Monday, October 24, 2016

Agility Video

This is our first ever video of a full agility run!  I am so thankful that I've started listening to some agility podcasts because it' really helped me have some perspective.  We're not perfect, but also Ida is still just a baby when it comes to agility dogs!  I watched a video of the Crufts Agility Finals from this year, and most of the dogs in it were over 6 years old, and several were over 10.  We're not going to Crufts, obviously, but it was a nice reminder that there is no reason to panic if she hasn't learned the teeter or the weaves before she turns two in February.

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Notes on the video:
- Ida had not committed to the dog walk when I tried to rear cross, likely because we have not worked on sending across contacts obstacles so she is used to me running right there with her.  Positive: if she had slipped like that a few weeks ago, she would have totally avoided trying it again.

- We really struggle with 2-on-2-off contacts.  At least now, I think Ida understands the idea of what "bottom" means, but we just haven't solidified the execution yet.  With a bottom she always stops, at least for a split second, with 2 feet on and 2 feet off, but she doesn't usually hold it and she often readjusts.  Watching this video at 0:25-0:28, I think using a target plate will help.

- She was struggling with the table that night, probably because we're out of practice.  She's done solid 10-foot sends to the table.  From this video, she seems to have an understanding of "table" (when I just pointed at it she looks back at me for clarification, vs. when I said "table" both times she jumped right on it).  I should have rewarded the sit-stay the second time instead of walking away.

- Immediately after the first table she takes the jump on cue and then heads for the A-frame.  Although I had my hand out and my body was pointing more towards the jumps than the frame, I didn't give her clear enough directions.  I should've called the next jump just before she took the first one.

- The same thing happens again when we reset on the table.  I release her from the "wait" of the table but don't tell her what to do, just that she's free to leave and she runs to me, probably to get her reinforcement for staying on the table.

- She knocks the bar at 1:17 because 1) I started to cue the next obstacle as she was taking off, and 2) her footfur needs trimming, which contributed to her slipping on the slippy training floor.

- Coming off the frame you can see more clearly how being rewarded for stopping in front of me instead of beside me has shaped her positioning; as a result, she always swings out to face me to get her reward.  A target plate at the bottom, or maybe tossing the food away from me, should help with that.

Things to work on in next class:

- Call the correct obstacles, don't just stand there like a dead fish.

- Don't make a big deal out of downed bars; reward for successfully completing the obstacle directly after a downed bar.