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Vickie

Agility Training Talk Thread

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Kavik   

I think the difference in size and stride may mean some things may never be the same. Kaos has a long stride and I have issues with off course obstacles that some others don't as he jumps big and lands far out. I really need to work on our tight turns as he is not good at this :rofl: He also has an early commitment point for tunnels. So I foresee that if I get another (smaller) Kelpie, this will take some adjusting on my part as I am used to a bigger striding dog.

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Cosmolo   

Thought i might ask how many of you or anyone else you know does much grid training and combinations similar to show jumping style training for your agility dogs? Having done agility a few years ago no one used to talk about it and i always wondered why we didn't base more of our training on show jumping type exercises. (as i come from a horse background)

Getting back into agility now and planning to experiment with some grids/ stride adjustment etc so would love to hear any thoughts on this and what you do. :rofl:

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Vickie   

Hi Cosmolo,

Most people who train agility seriously now do some form of gridwork both exposure grids & remedial grids.

I have a few different exercises I do to make sure they learn to judge height & spacing & to teach them to collect & extend at speed and will always continue to run these regularly.

I have never done any remedial gridwork yet to change a dogs takeoff point or arc, but many people do. I'm not a fan of remedial gridwork exercises until it is determined there is a problem. There is a trend to start a dog jumping with remedial type exercises & I think dogs need some time & experience to develop a confident jumping style. Most are capable of this without us changing where they take off before they have even learnt to jump.

Edited by Vickie

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Thought i might ask how many of you or anyone else you know does much grid training and combinations similar to show jumping style training for your agility dogs? Having done agility a few years ago no one used to talk about it and i always wondered why we didn't base more of our training on show jumping type exercises. (as i come from a horse background)

Getting back into agility now and planning to experiment with some grids/ stride adjustment etc so would love to hear any thoughts on this and what you do. :rofl:

I started with a dog who is a natural athlete and though pffffttttt........Xena knows how to jump, I don't need to do that with her. (Didn't know what I didn't know.........Unconsciously incompetent.) At the encouragement of a couple of people I've since done a LOT of grid work with both my dogs and swear by it.

It teaches them to look for jump and understand how to jump. The result is that I have two dogs who over two days of competition will generally knock 3 bars between them if we have a bad weekend. I also think it helps keep them safer because they understand what it is they are doing in relation to take off and landing zones. - for me this is probably more important.

The other benefit is that I understand their take off and landing zones which helps me work on accel and decel cues.

Susan Salo's DVD's are a really good reference for this type of stuff.

Cheers

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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)

Unfortunately, we have very different dogs Vickie :D Your guys live for agility, Charlie on the other hand would quite happily give it up :o So I am not going to change what he offers me, I would rather just run with what I have. He hates agility and stresses out so we don't do agility. We stick to jumping and games (coz I can make up a course to suit him and avoid contacts and weaves whenever possible) and I always go out there and work out a nice flowing run home if I feel I am starting to lose him. Delta is more than happy to run, so long as she doesn't have to sit at that dreaded startline :thumbsup:

For major things like you mentioned then yes I would be training the weaknesses too. If it is something that I see as an area to improve then I would be working on it at training. What I meant is that essentially they are all individuals and we will never be able to make them all exactly the same. We can teach them to run a different line but it will never become their natural line to follow so I think there will always be minute differences in handling even if we don't realise we are doing it. Take that serp you posted, now that you have taught Trim how to handle it she will be able to do it, but the next time you see it on a course you will still be aware (on some level of consciousness) that Shine will naturally do it but Trim will need to be handled at that point. With my guys I can run a distance section and not even think twice about sending Charlie out there, but I will still handle it a little more with Delta (and possibly give a verbal "out") even though I have taught her how to do it. I know that it isnt a natural thing for her so I will always handle it a little differently without necessarily trying to.

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Thought i might ask how many of you or anyone else you know does much grid training and combinations similar to show jumping style training for your agility dogs? Having done agility a few years ago no one used to talk about it and i always wondered why we didn't base more of our training on show jumping type exercises. (as i come from a horse background)

Getting back into agility now and planning to experiment with some grids/ stride adjustment etc so would love to hear any thoughts on this and what you do. :o

We do some grid work here for a variety of reasons. Delta cannot bounce jump to save herself so we do extension and whatever the opposite of that is (my brain has gone blank :thumbsup: ) grids and she has improved heaps. She is being xrayed in a few weeks to rule out a structural reason for her not using her backend effectively, if that comes back clear then we will try and do some stuff to get her to jump from her backend better and stretch out over the jumps. Tammy has done some grid work with Link because she flattens out too much over jumps and knocks bars because she is too busy looking at the next jump coming up. She was also having trouble bounce jumping.

Charlie does jump grids but not to correct his jumping style. He does them because I will take any opportunity to do a short sequence for reward with him and if a grid is set up then it is a perfect chance for us to have some short fun in agility.

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Tassie   
Thought i might ask how many of you or anyone else you know does much grid training and combinations similar to show jumping style training for your agility dogs? Having done agility a few years ago no one used to talk about it and i always wondered why we didn't base more of our training on show jumping type exercises. (as i come from a horse background)

Getting back into agility now and planning to experiment with some grids/ stride adjustment etc so would love to hear any thoughts on this and what you do. :D

I started with a dog who is a natural athlete and though pffffttttt........Xena knows how to jump, I don't need to do that with her. (Didn't know what I didn't know.........Unconsciously incompetent.) At the encouragement of a couple of people I've since done a LOT of grid work with both my dogs and swear by it.

