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Vickie

Agility Training Talk Thread

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corvus   

Just a quick update on Erik's tugging...

I tried what Agility Dogs suggested (even though I totally didn't like it! :thumbsup: ) and just basically pestered Erik into playing tug at the agility grounds last night. He did, although I only got one good tug out of him. He did plenty of chasing of the sheepy tug on a ribbon, though. I emailed my instructors about it and they gave me some great tips for getting him tugging around food. He is now expected to tug for his dinner. That started all of last night and this morning the little devil tried to short-circuit me by running outside with me, diving at the toy, barely touching it, then whirling and racing back into the kitchen where his meal was waiting on the bench. The dog is clever, I'll give him that. He picks things up very quickly. Anyway, I thought it would take ages to get to that stage, so I guess he'll come good on the tugging pretty fast.

In the meantime, he's a targeting king and he's doing a low jump for a tug toy, and we're getting some nice sit-stays from him, and he's great getting on the board and standing there. I do have trouble with circle work, though. I'm 170cm tall, and he's about 30cm tall, so I'm finding it hard to get treats down to him without stopping. Any suggestions?

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Tassie   
We starting teaching weave poles last night, we throw food through and he dog goes to get it etc, but now my dog goes to get the food and comes out the way he went in, is this ok to start with?? We only used 2 poles so maybe he wont do this when there are more up....

Sounds like you guys might be teaching it with the 2x2 method - in this case, definitely avoid him coming back the way he went. You need a reward line - this is the direction he heads through the poles and the direction the reward is thrown. Helps to teach entries from all angles.

Edit: you should also be shaping him to go through the poles on his own, and then throw the reward once he's heading through. Do not throw the food to lure him through. It's a frustrating process at first if your dog isn't good with shaping (Ruby is, Millie isn't so I am going to have trouble with her!) but once they "get it", you'll progress in no time.

Yes the lady mentioned last night to try and get them to think for themselves and let them work it out and then throw the food, my mistake was letting him walk through and then clicking, he then came me for the reward, I must throw the food for him and not expect him to come and get it from me!!

You can avoid him coming back through the poles to get his reward if you move yourself sideways after you click, so he comes back to you round the poles. (If that made any sense.) But the method really works better with throwing the food/tug. So you click for the movement through the poles and instnatly throw the food. On grass, the food needs to be quite large so it's easily visible. The idea is to promote and reward forward motion all the time - along the reward line. This is the line the dog will be driving towards as he starts getting the idea - and is what makes them independent weavers.

If you get the chance, see if you can watch the 2x2 dvd - a few times - makes it much easier to see what you're doing and why.

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Mas1981   
We starting teaching weave poles last night, we throw food through and he dog goes to get it etc, but now my dog goes to get the food and comes out the way he went in, is this ok to start with?? We only used 2 poles so maybe he wont do this when there are more up....

Sounds like you guys might be teaching it with the 2x2 method - in this case, definitely avoid him coming back the way he went. You need a reward line - this is the direction he heads through the poles and the direction the reward is thrown. Helps to teach entries from all angles.

Edit: you should also be shaping him to go through the poles on his own, and then throw the reward once he's heading through. Do not throw the food to lure him through. It's a frustrating process at first if your dog isn't good with shaping (Ruby is, Millie isn't so I am going to have trouble with her!) but once they "get it", you'll progress in no time.

Yes the lady mentioned last night to try and get them to think for themselves and let them work it out and then throw the food, my mistake was letting him walk through and then clicking, he then came me for the reward, I must throw the food for him and not expect him to come and get it from me!!

You can avoid him coming back through the poles to get his reward if you move yourself sideways after you click, so he comes back to you round the poles. (If that made any sense.) But the method really works better with throwing the food/tug. So you click for the movement through the poles and instnatly throw the food. On grass, the food needs to be quite large so it's easily visible. The idea is to promote and reward forward motion all the time - along the reward line. This is the line the dog will be driving towards as he starts getting the idea - and is what makes them independent weavers.

If you get the chance, see if you can watch the 2x2 dvd - a few times - makes it much easier to see what you're doing and why.

Yes I must try get hold of that video as I dont know where the reward line is...

