I won’t make any comments like “I’m back to blogging” or “Long time no blog”. I’ll jinx myself if I do, and won’t be back for another year. No, I’ll go directly to what I want to talk about. How about that?
Last week, I took a first private lesson (poor instructor… no one warned her about my chatting) and came back home with homework! Yes, homework! Training that I have to do, which I’m didn’t have to come up on my own. YES!
Basically, she and I discussed what I wanted to do or work on, and we agreed to concentrate on a few things. Yes, Fannie and I did a short demo, but we had to stop because of the rain, thunder, etc. etc. Imagine… Both of us sitting under a canopy with Jasmine and Fannie discussing agility. At least we were out of the rain.
First, rear crosses: they are like a foreign language to me. I’ve never really had a reason to learn them properly before, because Jasmine isn’t fast enough OR doesn’t really run ahead of me. Fannie, on the other hand, has the potential to tolerate them.
Second, tight turns: It’s not something I really worked on with Fannie.
Third, weaves: Doggone it, I can’t seem to get Fannie as excited about them as Jasmine is.
Finally, send to tunnel: I tend to babysit Fannie to tunnels most of the time, not really trusting her to complete them…
Now that we have a plan, we just have to “execute” it…. Right? Not that easy when the region is going through its first real heat wave of the Summer. We patiently waited one whole week before doing our homework. Good thing our instructor is very patient.
What you’ll see in this video is Fannie’s homework. I did all the same exercices with Jasmine, except for the weaves and the tunnels. I’ll post the video later on.
Rear crosses: Fannie certainly doesn’t get a rear cross to the right, but does well with the left. Yup, a sure sign that she totally doesn’t understand the command. I began with a good 3-4 metres away from the jump. Not sure what to do with my arm yet….
Weaves: I opened the weaves at about 5 cm, and did a straight entry, both sides, as well at a 45 degrees angle. Fannie understands that I’ll put the reward at the end, and it’s waiting for her. She’s happy! We were around 2 metres away.
Tight turns: I can’t believe I did that!!! I was silent!!! The reason we’re working on the turns is to give them a command! Argh. Other than that, she did well I think.
Send Tunnel: She did well, but on the left entry, I raised the level of difficulty. I stopped at about 1.5 metres away, and she started to do a U-turn inside the tunnel. I gave her the command to continue, which she followed. Note: I’m standing at about 2 metres away of the tunnel most of the time.
- Remember to warm up and engage with Fannie. I automatically do it with Jasmine, sooooo, what am I waiting for to do what’s right with Fannie? Hmpf!
- Keep the same distance in RC with Fannie. She still doesn’t get it.
- Remember to put a jump after the weaves to avoid the hops getting higher and higher at the last 2 poles.
- Keep that arm up to support her, which I tend to forget.
- Remember to give the “tourne” command to Fannie (I still can’t believe I didn’t do it!)
- Remember to practice both sides with tight turns. *sigh*
- Keep increasing the distance that I stop away from the tunnels, which will reduce the “babysitting” at the tunnel.
General comment: The advantage of training both dogs one after the other is that I can compare performances. Although Jasmine shows more speed, what truly surprised me was the focus she gave me this evening. She usually ends up doing her own thing in a normal practice. This may mean that I’m keeping each dog’s session the right length of time.
Fannie is totally focused on me, which I explain by the food. Next time, I’ll leave some toys on the ground where we train. We’ll see what happens then! Yes, I’m an evil human.
Here is our practice video. It’s a bit boring, and you’ll quickly get tired of me saying : “Bravo”.