06 March 2012

In case you want to practice like the team, just follow along at home.

We do still do agility. Not enough. On Monday practice day, I make sure we work on something challenging, as well as tune up teeter totters and dogwalk contacts. Otterpop always gets to do some gambling, and Gustavo always works on everything.

My criteria for practicing is that everybody does everything balls out super fast. And accurately. And without jumping off the cliff. My criteria for me is trying to do stuff right so my dogs can do it right. And balls out super fast running even if my legs are sore from bootcamp class.

If I make something too hard for Gustavo and he seems baffled, I use Otterpop as a guinea pig to figure out how I can handle it better so he gets it, these days he can do mostly same stuff as her. Except for working at a distance. I don't think he's ever going to have the gambler's chops that she does, although I am starting to teach him the dark arts. Never say never, but we have a ways to go in the wizardry department.

Here's what we practiced yesterday:

Discriminations, a million ways.

This was already set up, bonus no dragging stuff around, and look at what a nifty set up it is! There are about 50 million ways to work on a little jump drill and work on tunnel and a-frame discriminations at the same time.

For Otterpop, I treated this as a distance drill and stayed way outside the box. Otterpop amazes me to no end at how she can read my mind and sped through a dozen complicated little variations on this no matter where I tried to stand to trick her.

For Gustavo, I did work up to some distance challenges but mostly drove him around from inside the box. I found that his discriminations need some tuning up, ahem, which turned out mostly to be a result of my timing. Much work to do.

Weave pole-a-rama, two ways.

Way one is plain old hard, soft side entries. I had 3 jumps to choose from, and we did these both driving together as fast as we could as well at a distance, like a gamble. I was using robot at the end of the weaves which sure does give everybody some fast speedy weaves. AND, almost all accurate entrances for everybody! Wow! Thanks robot!

The other direction we worked on the easier entry as a gamble. Otterpop can do these with her eyes shut, but she had to keep them open because I was switching up how I wanted the 2 jumps before so she had to watch me and not just do her poles. For Gustavo, he doesn't just hit the poles on a verbal from anywhere, so I had to really think about the best way to handle it all from behind my line with the right arm changes everywhere and no confusing evil arms into the poles. He did great! Boy are his poles looking good. This was the dog I never, ever thought I could teach weave poles to. Hooray for the G-man!

Super looper speed teeters.

After some dogwalk drills, using robot again for ensuring super good contacts even if I was running away from the dogwalk, we did some super speed teeters that, besides driving out to the end of the teeter and sticking there til it slammed. Then we worked on this same thing with more distance. That's a new concept to Gustavo-that I don't have to be right there on his teeter and is definitely going to take a while before we can premiere that in competition.

I sure do love my Monday practice days. I sure we wish we had more Mondays in the week, but that's how it goes. I hope you have a fun practice this week too!


Elf said...

Nice suggestions and cool illustrations.

Agility Foot said...

I love your courses, especially the discrimination course.
I'm going to use these at my field. Looks ez to set up.
Thanks Laura.

nosemovie said...

Everyone should do agility on Mondays... then they could stop singing songs about how Mondays suck.

jodi, eh? said...

love your new iPad drawings. When do you have time to do laundry when you're doing all that on your day off? Thank you for sharing Nancy Gyes, she's so awesome that now I want to come to Power Paws Camp!

team small dog said...

I am very lucky to practice at Kathleen's, where I arrive and things sometimes are just set out already that magically happen to be exactly what I want to practice! Jim had been teaching a class over the weekend and set up the a-frame drill, it is very Jim!

Jodi, Nancy said she had such a great time in New York with all of you! You should come to the West! I am probably one of the only people out here who has never been to PowerPawsCamp. I want to be a camper too!