It teaches them to look for jump and understand how to jump. The result is that I have two dogs who over two days of competition will generally knock 3 bars between them if we have a bad weekend. I also think it helps keep them safer because they understand what it is they are doing in relation to take off and landing zones. - for me this is probably more important.

The other benefit is that I understand their take off and landing zones which helps me work on accel and decel cues.

Susan Salo's DVD's are a really good reference for this type of stuff.

Cheers

Good question, Cosmolo. And yes - attention to jumping style in a systematic way is something that has come into agility fairly recently.

I do some grid work with my mature girl - not as much as I should though (story of my training in general :D ), but I have been more careful with my young BC boy - have been using Susan Salo's system for him - with good results - not only is it about having the dog learn to jump correctly, but it's also about the dog learning to take jumps independently - so is in line with the general trend of agility training now, for the dogs to perform obstacles independently, in directions indicated by handler cue, which may be given from a distance - i.e. no need for babysitting.

AD -

Unconsciously incompetent
:thumbsup: Love it :D :o

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AD -
Unconsciously incompetent
:thumbsup: Love it :D :o

:D Yep.

I am now proud to say that I have progressed to consciously incompetent in some areas (I at least know what I don't know!), verging on consciously competent in others.

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ness   

Another :thumbsup: for Susan Salo grid work from me. I don't do enough of it but intend on doing more. We did a little on Monday night (first time in a while) and it certainly paid off last night when I ran my youngster around a course. She was finding her line nicely.

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I have put Aubrey in for her 2nd run at a Jump Novice Course this weekend along with her first go in the Agility Novice Course.

She is really only good at Jumping as we have a long way to go with weave poles. We practice a bit at home, but dont really have the space to do more than 8 poles.

Hopefully she'll get a pass in the Jumping.... the Agility was more of a "keep her occupied during the morning" entry, but you never know! Turns out that they'll both be later in the morning, so won't have anything to do but sit around for 3 hours first... she'll get so bored!

We do it just for fun.... we both enjoy it and it gets us out of the house. TBH if she doesn't get a pass in JD this weekend I probably won't trial her again for a few months as we obviously need more training!

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ness   

You will be fine SB she wasn't that far off at her first trial :thumbsup: .

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TBH if she doesn't get a pass in JD this weekend I probably won't trial her again for a few months as we obviously need more training!

:) for getting out and having a go. If you don't run cleare have a good think about why she didn't pass before you decide not to trial her. If it is your error (handling etc) then I'd just keep on trying with her and make sure you keep 'up' when you make the mistake. If it is her understanding then I'd agree - probably better to pull you out of the ring for a while and train.

I look back now at some of CK's early trial videos and bash my head against a wall for being so hasty in putting him in the ring. Then again I learned a lot from it - just means that I won't be entering my next dog until s/he is totally ready to run.

Has anyone else put a dog in the ring before it was ready? What problems has it caused you and what you you had to do about fixing them?

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ness   
:) yep my first dog AD was put in the ring long before she was ready and I have paid the price ever since. Kenz possibly wasn't ready (and I am still not sure she is ready or is that I am not ready :) ) but I think that we need to get out there and give it a go because we can go on practicing indefinitely but we are both lacking ring experience and we are really still yet to gel properly. But she is a baby and that is to be expected. Last night at training I saw some promising signs of that though and hopefully if I remember to run her the same way at the trial and have confidence in her then we might have a bit of luck. It will certainly be a bit of fun at any rate. Just have to remember its just another training run and we will see how we get on.

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Jess.   

I am a big fan of jump grids :)

I started using them with Darcy a year or so ago because she was knocking bars. At that stage we were almost always training at 400 at club (she jumps 500) and I felt it was causing issues. We still trained at 400 for a while but I started working basic grids and then moved into the more advanced work and there was definite improvement in her jumping. Even though I don't train much with a club anymore and now train at 500, I still do a few basic grids in the week before a trial, and she rarely dumps any bars these days.

Zee started on grid basics as a baby and about once a month I work some puppy grids with her. She's 13 months old now and I've started on One Jump work with her - and can see a huge improvement in her jumping ability and form over jumps. :D

SB if you don't get a JD pass don't write off entering again just yet - evaluate how she goes first. ;) Darcy didn't get a pass in her first two runs either, mostly due to my nerves and inexperience. But Darcy handled the day brilliantly, and we both had fun. Best of luck with it :)

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Tay.   

Hi everyone. So I'm debating whether to enter my border in her first trial at the end of August. How did you know when to first trial your dogs? :)

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Cosmolo   

Great! Thanks for the replies, seems i'm on the right track. Any recs for a Susan Salo DVD that specifically covers grids etc?

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Great! Thanks for the replies, seems i'm on the right track. Any recs for a Susan Salo DVD that specifically covers grids etc?

Susan Salo Foundation Jumping. :) I don't have puppy jumping, maybe someone can expand on the content of that.

ETA: I am flicking between Foundation Jump and Susan Garrett's Success with One Jump.

Edited by Staff'n'Toller

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Tassie   

I'm a junky :) - I have all three Salo dvd sets - puppy because Rory was starting as a youngster. All three sets have grids - Advanced has the greatest variety. There's quite a bit of overlap in the three versions - as I guess you'd expect.

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Jess.   
I'm a junky :) - I have all three Salo dvd sets - puppy because Rory was starting as a youngster. All three sets have grids - Advanced has the greatest variety. There's quite a bit of overlap in the three versions - as I guess you'd expect.

I have all three as well, have held off on the Competition one just because I think it will be a repeat of the above. I find her presenting style quite slow so I only watch the DVD once or twice, I'm more interested in the pdf file in the back :D

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