• Rio,  Training

    We Can/We Can't

    Rio did her first set of 12 weaves last week. I can confidentally say that even if I can’t train anything else, I can train awesome weaves. All my dogs have great weaves, and Rio is no exception. Her drive and action through the weaves is fantastic, she loves weaving, and she’s weaving in sequences with no issues. We’re getting distance and independence, entries are looking great, really just smooth sailing. I really do love the 2 sets of 6 > 12 option, that’s by far the best thing I got out of the 2×2 method. Rio did a few sets of 6 and then had absolutely no problem with…

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  • Agility,  Dylan,  Rio

    A Mini Break

    A mini break for Dylan, anyway. Since he’s retiring in a few months — just two shows left! — Dylan isn’t really training any more. He has all the skills he needs, and none of his behaviours are going to dramatically change over the next six weeks in time for Wilmslow. It does give me chance to focus on Rio, although I am kind of throwing her in at the deep end. She’s gone from the Beginners group straight into the Competition group, and has missed our Pre-Comp class completely. The drawbacks of actually teaching agility, no time for your own dogs. She has done really well, her focus is…

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  • Agility,  Rio,  Training

    Rio's Agility Update

    A selection of brief notes based on training in the past 2 weeks. Rio is relaxing and enjoying training again. Her focus is great, and I’m using a mixture of food and tug, and regularly scheduled breaks. Doing some single-jump reward work has helped her engage faster on course. When I cue appropriately and in time, her wing wraps at Standard are wonderful. It makes my heart happy and amazed when she wraps so tightly and neatly. When I fail to cue appropriately and in time, she sails off and does what she pleases. That makes me laugh. Everybody wins! She’s weaving 6 uprights at home, but not anywhere else…

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  • Agility,  Dylan

    UKA Sutton Weavers

    This show was really for Rio, who obviously sliced her pad and therefore couldn’t go. Next year, she’s wrapped in cotton wool pre-Champs. Very very nice show, great setup at one of my favourite flyball venues, Sutton Fields. The ring plans didn’t quite work out (one ring was finished at lunchtime, another didn’t finish until 4pm) but it was great. I will go again! Classes were tiny but there were a lot of entries on the day, so Dylan’s classes had around 8 dogs, and Rio’s would have been 20+. Still tiny, but bigger than the 1 pre-entered dog, ie. Dylan. Dyl’s first run was the Senior Agility, and he…

  • Agility,  Dylan,  Rio

    Big Steps

    Big steps in both directions with Ri this week at training. Backwards and forwards we go! Firstly, her tug drive has really diminished. It has been frustrating since she has always had tons of tug drive, but after her season she lost interest, and with hindsight, I have made it worse (albeit accidentally). Because I got worried that she had stopped being driven to what had previously been her primary motivator, I started putting too much pressure on her to tug, especially in situations where she was over-stimulated. She’s also much more sensitive to “failure” when her tug is her reward. If her tug is withheld for a failed attempt…

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  • Agility,  Dylan,  Rio,  Walk

    A Quiet May

    May is usually my extremely busy flyball month, so of course this year I forgot to get my act in gear and actually enter any agility shows. I’m taking Dylan to UKA Dig It this weekend, mainly to support some of our newbie competitors from training, but also to get Ri measured. Dylan is working really well in training with the dogwalk, so I’m hoping that will continue to this weekend (where we’ll be doing lots of NFC runs!). I’ve done every confidence-boosting training method I can think of, including component parts and restrained recalls. There’s a good chance it will all fall apart when faced with a strange dogwalk,…

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  • Agility,  Dylan,  Rio


    We did some Aframe work this week at training, either in full or in bits. Rio hasn’t yet seen a full Aframe, but I don’t expect that for a while. I am beginning to backchain her 2o2o on a sloped Aframe board and she is doing really well. Her drive into position is sometimes very enthusiastic and sometimes a little bit more thoughtful, but it’s nothing unusual for her. She tends to spend some time testing the boundaries of her criteria, and that involves some slower work where I can see her thinking about things! She is very happy to tug in position, and is making a big effort to…

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  • Agility,  Rio,  Training,  Videos

    Rio Contact Training

    This was Rio’s third time on the board, and this is her whole session. She’s maybe done 10-15minutes total, at this stage? No luring, no targeting, no physical placement from me. I’m happy! I added a lot more movement in on this session, so we had a lower success rate, although I’m not particularly fussy at this stage about how she’s stopping. I’ll start tightening up criteria slightly on our next session.

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  • Agility,  Photos,  Rio,  Training

    Miss Rio, 10 Months

    I think skipping agility class for a few weeks is a good idea. I needed to scale back a bit, and focus on getting her working attitude when we’re working together in the park, or at competitions in the exercise area, and of course at flyball training. Well, she’s always focused at flyball, it’s all running and no thinking right now. Rio’s favourite kind of game! Once I feel like she’s focusing and working when I ask her to, regardless of where we are, we’ll head back to agility. I sort of missed this step out, and went from home to agility class. I’m feeling a little pleased with myself…

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  • Agility,  Dylan,  Training

    Training: Jumping Woes

    Dogwalk was variable. Check box on independent, because it always has been, and I really did push this to extremes this week running all over the place and in every direction. But independent doesn’t mean it’s the same speed every time. Sometimes it is fast, sometimes it is slow, and this does not seem to depend on where I am, but on the approach. If Dyl has taken a jump and only has 1/2 strides before the dogwalk, he is slower. More strides = faster. Which leads me to jumping, sadly. Early take off almost all the time now, and the jumping just looks uncomfortable. Stride regulators correct early take…

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