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Tassie   
We starting teaching weave poles last night, we throw food through and he dog goes to get it etc, but now my dog goes to get the food and comes out the way he went in, is this ok to start with?? We only used 2 poles so maybe he wont do this when there are more up....

Sounds like you guys might be teaching it with the 2x2 method - in this case, definitely avoid him coming back the way he went. You need a reward line - this is the direction he heads through the poles and the direction the reward is thrown. Helps to teach entries from all angles.

Edit: you should also be shaping him to go through the poles on his own, and then throw the reward once he's heading through. Do not throw the food to lure him through. It's a frustrating process at first if your dog isn't good with shaping (Ruby is, Millie isn't so I am going to have trouble with her!) but once they "get it", you'll progress in no time.

Yes the lady mentioned last night to try and get them to think for themselves and let them work it out and then throw the food, my mistake was letting him walk through and then clicking, he then came me for the reward, I must throw the food for him and not expect him to come and get it from me!!

You can avoid him coming back through the poles to get his reward if you move yourself sideways after you click, so he comes back to you round the poles. (If that made any sense.) But the method really works better with throwing the food/tug. So you click for the movement through the poles and instnatly throw the food. On grass, the food needs to be quite large so it's easily visible. The idea is to promote and reward forward motion all the time - along the reward line. This is the line the dog will be driving towards as he starts getting the idea - and is what makes them independent weavers.

If you get the chance, see if you can watch the 2x2 dvd - a few times - makes it much easier to see what you're doing and why.

Yes I must try get hold of that video as I dont know where the reward line is...

The reward line is absolutely critical to the program, Mas. It is an imaginary line going through the middle of the two poles, at right angles to them (it eventually becomes the line of the weave poles themselves.). If like me, you're rubbish at throwing :thumbsup: , you can mark a line on the ground at home - or you can do what Susan does, and make sure you've got a tree or something to mark the line. You're always aiming to have the dog get the reward on that line, so that they will always be driving straight down that line. You can have a look at Sue H's vids of Dennis doing 2x2s on Facebook - I think she was using a bait plate once the numbers of poles got too great for throwing food.

I used a tuggy with Rory, so I didn't have that problem.

But yes - do see if you can get the dvd to have a look at.

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pie   

DENNIS VIDEOS?? *runs off to youtube* :thumbsup:

MM I'll give you my 2x2 DVDs on Sunday to watch if you want?

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Mas1981   
DENNIS VIDEOS?? *runs off to youtube* :laugh:

MM I'll give you my 2x2 DVDs on Sunday to watch if you want?

That would be great Amypie thanks ! :thumbsup:

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Hey Tassie! Return road trip to Bendigo today so more time to think about decel :rofl: Is there a point at which we start teaching it on the weave poles? Currently I'm tossing food on the line and he just thinks he's so clever driving so enthusiastically but I think he needs a challenge. Need to work on entries as well but not much room to move!

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Ness has tonnes of 2x2 youtube videos with Kenzie, also where you can see the reward line with only 2 poles.

Definitely get a hold of the 2x2 dvd though as (even though I did have the dvd) I have to go back and build some more value for the first 2 poles now- we obviously didn't do enough at the beginning. :rofl:

Edited by Staff'n'Toller

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Ok with my hound and the 2x2 - we're nearly all the way around the arc - though I'm still stuffed if I know how she knows which side is which, well I guess she has to work off the end I point at - except with two poles - there isn't an "end" as such. reward line is that way (north) so entry must be always from the east. I'll worry about which end is which later.

Anyway...

She goes through the poles the correct way, and gets her tug well to the North of both poles, with some of my throws - roughly where the second set of poles will end up for the next phase. And then she kills the tug, does a bit of self flagellation, and comes back - through the poles - the wrong way, well the right way for the direction she's going... like she loves those poles so much... even when I take them out, it's her new favourite bit of the lawn.

So I'm trying to do less reward/tug for slow retrieves, and wandering retrieves (extra runs through the poles) and more for when she gets it absolutely right - ie fast find entry through and out to get tug in the distance and a direct return with tug toy. It's starting to happen more often. Might pair it with uber food treat too.

