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Vickie

Agility Training Talk Thread

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Vickie   

I know there is already a training talk thread, but thought I would see if anyone was interested in doing an agility specific one...

Question. For those of you who run more than one dog, do you aim to run them the same?

I was determined to run my girls the same but think I am finally coming to the realisation that I really need to be running them a little differently. I don't want to change my system/handling rules but I think they are just too different for me to try to run exactly the same way.

The issue is with stride & commitment. Shine has a MUCH longer stride than Trim. She covers the ground faster and lands in different places. Their stride is their stride & I don't think I can or should change it.

The commitment issue, I think is a bit related to stride but also just the difference between how I have trained them & the way they naturally are. Trim commits much later than Shine. The benefit with Shine is that I can send her & know she will go. The downside is that I have to call/handle A LOT sooner or sh's off course. The benefit with Trim is that I can pretty much call her off anything, even mid air. The downside is that I really need to support her all the way, the slightest twinge & she will take it as a signal to turn.

I tend to run Trim silently, but am discovering that it is better for Shine if I verbalise a bit more.

So what do you think? Should I try to change their commitment so I can run them the same? or should I just know that they are different & run them as such?

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Different strokes for different folks (or dogs) I'd say Vickie.

Run each to get the best from them. I think its easier for us if we run our dogs in the same manner but I think each dog deserves the handling that gets the best from it.

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Although my two are both BC's there is no way that I can run them both the same way. Their skill and drive levels are so different that it will just never work.

Xena is really drivey and has exceptional value on the game. I don't have to say a lot around the course and don't have to cheer lead by running (although she seriously makes me move on some courses.)

CK on the other hand needs me moving to keep him going and needs a lot more baby sitting - not because he doesn't like the game, but because his is not a great fan of running ahead on his own. I also need to talk him around a course a lot more than I do Xena.

Both can be quick, but it takes the planets to align for CK to do it whereas Xena is quick while ever her eyes are open. LOL.

They do both undestand the same handling cues, I just have to work that much harder with CK.

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smisch   

Well considering the time difference between Jock and Den and the Size Difference too it's made it a real eye opener as to my handling skills and timing and turns

Den is basically a more corrected version of Jock meaning

  • I didn't focus on jocks ability to work close and far from me... Den has been taught both
  • Independance .. We're still gaining it but already because of this Den is far more independant.. No babysitting the weaves still working on contacts

I never run these two the same even if it could be Done I wouldn't there are similar cues but each dog has their own interprtation of those cues. I say to Jock contact and his interpretation of it is "oooooh oooh bum shuffle to the bottom or SUPERDOG" Den takes it as "steady pace must touch it.." I have taught them both a 2o2o and yet I never get one lmao.. I'm far too lenient.

Both dogs have really different committment points as well and I'm not going to change it as they commit when they are confident and I think they feel my confidence in them where as If I'd try and make them commit elsewhere It shuts them down as its not their "natural" point. I have been working with Den on Shortening his takeoff distance as he literally flies from a good two body lengths back But I have found it makes him less confident. Jock on the other hand will walk right up to a bar before jumping it some days.

I guess alot of my handling comes down to the significant size difference in the dogs cos for every1 den stride jock takes 3 or 4... Hmmmm...

I have food for thought here.. Gonna watch a few vids and see what my handling is like on the same course

lol and I have no clue if any of that made sense lol

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Vickie   
I think its easier for us if we run our dogs in the same manner

It sure is. The thing I find most difficult is when I am actually out there & I have to think "remember you are going to do something different here". I don't do well if I have to think on course. I think it would be easier if they weren't in the same class.

but I think each dog deserves the handling that gets the best from it.

:thumbsup: yes I guess you are right. I owe it to them to be as clear as possible.

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Vickie   
Although my two are both BC's there is no way that I can run them both the same way. Their skill and drive levels are so different that it will just never work.

It's hard isn't it. Although you seem happy with the way things are :thumbsup: so you are obviously not struggling with it as I am. Do you ever lose yourself in the moment & forget which dog you are running?

