Friday, April 1, 2011

Supporting The Arc

Have I mentioned that Agility can be frustrating? I'm feeling rather stuck in our training: Gilda seems more disinterested than usual which tells me that I'm probably not challenging her enough. The problem is, I'm not sure what to do next! I think I need a class on handling AND a class on training...

We had a good class on Wednesday. As predicted, Gilda is all but ignoring her classmate Maya and is more willing to work again. Start Line Stays continue to be an issue in class as well as slow tunnels (I never thought that would be an issue!) and suddenly the Teeter was a scary thing again.

{Beautiful Maya}

We worked on turning our dogs both before an obstacle and after an obstacle. It was apparent that this was a new skill for Gilda but she handled it (no pun intended) pretty well. We also worked on obstacle discrimination using Movement as our primary cue.

At one point, we were working on a Jump, Jump, Jump (straight line dogs on our right), to a tight left turn into a Jump, A-Frame. Gilda was consistently missing the 4th Jump and Linda told me to "Support the Arc".  At first I nodded but then I said, "I really don't know what that means". She explained that I needed to work the turn more so that my direction was clear to Gilda. I still didn't really get it and I had to have Linda demonstrate it by walking it. Once again, when it comes to Agility, I seem to learn better when I can actually see the action and practice it first. Also, like Linda said, it's easy to get in the habit of 'speaking agility' and it's difficult to know what level of understanding each student has. I will need to continue to speak up so that our training can move forward...

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