I wasn't going to worry about her coming back with the toy through the poles until later.

however - we did have an interesting run with the tunnel on tuesday morning class. The line of jumps with tunnel was vaguely curved so the most direct would have been run out with dog on left, and return with dog on right. But, specific exercise was supposed to be a rear cross as dog goes through tunnel. So I'm on the outside of the curve with dog on left still (she doesn't actually care about left or right side but other dogs in class do) Get to tunnel she goes flying in, I forget to do rear cross, remember, run back do rear cross, meantime she's out the other end of the tunnel and I'm not giving her any direction (laughing at myself doesn't count) so she comes back through the tunnel. Good for gamblers... not what we were supposed to be doing. Subsequent runs, she doesn't want to in the tunnel ahead of me at all, cos I stuffed up the first time around. Sigh. Would have been so much easier to go up on left, and back on the right...

We are also practicing the measuring stick - because the first time we tried the real measuring stick - she would not stand still next to it. Trap for newbies. You have to make sure your dog is ok with measuring stick. Often. So instructor holds the dreaded stick with the cross piece up high and we practice, heel and stand next to it while she hunts for shoulder bones. And repeat, and repeat. Reward dog for standing still and not swinging her butt away from the pole... And then we lower the cross piece a bit, by bit. Until that rests on shoulders and instructor fiddles with getting it lined up.

There must be an easier way than a sliding cross piece that somehow someone with only two hands needs to hold it up, slide the bar, find the shoulder bones, make sure the dog isn't hunching, stand up hound, and fix the bar so the measure can be read off. Sigh. Level ground? Right now - who cares.

Wednesday (night) too cold and wet to train. Sigh.

Edited by Mrs Rusty Bucket

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Perdy   

Hi everyone!

I have just started agility with my dane *cue laughter* and am really glad this thread has opened up! I reckon, I'll be needing to pick your brains a fair bit :rofl:

My first 2 questions...

1. Where can I get hold of some 2x2 weave poles sets? Or has anyone had the base plates made by a metal fabricator dude?

2. How long did it take for you to become totally addicted? Cause I think I'm going to develop a 'problem' pretty quick :rofl:

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ness   

Wasn't cold or wet on Wednesday night MRB - we trained and had a great time :rofl: .

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Perdy

I'm using some bamboo stakes from bunnings with some white spots painted on them for visibility. I make a hole with a ginormous tent peg and then put the stakes in the holes. Total cost about $15.

I take the stakes out when we're not training and put geranium flowers in the holes, cos leaving the stakes in risks them being eaten before the next training session.

When we get several poles close together I may have to upgrade to something much sturdier. I think there is an agility shop listed in the dol traders page that sells the weave pole set.

I think I was addicted before I got the dog.

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So how come it wasn't slippery underfoot, Ness?

I rang Eddie and he said he wasn't going, so, um, we didn't. I went out back door and bits of me went numb so I wasn't feeling very enthusiastic. Tonight - I think was just as cold but not so wet, and yet I still took dog for walk and did some tug fetch.

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Perdy   

LOL I did wonder as well! But I bought a tunnel, click/treated for any interaction with it and suddenly she just decided to go though it. I couldn't believe it! I made a huge deal about it, she went through again and after rewarding her I put it away. She's smart, fit and agile - it's a challenge, but she always surprises me. I love training her! :rofl:

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ness   

Hmmm MRB it wasn't to slippery but I only ran Kenz and we mainly practiced startline waiting since apparently she decided on the weekend it was an optional thing :rofl: . Tonight wasn't cold at all.

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RubyStar   

While on topic of 2x2 weaving....

Ruby did her first 12 straight poles tonight :D :winner:

She's been doing 6 for a while now (and when I say a while, I mean a few sessions, but with like 1-2 weeks between sessions :o) so tonight I put 6 out and then the other 6 not far from it and she was doing both fine.... so I did a naughty thing and put them together in the same night and she did it :D

Have to go back though and work entries a bit better (yeah yeah I know, I rushed it!) She is getting her entries on the left hand side and straight on, but entries from the right hand side she misses the first 1 or 2 poles :) I would have thought the right hand entry would be easiest but surprising she is finding the left hand side of the arc so much easier! I am now able to run with her as she does it and I even rear crossed her once she entered and she didn't pop out :)

Just those bloody right side arc entries to get happening a bit more consistently! But I am very chuffed :D

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