This is a page to share with you all what we are going through right now; what we are learning, and what we are struggling through, in hopes that we can inspire some of you to research new ways to work through the issues in your own lives.  


Posted by Amanda Beasley on Saturday, June 18, 2011 Under: Agility: Foundation
Yay! We have made quite a few leaps forward since my last post 9 days ago (and I was out of town for 5 of them!). Kenzie did her first purposeful (I think, hope, pray) stride extension on the down plank to hit the contact zone. I have been running her down the down board only for about a week now, starting her in the one spot that I found made her naturally hit the contact zone most of the time. This made it so that she was constantly getting marked for the right behavior, and the few times she did not get it (usually at the beginning of a session), she would not get marked, and then she would hit for the rest of the session very consistently. So yesterday I decided to test whether she really knew what she was supposed to do, by moving her back 1ft (all four feet on top plank just before down plank). If she still put her feet in the spot on the contact zone that she has been clicked for all of this time, than I know that she is doing it on purpose, because I know for a fact that when she is started with all four feet on the top plank, her stride will not naturally take her into the contact zone.  The first stride she jumped off the side, the second was high and about right for starting off where she did, the third was lower, right on the line for the contact zone, and the fourth and fifth were exactly right, with back feet in the middle of the contact zone with feet spread nicely! Someone came along to talk to us then and broke the concentration, and when we went back to it she was missing again, but I was happy with what I got and I am hoping that it was purposeful. Today when I tried again to bring her back further, she missed and jumped and tried all kinds of things. I then moved her back to four on top at the edge of the down plank and she missed that as well. So now I am hoping that she will remember what gets her that click so that we can get back into the RC groove again. It was all my fault for pushing her too fast, so I will take it a lot more slowly after this, moving her back gradually as I also increase the height of the dog walk.

Another area of improvement is with Kenzie's rear cross! She can do it!!!! I just had to get her to realize that turning away from me was a possibility, then cross early while giving the verbal command to jump, and she got it no problem!!! Once she realized that this may happen, she started watching for it, and it now picking it up quite well. I am so very excited, because now we can continue in our one jump two jump work.

Kenzie has also improved in the teeter. We are at 16" and she runs the length of the board with me just holding it for a split second before letting it drop and her go into the 2o2o. I am now waiting for steve to finish my spec teeter, because the one that I have now has a plank of only 9ft, as opposed to the 12ft it is supposed to be.

Kenzie has also just figured out the "gymnist" trick! I have been thinking of ways to do this for months now, but finally decided to just go with it, and it worked!!! So the gymnist trick is when she climbs the wall with her back feet, ending up in what looks like a hand stand with wall support. She also drums with her back feet when in a 2o2o, which I really like because i know that she is concentrating on her back feet on the board, as opposed to her front feet which are on the ground. I then started having her do the back feet drum on other surfaces, clicking higher and higher taps, having her do it on something that was leaning against the wall (folded crate) so that she ended up climbing up it with her back feet. I then backed her up to a dresser which has little ridges that she can rest her feet on, etc. It is really cool to watch, but I am sure to keep these sessions short or move on to something else, because they do take quite a bit of muscle strength, and I want to work her up slowly.

Kenzie is also perfecting the "go hide" trick where she hides her face under a pillow, and "shy" trick of hiding her face under her paw. She is also getting "bang" down pretty well and she loves cleaning up the laundry, her toys, helping me bring in the groceries, and closing doors, drawers and cupboards when needed. I need to take a video of her tricks. I am now taking them outside to get her used to distractions. We did them in front of the cows today, and she did pretty well considering how much she hates them  =)

Okay, so that is all for now. Happy Training!

In : Agility: Foundation 

Tags: tricks  "running contacts" 
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