moving one set of 6 poles at an angle (little bit at first) so that eventually the dog does 6 poles and keeps going into the other 6 but they are angle at maybe almost 90 degrees. Sounds interesting and we'll try it some day.
We want to say thank you to all who left us comments on my last post! We really appreciate the thoughts, advice, support and concern from everyone! I wish I could say we have a plan or we are not still kind of freaking out etc. but I can't. Worrying about whether I do or don't have ETS has taken some of the joy out of doing agility.
But we did do a little triple practice today. Mom taped some of my jump bars with red stripes and then fashioned a triple jump out of three of my regular jumps. When I first tried it, I did hesitate a little and I jumped it close to the right side posts. I gained confidence and was soon sailing over it (although I do take off pretty early). No knocked bars. Here are a few of my tries (there were two single jumps before the triple but they are not in the video):
Mom is planning to make the jump look different every day so that maybe I will get used to weird looking jumps.
A couple weeks ago we made this little video loosely based on our friend Dare's forward sends - mom just wanted to see if I would keep going to the jump as she moved farther back. I am slow but I get the job done! :)
My name is Ricky (Covewind Little Ricky, AX,AXJ,CGC) and I am a six year old tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. I do agility and I like to learn tricks too! This blog is about all that and some other stuff as well!