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Vickie   
I have food for thought here.. Gonna watch a few vids and see what my handling is like on the same course

let us know what you find :thumbsup:

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Yay for agility talk thread! :thumbsup: I only have the one dog in agility and learning how to run him to the best of his ability has been a long enough process and we still aren't even halfway there!

However I can see when my pup starts agility he will need a totally different handling system, with Toby it is very instinctual, he naturally followed my shoulders and watched my body language, stride length and arms so it has been easy in one way to communicate with him.

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ness   

Hey Vickie,

Great thread. I run 2 BCs and yep they are both very very different to run. I am thankful that Ness is reaching the end of her career just as Kenz is getting started because I don't think I could adapt to running to very different dogs. I am still in the very early days of learning to run Kenz and work out what I need to do to get her to go where I want and keep her bars up. They have very different committment points to obstacles and that is in part no doubt experience. Kenz will pull off an obstacle until she is actually performing it whereas Ness is committed when she spots it.

I have Kenz entered in her second trial this coming weekend - no we still don't have it together but we are at the point where I think the only way we will get it together is getting out there and giving it a go. My handling is still very much suited to a slower dog so I guess it will be a bit the case of baptism by fire :thumbsup: .

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pie   

I'm not aiming to run my dogs the same at all, there isn't that much of a size difference really (one is a 300 dog and one is a 400 dog, similar proportions) but even just from doing basic training with Trixie I can see huge differences, Kyzer is small and darts this way and that, is quite nervous so doesn't like working with a huge amount of distance or being sent out to jumps far away (need to do more work with this) can turn on a dime so I can't turn away from a jump until he has pretty much taken off, Trixie is faster, but longer strides, wider turns, commits to tunnels etc earlier, I can see I'm going to have to do more distance work with her or she's just going to end up jumping all over me because I'm going too slow :rolleyes:

I have Kenz entered in her second trial this coming weekend - no we still don't have it together but we are at the point where I think the only way we will get it together is getting out there and giving it a go. My handling is still very much suited to a slower dog so I guess it will be a bit the case of baptism by fire

Good luck! :thumbsup:

I got to that point with Kyzer too, he was doing well in training and we needed to start trialling because the trial environment is half the challenge isn't it! He does well in training, we rarely have a really bad training session, but at trials it just falls to pieces! Last night at our closed club trial we ran a Masters jumping course clear twice (first time I got a bit lost though - so many jumps! :D :( ) because it was just like a normal training night, but at trials he just zones out most of the time. Still trying to figure out what the problem is, I suspect it's a combination of my nerves, a lot of barking dogs & people, and maybe getting tired throughout the day. We're going to be in novice agility forever :)

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ness   

:thumbsup: I figure Kenz will have her JDO long before she has her JD at the rate we are going. She seems to handle around the tricky courses better then she does the simple stuff. Not running her in agility yet as I am not confident her contacts are proofed and that she understands her job properly. She has never missed a contact in training but having made the mistake of entering Ness far to early with shitty contact behaviors and still living with that mistake 9 years later I felt we would hold off.

My real concern for this weekend is the wet weather forecast and the fact Kenz's tail is soooo excessive that I think I might get some bars pulled because she will flick them off with the weight of her tail. Might have to resort to the scissors between now and then.

Edited by ness

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Vickie   

One of the main reasons I am thinking about this is b/c we ran a course on the weekend that had a serpentine in the middle of it.

We don't usually have an issue with serps but this one caught us out. Shine landed so that she had no choice but to do it correctly. Trim cut in as she had already committed to the wrong side of the 2nd jump before she took off for the first.

serp.jpg

I did some training with this yesterday & Trim & I are now getting it :rolleyes: . Now I need to try to get Shine to do what Trim did...just in case that is the course next time.

It is so hard to get stuff like this right in a split second on course. They really can't be conscious decisions...they have to be instinctual actions. I'm getting better at being instinctual but still have a ways to go (obviously :thumbsup: ).

Edited by Vickie

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Vickie   
:thumbsup: I figure Kenz will have her JDO long before she hass her JD at the rate we are going. She seems to handle around the tricky courses better then she does the simple stuff.

