Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Agility Foundation work with Flash- 7 months

Foundation Agility stuff I did with Flash today :)

5th Session- 3 strides from the box.

Our fifth session doing proper striding from the box.

I'm still working on Baer's coordination issues & body awareness techniques, but as long as I get good repetitions of 3 strides back, I'm going to continue practicing this.

Her box turn is all over the place in this, but I always practice her turn 5 times before we start working on other stuff. I'll get a video of that next session, because I'm curious why she's able to do a beautiful turn consecutively when it's just the box, and then her turn somewhat deteriorates when she's doing runs.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Respecting Stride Regulators in Flyball

So the stride regulators I used for teaching Baer 3 strides from the box. A (very smart dog trainer) friend gave me this idea- basically teaching Baer to respect the regulators. As you can see, she does her striding in the first two sessions, then the third & fourth she leaps over the last stride- and when I do not reward this behavior, she goes back to taking that last stride.

Now what I'm going to do next is add another stride in- and we'll go from there. I want to practice this every other day, and really ingrain it into her memory. We will see how it goes :)

Flyball Work- Sept 18 2013

So this is my first practice session with Baer after this past tournament- working on the 3 main things I feel are slowing her down.

First- her box turn. I borrowed a matter prop from my captain, which *hopefully* blends in with the box. If you see the slow-motion portion of the video, she's getting VERY high on the box. Almost too high, her back legs are getting caught up on the top of the box. Normally Baer's turn is very snappy, but she's been hanging on the box with this prop (but it's much better than when she was going wide at the tournament). I'll be posting more videos once we get more practice in with the matted prop.

Second- Three strides off the box. I'll upload another video soon, which shows how I'm teaching her to respect the stride regulators- but I'm just impressed that she's doing three strides. I have one stride 5 feet from the first jump, then another 5 feet from the first regulator. I will be phasing out these regulators in hopes that as they get smaller, she won't lose that third stride. Time will tell.

Third- teaching Baer not to launch over the start line. I set up two jumps, ten feet from each other, and then a mock start line 6 feet from the first jump. I put Baer literally one foot from the start line in a sit/stay, and then I called her over them. She was only leaping from the start line, which we will be repeating over and over again to get that motion in.

Hopefully at flyball practice tomorrow I can get videos of all 3 things to see how they've improved or gotten worse since we did this practice. If you have any questions as to the methods for my madness, feel free to ask :)

I said, Make it count!

Flash, 7 months old, doing restrained recalls at this past tournament.


This past tournament we went to, Baer didn't get any faster times than a 4.3. I was blown away- a dog that, less than a year ago was putting out 4.0's, was crashing this hard?

This flyball shit is a lot harder than it looks!

First, she was leaping over the start/finish line to the first jump. And leaping is a bad word for it. More like flying. We measured how far away her take off was- almost 6 feet from the start line! That's lost time.

Second, her box turn looked horrible. Here's her box turn from THREE DAYS before the tournament: Now at the tournament, Baer was going out of the lane. Every single time. There's lost time.

Thirdly, something that has never changed, her striding from the box. She does two strides- then another giant leap of faith over the first jump back. Losing more time.

Fourth- she ran on our Multi team, and then ran a half spot on another team. Baer weighed 52lbs for this tournament- compared to the 49lbs she was, at the Revolution tournament. I don't care how many people bitch me out for having my dog be "too skinny", it's best for her when she weighs less. I can't see any of her ribs right now and she's got a small fatty covering on her ribs- no good for a sporting dog, especially one that's as active and trains as much as her. She got tired way too quickly- and her entire lay out got sloppy. I feel bad because I know it's my fault she got out of shape, but I'm not going to dwell on it- back to 49lbs we go. So...there's even more lost time.

Now, we had a BLAST at this tournament. Flash got a lot of good distraction training (more on that to come), and Baer did great running on two teams- she was a great sport the entire weekend and had a lot of fun. But now that I have an idea of how to correct what we're doing wrong- you can bet your ass we're going to be busy training :)