Our Journey


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.  

Showing Tag: "running" (Show all posts)

Update! Almost there!!!!!!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, In : Agility 
SOOOO, it has been a while since I updated you all on our agility progress. We have now been to 3 fun trials, where Kenzie learned what the whole trialing thing was. At the first two fun trials she was what I call "loopy", which just means that she ran with only 5% of her brain focused on me, the rest of it was focused on everything else = /  So she just ran very wide, though she did stay with me, which is more than it could have been. Then, a couple weeks ago we went to her third fun trial, ...
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Update on Contacts/ Weaves

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Thursday, December 15, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
SOOOO, Kenzie is rocking 12 weaves!!!! It is so exciting to now be working on speed, more difficult entries, and independent performance. Kenzie is also making great progress on the Dog Walk running contact. We are now able to go jump, tunnel, full dog walk, toy. We are working up to full speed, not quite there yet, but I am very happy with our progress. We start A-frame training in 2 days, as well as introducing the chute. Her teeter performance still is not as quick as I would like...I will...
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Weaves and Contacts

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
Ok, so I have been working on weaves and contacts for about a month now, if you take out my traveling for the conference for a week, and now recovering from surgery. I am finally starting to be able to work outside with Kenzie again, albeit slightly dizzy, and moving very little, and slowly at that. =(

We are making great headway in both areas. Kenzie has been running the full height dogwalk starting from the middle of the top plank for about a week.  

We are just about to 6 straight poles, wi...
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A new way

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Monday, October 3, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So, I have been pulling my hair out trying to make the trkman method of Running Contacts work for us. It has been 6 months, 3 of which I worked on it very diligently. I did not know what I was going to do, when a completely new method came to me (as far as I know its new, anyway). It seems so obvious, but simple in regards to training theory. While I was excited to try this new method, a part of me thought that it was pointless, because who am I? How could I come up with my own method that is...
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Running Contacts, here we go again

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Sunday, September 25, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
Update on Kenzie's reactivity training post-vacation...she is fine! A little more reactive to the sound of dogs barking than she was before, but that I can handle =)  We are still able to go to the dog park and be social...HUGE. I have a new dog training class starting tomorrow that I intend to use Kenzie in as a demo dog, we will see how it goes! I have never been able to use her in any of my classes before because she was way too reactive and required 100% of my attention any time there wer...
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Progress!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Saturday, June 18, 2011, In : 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 s...
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Striding just right...

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Thursday, June 9, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So it has been a month since I last gave an update on here, and lots has transpired! I am now up to 24" on the dog walk, and she very consistently runs without jumping at the end, BUT, her stride is such that she lands halfway down the last board and then stretches her next stride to land on the ground, effectively missing the end of the board completely. So I wrote and asked Silvia about it, and she thought that if I played around with start points, as well as did some just one plank work, t...
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First time over low Dog Walk!!!!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Monday, May 9, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So, it has been quite a while since i posted, but I have been taking videos, so I just need to post those so that you can see how we have been progressing. We hit a bit of a snag when I tried to raise the height last week and the middle extension part started to feel a bit unstable, causing her to lose her balance and not make it all the way to the bottom of the board. So I just took the extension part out, and just did not worry about the board being too short for her to get the two strides ...
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Little hitches n glitches

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Friday, April 22, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So we were doing wonderfully with kenzie running through the tunnel and then down the board, but then when I reversed the tunnel so that I would run down the other side of the board, she started jumping and doing something weird with her gait. So I lowered the board down to flat on the ground again and then had a shaping session to the end of the board once more. Since I had lowered it back down to flat on the ground, I decided that it was the perfect time to switch to the skinnier board (the...
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How I catch what I want/dont want

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
I have given up on trying to watch her feet at all, I now just watch her top line. If she is running the way I want, it will be perfectly flat all of the way through the board. This is guaranteed not jumping, and therefore what I want. When I see this I mark it and reward. When I see a lump in her top line (ie she jumped), I just do not mark it and either throw the toy but not very far, or I do not throw it at all. I think I should still be throwing it, since I do not want her to lose speed/m...
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Thoughts on the RC method so far...

