Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cold weather Training!

Today I braved the cold enough to raise Cheetah's Aframe to 37". I moved the box about 6" farther up the a-frame too, so that Cheetah would be encouraged to make 3 solid strides rather than the 3 skidery ones that she tends to do in practice.

My plan at this point is to do this for a few days, then I have to decide whether I should move the box down first or raise the a-frame again first? I will also try to tape her tomorrow, because it was only mid 30's today and I usually have my mom run the camera for me, so I thought that since tomorrow is going to be about 50, it would be the better day to tape.

She did:

6 reps
She hit the box once with back of her foot.
I moved the box up higher, and that helped.
I practiced off of both sides and threw a tug toy at the end.

I would like to have her at about 4 feet by the trial in two weeks. That seems reasonable?!!?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Timonium Trial Jan 2009

Cheetah and I just got back from a long weekend at the Oriole Trial in Timonium, MD. The days were long ( didn't get out of there until 7 any day) and there was a lot of hub bub going on. This trail has a pet expo going on in the rest of the building so we are sorta like a side show. Cheetah has never cared at all about any of that, but it is not a place I would want to debut a novice dog!

The flooring is this blue foamy stuff which seems to have plenty of cushion, but lacks traction. Cheetah tends to go really wide on turns on this flooring, because she just can't dig in the way she wants to, and lord knows she doesn't want to adjust! I need to cue collection and turns way...way earlier than I normally do, so the timing is very hard to get just right!

She didn't get any QQ's this weekend, but we did get 2 jumpers legs and 2 fast legs. Sunday's Fast course was right up her ally. a lateral send to the weaves, then taking the outer of two jumps.

She did several things that I am very pleased with:

  • She collected very nicely after the chute in the first fast class.
  • She stayed on the board on all other teeters execpt the first one, until it hit the ground ( she is so impatient!
  • She got all DW contacts.
  • Her A-frame contact in Sunday's fast was really nice.

Her a-frame contacts are still a work in progress, but at least she didn't leap off all of them, like the last time I attempted to do a running a-frame with her. I really need to get her to reach out to take the second stride on the a-frame. Right now she is doing the typical 3 strides in class and 2 in competition that Rachel speaks of in her video.

That's all for now!

Monday, January 19, 2009

More running aframes!

I have two videos uploaded on youtube that show our latest running a-frame training. The one on the 13th was better than the one today. This could be for a couple of reasons:

1. I was working on the right today, and I had spent more time working off of the left previously. I don't think it would be an issue unless it is a preferred lead leg thing and she is trying to change up at the last minute...except I can't tell, so if anyone out there can see that, let me know.

2. I had work on it at the building the other day on the aframe in the building, but I think that the slats are too big for her to bounce comfortably.

3. We just hadn't had a chance to work on it as much lately.

I left it at the same height ( ~30") and have a jump set up at the apex still. I think I will need to use something like that for a while to help her learn to jump up and over the top.

-I have been throwing her chuck-it ball afterwards, that seems to be working well.
-I haven't really put any handling maneuvers in it yet.
-She was 5/9 (55%) - not as high a percent of success as I would like....hmmm

Any thoughts on how to help her "get it" would be great.

I think that lowering it or putting the grid back down, might help some, but it doesn't address how to help her get this height, or higher ones.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cheetah's Grid on the a-frame

Today I decided to try something that Rachel Sanders suggested in her pdf file from the DVD on the box method for running contacts. She said that if the dog was having trouble bouncing in to the box on the a-frame, to try flattening the a-frame on the ground and putting the jump grid over it. This seems to be working pretty well. The video that I have uploaded shows this process. The one from 1-3-09 was the first day that I did this. The other side benifit is that since I had broke Cheetah's a-frame over the summer, and tried an abridged version of Rachel's method, then when I didn't like what is was seeing I decided to put her 2o/2o back ( which - took about 5 min). I didn't want to "break" her again. So by putting it on the ground, I never had to have her go through that awkard "what do you want me to do now?" stage. It was simply an extention of what we were doing.

I realized that I needed to remove the first jump after a few reps, because she was jumping over the up-side of the contact (not something I wanted her to practice. Plus she was droping that bar a few times, I think because she was trying to figure out how to collect when she wanted to jump extended over the begining of the board. After I removed that jump, things went pretty well. I did 20 reps - here is the break down:
1. strided through
2. good bounce!
3. tried to bounce but hit the top of the box
4. dropped the first bar - then strided through
5. good bounce!
6. good bounce!
7. dropped the first bar - then strided through
8. I left the bar down, good bounce!
9. I removed the first bar - she imediately started hitting the up - good bounce!
10. good bounce!
11. good bounce!
12. she hit the apex jump - and strided through ?? I told her I wasn't getting rid of that one!
13. she Steps over the apex jump - then strides through the box
14. She steps over the apex jump -then strides through the box
15. good bounce!
16. steps over apex, strides through only 3 feet in the box
17. jumps apex - only three feet in the box
18. raise apex jump from 8" to 12" - good bounce!
19. jumps apex AND then JUMPS BOX!! GRRRR
20. good jump! good Bounce!!

I decided to quit while I was ahead - because I should have quit earlier than I did, I just wanted to work out some of the kinks, then I kept finding new kinks!

She was 10/20 for that session. not as good as we would like it but it is a starting point!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wild, Witchy & Fast Strikes Again!

Cheetah and her friends Deva and Zippity were at a DAM Team ( Dog Agility Master) team tournament last weekend. Out of 37 teams, we ended up in 11th and made the qualifying cut score.

Watch the videos for the play by play. We won the 3 dog relay, and I had to hold on for dear life when Deva ran. Normally she is so civilized when other dogs are around but Deva is he BFF and she knows that when multiple dogs are out on the course at once, it means that she is going to go really soon!

Note that Cheetah is cocked and ready to go when Zippity came over the a-frame. I couldn't move to help Alyssa give me the baton, or Cheetah would have left with out me.