Seems to happen a lot. I think it's b/c we handle so much better & stay so much more connected on the hard stuff, b/c we have to to get through it.

Our Masters Jumping course on the weekend looked fantastic, very flowing & was a lot of fun to run. Both my dogs took a (different) off course & DQ'd.

The Masters Agility looked plain ugly, lots of odd lines & complex bits the whole way through. Shine took a bar :rolleyes: & Trim won it :( .

I took the jumping for granted & had to work my butt off in the agility.

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pie   

Yes I have that problem too, if it's too easy the dog gets it wrong, yet he can pull off the trickier courses! I always thought it was because he thought they were boring but it's probaby like you say Vickie - staying connected, when you're doing a lot of crosses and calling the dog and he has to really follow you he probably doesn't get a chance to disconnect, but on the straight boring ones where you're just running in a line it's harder to stay connected. Never thought of it that way before!

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ness   

Also think part of it is to do with the fact Kenz still seems to want to pull off a long straight line of jumps which means she is likely to run past one as she can't control her speed in order to judge the jumps. Yep a training issue still but we are working on it. Whereas in open because there is more complexity to the course she is handling them because there just isn't the long straight runs to the same level. Having said that she has only run 2 JD courses and 1 JDO course so far.

But then she made a serious mess of the two JD courses and only had 5 course faults in JDO.

I agree though the novice courses are a bit to simple though and I find the faster the dog the more a mess they seem to make. The slower novice dogs seem to cope with the straight forward courses a little better. I am still toying with running her at 500 until she is out of novice jumping just to give her something more to think about. Having said that though she isn't yet at the point where I could expect to run her at 500 and 400 on the same day and have all the bars stay up so if I opted for that I'd just have to enter only novice jumping with her.

Edited by ness

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Although my two are both BC's there is no way that I can run them both the same way. Their skill and drive levels are so different that it will just never work.

It's hard isn't it. Although you seem happy with the way things are :thumbsup: so you are obviously not struggling with it as I am. Do you ever lose yourself in the moment & forget which dog you are running?

I did used to forget which dog I had, but haven't for a while.

I think it is because I have to adopt a totally different mind set with each in preparing to go into the ring. Xena I get out and wander around with, trying to keep it just a little bit calm.

CK I leave in his crate until the very last minute. Run to the ring tugging like mad. Tug until I have to enter the ring (or give the steward my lead if we are doing ANKC) and then get him off the line as quickly as possible.

I think the other thing that is helping me is that I am making a REALLY concerted effort to 'stay connected' with each dog and watching them so closely means I'm less likely to forget who I have with me.

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It is so hard to get stuff like this right in a split second on course. They really can't be conscious decisions...they have to be instinctual actions. I'm getting better at being instinctual but still have a ways to go (obviously :thumbsup: ).

Uh huh.

I'm only just now beginning to be able to run courses and make decisions on the way around. I think part of it is almost instinctual, but I think the other part of being able to do it is being controlled enough to think 3 or 4 obstacles ahead.

I've found that since I've started to be able to do that I get things badly wrong a lot less often.

The other challenge you have is quick dogs. Dogs that don't move quite so quickly give you a chance, our guys don't......

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Tassie   

Vickie wrote:

Seems to happen a lot. I think it's b/c we handle so much better & stay so much more connected on the hard stuff, b/c we have to to get through it.

I'm sure you're right Vickie - and that seems to be the consensus of our Masters handlers down here.

Your serp example was an interesting one - thinking about it briefly, it seems to illustrate the different timing needed with cues for the different dogs. Kirra would have been more likely to do what Trim did, I think, unless I delayed the cue for the second jump long enough - she's still very quick to respond to many cues, so I find myself turning her too soon - except when I'm too late :rofl: . Old brain - quick dog :laugh:

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My 2 are very different dogs to run, I don't think it would ever be possible to run them both the same. While it isn't as difficult to run Charlie as it used to be (and Vickie, you have attempted that lol) he is still a harder dog to run. He no longer looks for a way out but will stress if he doesn't have all the information in plenty of time.

