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.  

This is it...I've decided!!!

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Under: 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 often once she understands it. Plus I love the idea of not having to redo all of the training I do on the 2o2o after every trial. Basically, every time you trial and release your dog the second he reaches the 2o2o, you are undoing all of the STOP training you have been working so hard to instill in their minds...which really is not what you want in the first place.
The Trkman method is pretty vague is the only thing, so I am going to get the dvd and see if she is any more clear in that than she is on her website.

I want to do Trkman RC's for the Dog Walk and A-Frame, then I want her to drive to the end of the plank, then wait for the sound of the plank banging to release her from the Teeter. I dont know if anyone has ever tried teaching this before, but it makes sense to me, so I might as well try! Right now I am trying to decide whether I want to keep going on the teeter training first, or move on to the running contacts while continuing the wobble board exercises. I do not want her to get confused between the board running and the very low teeter, so I cannot do both at the same time.

Right now we are working on:

Circle work: I have a video of this I took last night that I will post. I dont know how we can progress in this other than just doing it in other places (which we are doing). She is great at outside circle full speed, inside circle full speed, 360's (whirl and hurl), front crosses, and deceleration/acceleration. My Good Girl!!!

The point set drill: (Susan Salo's foundation jumping dvd set...SO interesting!). Kenzie is not progressing as well I would like. She goes around the second jump if it is above 12".  So I am just going slow, keeping the sessions short, and today instead of using my steel jumps which go from 4", 8", 12", 16", 20", I am going to move to my pvc jumps which I can slide the jump cups up incrementally 1/2in. at a time, which will hopefully be setting her up for success.

Ladder: she goes up and down it as I walk beside. If she steps out before the end, I do not throw the toy and circle back to try it again. I am not going to do this much longer, as I think that it is practicing going slow, which is not what I want my dog to do.

Chute:I have my chute barrel without the chute on it to introduce her to tunnels. Kenzie is pretty skittish with new things, and I knew that this was going to be touchy to introduce. Since the chute is stationary and not dark, I thought that is would be a nice first step to introducing tunnels. Unfortunately, I first introduced it the "old way", which is to hold the dogs collar right in front of the tunnel (or chute) and call the dog through. Well, I threw the toy through instead, and while she did it one or two times, she then decided that she was never going near that thing again, because I was going to force her to go through, while in my mind I never forced her to do anything, she saw it that she not only became scared of that while thing, she also lost trust in me =(((.   As soon as I realized what had happened, I did not go near the chute for a good week to give her a chance to recover. If I even looked at it, or started to walk in the direction of the chute, she would drop her head and go lay down on the opposite side of the field. Poor girl!!! So now I know that I have to be VERY VERY careful when I introduce her to things. She cannot know that I want her to do them, I just need to set things up so that if she decides to do them, she is rewarded.

After a week of not going near the chute, I decided to put it in the gate of our agilty field (which we go in twice a day to play fetch, catch, running circles, etc. She sees is as a very very fun and rewarding place to be. I have trained her to wait at the open gate for verbal release that she may enter. So I put the chute in the opening, closed the gates around it, then gave the release cue. She shot through the chute and said "Okay! Throw the ball!!!". So I did, but I bowled it through the chute and then did not call her back to me once she ran after it. I just let her decide to go get it and bring it back... and she did! I did the for a couple of days, until she seemed to not be afraid of it any more. 

While I was getting her used to the chute, I was also teaching her the "go ahead" signal of my dog side hand signaling for her to go ahead. I would give the signal while throwing the ball/toy with my other hand. She picked it up no problem. So then I starting giving the go ahead motion to the chute that still had gates on either side. She picked that up right away as well, and then I would throw the toy over the fence for her to go get, always marking (yes!) when she took the chute. The third step was to take the tunnel out of the gate entrance and just have it in the middle of the field. I gave the motion as always, and she took it!!!!  She now loves to run through her chute!  I am now getting ready to change to my tunnel, I just have to figure out a way to stabilize it as well as possible so that she does not get scared by it moving on her.

Running the board: I tried to get her to run the board on the ground last night, but we still have not quite figured out how to make this all work. I want her to be running fast, not just kinda giong for her toy, so that means that the toy must be in motion to get that kind of speed. So I am doing the whole: hold her collar, throw the toy, wait a split second, then release with a "get it" cue. With a wide board, she is staying on it until the end as long as my throw is right on and straight ahead, which should be a given at this point.  

In : Agility: Foundation 

Tags: "running contacts" "turkman method" chute tunnel 
blog comments powered by Disqus

Make a free website with Yola