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Monday, April 18, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So, as I was telling my Agility instructor Mary Van Wormer, I can now see why they say that Running Contact training is not for everyone...after I decided that I needed to start at square one after three weeks of hard training...I almost gave up. I actually thought about it, but then I went to church and felt that the sermon was written just for me, telling me not to give up on God, but to keep up the good work, trusting that He would bring a harvest. SO...if it were up to me I would have giv...
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A method that works for US

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So, yesterday's practices went great! Basically I had to decide to train my dog the way that makes sense to me, as opposed to the way that others have trained their dogs. So I just focused on shaping the correct end behavior, and then back-chained it, the same way you do a teeter. She did GREAT! Since it was really slow in the beginning when I first started shaping, it was very clear that the click came when she got to the end of the board, not the middle, and not the beginning. Then she got ...
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Lets try this another way...

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Monday, April 11, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
Ok, so I started her back on the board last Sunday, but she started jumping again on tuesday and wednesday. I decided that the difference between running her on the ground (which I did before running her on the board each time) was just too different from running on the board. The board was a good 4" off the ground, so I decided to stop practicing until I could get what I wanted to run her on. So I got a 1/2 in plywood board. I am now teaching her to put her feet on the last portion of the bo...
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Going one step back, but two steps forward!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Monday, April 4, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So I found out that if I ran along side of kenzie, she would jump due to added drive. Also, if I were on her right side, she would almost always jump. If I were on her left, she would give the perfect running behavior. So I decided to: change the dirction of the board, we were running east to west, so now we run north to south, and then also take away the board, so that she is just running between the gates (still 10' apart) on the grass. She has absolutely no reason to jump now! So I ran her...
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Large variations in practices

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Friday, April 1, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So yesterday we had a good, horrible, and great practice...weird. The only thing that was different about the last practice was that it was later in the evening when it was cooler, and she seemed to have more engergy than in the afternoon practice when she was really really hot. She had a 70% in the am, less than a 50% success rate in the afternoon with lots and lots of jumps, and  100% perfect runs in the evening. This afternoon she did the less than 50% again, but it was also pretty hot, so...
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Ego prick...ouch!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Thursday, March 31, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So as you can probably guess by the title, our training has not continued in a positive manner completely. I take fully responsibility for this. I am just having a hard time marking only what I really want. Well, I guess it is more a case of clicking before I have fully comprehended what she just did, and therefore mark it if it is correct, or not mark it if it is not. I have a tendency to guess whether it is going to be a good one or not. Yesterday morning I clicked twice when I should not h...
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Getting Somewhere!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 

So, I am so excited, I finally feel like we are really doing Running Contact training. Up until this point, I was really just doing prep work; getting her confident in running quickly down the board. I knew that in order for me to be able to withhold reward when she misses the target spot, she would need to be confident enough in the behavior for her to be willing to try again. Now, in the last two days, I have added some height, and changed my criteria...this is where the REAL challenge come...


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Figuring it all out

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Monday, March 28, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
March 28th
So it has been a full week of running Kenzie over the 10' board with slats...unfortunately, every session has been different, as I am still trying to dial-in how she best learns, and how to set her up for success while still going at the speed I want, and still being able to learn, which is a lot harder than it sounds. If I use a toy, she has a hard time thinking. I teach very very few new things with just the toy, as she cannot think while the toy is around. I have to teach it with...
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Board Work, Figuring it all out

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Thursday, March 17, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So yesterday was our second and third running contacts training sessions. I pretty much spent the whole time trying to figure out how to get her to run FAST across the board, while also staying on it the whole way. I figured out that I can put her in a stay on the board, then throw the ball straight and she will stay on it, but if my throw is off a tiny bit (which it usually is), she does not make it to the end. I have to figure out how to make her successful. Whether that is preliminary work...
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This is it...I've decided!!!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, In : Agility: Foundation 
So after much much much thought/consideration/research/nail chewing =)  I have decided to take the plunge and train Silvia Trkman's running contacts! Since it is a lot of work in the beginning, but less later on, this is the perfect time to start training. From what I have heard, I can always train a 2o2o if this does not work out, so what the hey? Why not? I love the idea of it, plus it would be easier on her in the long run (since I am not planning on running her over contact equip all that...
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