Charlie will drive ahead nicely but wont always pick up on subtle offset jumps and as a result can run right past an obstacle when he is ahead of me. The same thing with distance work, he has really nice distance but will sometimes go out too far and around stuff as he just doesn't instinctively follow a line. My favourite was Loris' JDO last year in Newcastle. The distance part was quite technical, involved layering jumps and bringing them to you and back out, finishing off with sending to a tunnel. Charlie did all the technical stuff perfectly then ran around the outside of the tunnel (it was very sneaky, neither Loris nor I realised until he got to the end and didn't actually come out of the tunnel, instead he came from behind it :rofl: ) He has become much better at understanding my body with offset jumps though, and will push out nicely to jumps and save my arse where Delta would just miss them if I don't get into the right position. Delta has proven over and over again that she can follow the most ridiculous of offset lines which is a great help in many gamblers runs. She works nicely ahead of me but doesn't have the same distance ability as Charlie. She will work at a distance but needs to be catapaulted out there alot more than him, rather than just moving laterally away from me.

Part of Charlie's "get the love back for agility" training involved lots of short sequences for a tennis ball. I now have the issue of anywhere on a course that looks like it could possibly be the end of a sequence (usually a jump leading to nowhere) and Charlie will power ahead in anticipation of a throw, then go out really wide as I attempt to turn him and bring him back on course which wastes a ridiculous amount of time. When I get my timing right, Delta is a much tighter dog, unfortunately I cannot get it together of late and we are having some very crunchy runs as a result.

Charlie is also a slower dog around the course, he isn't as efficient over jumps and doesn't flatten out as much which means he is taking off and landing alot closer to the jump than Delta, who flattens out and is already on top of the next jump if I don't give a signal to turn in time.

Because mine started trialling at the same time they have pretty much always been in the same classes so I have to walk every course in 2 different ways. Some courses I walk completely differently as I will very rarely rear cross Charlie as I don't want to risk stressing him, and front crosses work much better for him. Most of the time I know I wont be able to get into the position for the same front cross with Delta so I walk it again with rear crosses. Then I hope I remember which course is for which dog when I get out there :laugh: It makes it even harder for things like gamblers and snooker as I will avoid contacts and weaves in opening sequences whenever possible with Charlie, so I end up with 2 completely different courses :laugh:

I think that every dog is different and it is up to us to treat them as such. I don't think it is fair to expect one dog to run just like another to convenience us, we work with what they give us. When I was really struggling with running them both about 12 months ago I seriously considered taking it in turns with them, and only running one at each trial because it just wasn't fair on them. Charlie was so hot and cold that whenever he was happy to run for the day I focussed so much on him that Delta kinda lucked out and had to find her own way around courses, and whenever he wasn't happy to run I made it worse by not wanting to run him and focussing on her. I managed to work through that though, and was able to look at each dog as individual and see their strengths and weaknesses and understand what each had to offer me out there to use.

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Vickie   
I think that every dog is different and it is up to us to treat them as such. I don't think it is fair to expect one dog to run just like another to convenience us, we work with what they give us. ...

...I managed to work through that though, and was able to look at each dog as individual and see their strengths and weaknesses and understand what each had to offer me out there to use.

I think there is a fine line here. I don't want one dog to run like the other for convenience. I want the best I can get out of each of them. If I work with what they give me, then how do I ever seek to improve?

When I started running Shine, I liked the way she would drive ahead of me. I recognised it as a strength & something I want in a dog. Rather than recognising that Trim is different, I set about teaching her to drive ahead better. She is still not as good as Shine at it, but she is HEAPS better & still improving. Because I could compare them, I saw it as a weakness in Trim & have made an effort to improve it.

Same with tight turns. Trim naturally turns tight. Shine does not. Again Trim is still better at it, but Shine is much tighter than she was because I have spent a lot of time training it.

Shine has better weave entries. I thought Trim's were good, but knowing Shine's are better makes me realise Trim's still need work.

and so on.

Yes there are things we cannot change. But I would rather work on a weakness in training than try to run courses differently forever because of them.

(not saying you are doing this Bec, just trying to justify why I want mine the same)

Edited by Vickie

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