Category Archives: Training

Training Information

2011 Winter Scraps Agility Class K9 Campus

Week 1 – 2011-01-21

This is week 1 of our second round of classes with Scraps at K9 Campus with Linda as a teacher.  This 8-week class we are euphamistically calling remedial intermediate agility.  It’s super cold Friday night in January with a lot of snow outside.  It is warm in the k9 Campus but it is 20 after 8 and we haven’t started class yet.  With only 3 dogs in class we still should get plenty of good practice in.
First run is a simple loop to get going with an emphasis on ” go tunnel” with a tight walk-jump-weave combo to finish.  We did 2 runs and he had some hesitancy with going into the tunnels but the 3-part combo at then end was executed really well.  Scraps’ weaves were really fast considering he probably hasn’t weaved in weeks.

Second set of runs we are practicing “out” versus a “go” to get them out and over a jump.  Scraps is doing it well and has excellent focus and speed tonight.  It is some good practice ofr him. We ended with some teeter practice, not going over it but just having fun banging on it.

Week 2 of 8 – 2011/01/28

Week 2 of class found us once again in a very cold and snowy environment but this week was different.  Maybe Kathy’s back was weak from all the shoveling because she tweaked it earlier in the day.  This meant I was to run with Scraps instead of Kathy.  With the messy winter mix outside I was running in my hiking boots but that didn’t stop Scraps and I from running really fast through the practice drills Linda set up for us.  It was pretty exhilarating running at such fast speeds with Scraps yet learning the techniques on how to run a course in such a controlled  manner.

Week 3 of 8 – 2011/02/04

Week 3 of this class is starting with learning to jump varied jumps with respect to distance between each and jumps being at angles.  Additionally, we are learning Linda’s front cross technique where you have the dog go over a jump and the front cross turns him 180 degrees by a virtual grab of the collar while you pivot away fro  the jump indicating to the dog that we are turning.   On our first run Scraps jumped with a nice rhythmic bounce in a good way as he is a good jumper.  Kathy didn’t really catch up enough with Scrpas exiting the tunnel to try to even attempt the front- cross.  On the second run, Kathy got the front cross but still needs to run faster and slower indicating to Scraps her intentions through this acceleration / deceleration technique.

Next a nice little course was set up to run, no teeter, but everything else. The first run was great and entering the weaves on our comfort side made going through 2 set of 6 a snap.  The second time through the course was even faster but trying to get Scraps through the weaves on our bad side proved to be a disaster.  Linda suggested we work at home with a set of 4 weave poles

week 4 of 8 – 2011/02/11

It was another cold clear night outside but the K9 campus was warm inside which helped Scraps’ warm-up nicely before  the runs. First run includes a series of 6 jumps in a row a varied distances.  Linda wants to mix up the jump distances and heights so the dogs can judge how high and far they have to jump, this way their jumps are efficient and they don’t jump higher and harder than they need to.  At the beginning of a a run never start them to close to the jump where they don’t get a few comfortable strides before they jump.  Some people learn their dog’s optimum distance before a jump and count off the steps like a field goal kicker and place their dog at the proper starting distance.

The first run with Scraps was under control and virtually flawless; speedy yet relaxed.   On the way in reverse it was also well done.  Scraps missed a tunnel entrance and also hit a bar on the series of jumps to close the run.
Now we are running it with the jumps at both 8″ and 12″ heights to make it a bit more challenging in its variety.  Scraps did really well on this run and adjusted like a thinking mammal between the varied jump heights.

The third run we are using the tunnel to work on the “go” command to get them to go do the tunnel.  She is encouraging us to say “go,” “go,” “go” to send the dog over two jumps and to the tunnel. Scraps would “go” over jumps but would turn around to look for confirmation and abort a solid entry into the tunnel.  He never really practiced  “go” recently, so I guess we couldn’t expect too much.  We worked on more “go” with jumps and a toy as a lure to get them to go.  It worked really well for Scraps as he was focused on his toy.

The exciting conclusion to week 4 is that Linda gave me permission to have Rags join the class.  I hope I don’t get kicked out during the first week but it is exciting to have Linda teach the two of us.  Stay tuned!

2010-2011 Winter – Rags In Advanced Beginners Agility Class

Over December and January 2010 and 2011 respectively, Rags the Dog completed her advanced beginners agility class held indoors at St. Huberts in Madison.  Being winter, it has been cold and snowy outside and inside in the class it has been crowded with our teacher Tom trying to teach up to 9 dogs at various capabilities simultaneously.  At times, the class seems agonizingly slow but Rags got better and better every week.  Her contacts are great and she still has a bit of trouble getting excited about running over and through jumps and tunnels.

With the exception of the weave poles, Rags is virtually ready to run in competition this summer.  I’m not saying I expect her to qualify as her focus on me through 20 obstacle may be asking for a lot but I think I will have hope for her.  Below are several of the videos taken during weeks 2 through 6 of the class the class so one day we can look back on Rags to see where she came from.

Week 2 of 8 – 12-5-2010

Week 3 of 8 – 12-12-2010

Week 4 of 8 – 12-19-2010

Week 5 of 8 – 1-9-2011

Week 6 of 8 – 1-16-2011

2010-12-03 Scraps Advanced Beginners Agility Class at K9 Campus week 2

After a week off for Thanksgiving Scraps continued his advanced beginner agility class at K9 Campus. It’s a cold night outside bid cozy in the big open agility room. Lots of tunnels were set up tonight with hoops.

Like last week, the objective of this class will be to untrain Scraps from running to an extended hand and finger as he follows Kathy though the course, but rather, follow her entire body and its angular direction. This will enable us to eventually use arm and hand gestures for other directives to Scraps. It’s a bit frustrating to watch because you know they can do better, but if we succeed at this technique it should really help our control and speed. It will hopefully keep him from getting distracted by sniffing at smells because he is running quickly. It is a win-win situation if you can get it.

For the second run of the night we added a few contacts in the mix to see how well we can run. It has a lot of S-tunnels so we will have to see how that goes. The run ended up pretty good as Scraps did a nice easy run, only once distracted by my presence.

We ended the night with a little free form practice on the teeter. A good week of practice which really drives home the hope that running on the course is the goal, not just completing obstacles. Until next Friday for Scraps but we have Sunday with Rags back at St. Huberts, so check in then.