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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Agility Practice

Last night, Maggie's agility class got rained out - or rather - hailed out, so a few of us got together tonight to practice for a while.  This was our first practice since the trial last weekend.  After a trial, I always have a lot of things that we need to work on.  So tonight Maggie and I worked on contacts.  "Why is that", you ask?  Well, this picture from last weekend's trial says it all:

Maggie should be running all the way to the bottom of the contact.  This is NOT what running to the bottom looks like:

So tonight we did very basic contact work.  I did the "happiest place on earth" game with Maggie, which she loves.  Then I started asking her to do the entire piece of equipment, asking for a bottom.  When I am standing right with her, she will run to the bottom, but as soon as I start moving, she jumps off to run with me.  This will be a work in progress for a while.

I also did some table work with Maggie.  She is still slow to lay down on the table during trials, so I am trying to make the table really fun for her.  We have a CKC agility trial coming up in a couple of weeks and in CKC the dogs are sometimes asked to to a "sit" on the table.  Maggie has never been asked to sit on the table, so I thought I would try it.  She was very confused at first and would sit but would lay down again right away.  I am sure she was convinced that I was trying to trick her.  Anyway, after a few tries, she was sitting on the table with no problem.  I actually think that she thought it was some kind of game because she suddenly became very excited to "sit" or "down" on the table.

I also worked rear crosses with Maggie.  I need to do rear crosses so rarely with Maggie, because I can usually get ahead of her, so they are awkward for both of us.  By the end of our little session tonight, Maggie was really catching on and I think that my timing is getting better.  We still need lots of practice though.

Bosley came out to do a bit of practice too.  I also worked rear crosses with him.  I want to make sure that when it is time for him to trial, that he can do front and rear crosses equally well.
Bosley  did some teeter work.  He really loves the teeter now, and he did not fall off or try to jump off at all tonight.  He also stops at the bottom and waits to be released!  
Bosley also got to practice the weaves.  He is really getting the hang of weaving now and is trying to pick up speed as he goes through them.   His entrances are very good, and will usually get the entrance on the first try.  He will still sometimes miss a middle pole, especially when he gets going fast.  He really tries hard in the weaves and next to the table, it is probably his favorite agility thing.

As you can see with Bosley, I am really working hard with him on the areas that Maggie has the most difficulty with.  Contacts, rear crosses and a quick table are all things that Maggie and I struggle with, but these are some of Bosley's  strongest areas in agility (well so far anyway - we will see what happens when he starts sequencing more). 


  1. so true about learning from the dog before:
    Jane has/had slow weaves, consistent but slow, so had to fix that with K, who has fast strong weaves, but contacts were and still can be weak for J & K, so Gyppie had good contacts and fast weaves!! I always like training jumping etc, so that has yet to show up as a big weakness, but I also know what you mean about the table, I forgot ENTIRELY to train it with Gyp, she has a good table, but its NOT great!!!!

    are you gonna teach maggie to steal carrot cake, i think she wold like to learn that one from bos!

    you are lucky you have two dogs to train at the same time, and they are both so different but you tap into each of their strengths VERY well!!!!!

  2. I used to have that problem too. You know, I can never fully understand why we have to step the bottom part of the contacts. It just wastes too much time & slows me down too! So Mommy is teaching me to "stop" to touch the contacts. I do it sometime but most of the time I don't coz I'm impatient & just want to Go! Go! Go!

    Butt wiggles,
    Solid Gold Dancer

  3. sounds like you got a lot done last night! maggie needs something to run to at the end of the contact- even if you are going to stick with a "running off" approach- a target a few feet away or something so that she is running straight- head low- not looking up at you.