Sunday, January 30, 2011

Family Fun Day at AU

We had a beautiful snowfall last night thanks to a clipper storm and the trees were all tipped in snow for our ride to Agility Underground. My plan was to work on Gilda's Start Line Stays, practice some Jump Recalls, and practice some Weave Poles. Mike came along to lend support and to video tape. He and Gilda walked 9 miles the day before and Gilda slept well so chances were good that we'd have a good practice.

Since we were the only ones in the building, we did our warm-up Shadow Handling off leash and Gilda did well. She is still sniffing the ground whenever she can but for the most part stayed with me and followed cues. And didn't pee on the floor!

She seemed excited to be there so we started off with some Weave Pole practice. She is definitely getting better and seems very happy to weave the 6 poles. After a few good SLSs, I was having trouble getting her to stay while I walked to the end of the poles so we did a few runs from a standing start with me running alongside the poles. We are closing the channels enough now that it's really starting to look like Weaving! [Despite using my new Christmas camera, I am still having major issues with video. The Weave videos from today need rotated so viewers don't get a stiff neck...]

Next we moved to Jump Recalls which required considerable SLS work. I already see an improvement though we are nowhere near solid yet. At least at this point I am able to get to the other side of the Jump! Here is video (unedited of course) of some Stay reinforcement followed by some Foundation Recalls to Heel [Notice that I am the one creating the issues here! On the first attempt, even though I have cued Gilda to jump, I am not ready and therefore Gilda is unclear about where to land. The second attempt is not as bad but I turned late. I should be turning as Gilda is mid-jump. On the third attempt, I cue her to my left and then move to the left! The fourth attempt is the best and therefore, that's where we ended the exercise. You can see that Gilda is really making a good attempt to stay and wait for her cue]:

It took quite awhile to convince Gilda to perform a Serpentine Recall and when she did, it looked like this:
Not a true 'slice' but I was just happy she went over the Jump and not around it!

Next, we set up the Plank to reinforce our 2on/2off. Gilda is still not 100% reliable when I'm running by but overall is doing well with this. I just get such a kick out of how proud she looks with her tail wagging when she 'sticks it'! [This video starts with me rewarding for her 2o/2o and then giving a release cue. I then cue her to walk and give her the 'two' command]:

Last, as a reward for all of her hard work, we set up a mini course that looked like this:
Jump, A-Frame, Jump, Dogwalk, Tunnel, 6 Weave Poles, Plank (2o/2o). Gilda did well until the Weaves and that was understandable as she is still learning this skill. I also noticed her creeping up the Dogwalk which according to Jessica, is a problem most likely created by the scary Teeter. It is difficult for dogs to distinguish between the Teeter and the Dog Walk especially when they are first learning. By using the Jungle Gym exercise, Gilda will learn that she is 'in control' of the Teeter and it's not so scary after all!  We will need lots more Jungle Gym Teeter to correct this issue.
Overall though, I am thrilled and think we had a very good practice! Good Girl Gilda!

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