Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Training 21

My internet issues have still not been fixed. A technician from Verizon is supposed to coming to my house on Wednesday morning, but I'm honestly finding it hard to be optimistic that the issue will be resolved then. My dad is adamant about not switching to a different service provider, so I'm hoping that this doesn't drag on forever (especially given the fact that school's coming back and I'm going to need internet access for that reason, too).


Basically - to sum it up - my upload speeds are quite high, running as usual. This is the reason I'm able to upload with no problem to Youtube and Photobucket. However, my download speeds make dial-up look like high speed internet. For you computer nerdies, if there are any of you out there, I'm getting an average 14 Kbps when downloading files. Youtube videos will not load, regardless of how long and complex they are. Some sites will not load simply because they time out. We've tried all of the usual stuff and Verizon has run a few tests, but they can't find the problem. It's not a computer or virus issue, as it's happening on two PCs and two laptops, all with different operating systems. I'm really hoping the answer lies somewhere within the wires that they'll be looking at tomorrow. If not, I'm just about ready to rip my hair out over this one.

To limit my frustration, I'll just blog about our agility news for this week's training update. There sure is enough of it!


A-Frame Contact Criteria
Well.. looks like we're going with a four on the floor. During our lesson, Marisa watched Marge run over the A-Frame a couple of times and she really has absolutely no contact performance. It is totally contingent on me being right there with her to tell her "zone" for the 2o2o - if I'm not there or I run past her, she doesn't get into position.

Since running contacts take a lot of work and a lot of repetition, I decided against them. Though I wouldn't have to worry about Marge slamming her shoulders into the ground, running the A-Frame so many times could be problematic itself. Marisa suggested four on the floor before I said anything about it - so, we're giving it a try.

Right now, I need to work on Marge dropping and downing at my side. She does it in heel position if we're going slow enough, but I need to gradually build up to speed. She sort of gets it and she's consistently in the yellow, so we're off to a good start. Many times she was crooked, but she is dropping into the down and hitting her contact. I know some people use poles as guides at the bottom of the A-Frame, so I could look into that as well - maybe do some back-chaining, starting with a down between the poles, then a down between the poles at the bottom of the A-Frame, then a down between the poles after going over the A-Frame. Hmm. Just a training musing.

Marisa said it may not be as 100% reliable as a 2o2o, but she said she really didn't think the 2o2o was going to work for her and also said that her stride shouldn't ever change so drastically that she totally misses the yellow. I brought up the possibility about Marge leaping from high up and still dropping into the down, but she said that if it happens, we'll worry about it when we get there.

I just got the idea into my head that maybe using a zone honor (as you'd do if you were training running contacts) in addition to the down might help solidify the criteria for Marge. Hmm. I'll have to ask about it next time.

Of course, if you have any experience training contacts this way, please, please, please, let me know! (Kathy, I'll be shooting you a message once this dang internet starts working again!)

Agility Class
Class was a LOT of fun. The course was really cool - it was flowy despite being pretty twisty-turny. Here's a (very) approximate course map.


Here is the video (thanks, Louie!):



Some notes:
  • Allow me a brag.. I was the only one to run the opening sequence correctly on the first shot! We originally all walked the course with the jumps on our right hand side, but at the last minute I went back out and walked on the other side. I got out there and knew I had to be on the wall-side of the jumps. It worked. Marge did this absolutely wonderfully and her send-ahead to the dog walk was awesome.
  • 2o2o on the dog walk was fine, she hits it pretty consistently. Like I said, it's pretty contingent on my motion, but I feel like I can correct that a bit easier on the dog walk then I can on the A-Frame.
  • The table.. Marge still isn't "sticking" to the table. I worked on some sends to the table while I was waiting for my lesson to start, and she's just "eh" about it. She hops on and off sometimes, and others, she just releases herself (usually after getting a treat). I'm trying to make my obstacles a little bit more independent, so this is something I'll work on as well.
  • The red tunnel was tricky.. I didn't get it right, initially. I had to bring her across my feet to get her into the tunnel and, at first, used the wrong hand. Over all, I thought we'd have a lot more trouble with it but Marge seemed to be paying perfect attention and knew where she had to go.
  • Her weaves were BEAUTIFUL! Fast, accurate! I barely even looked to see if she made her entry because she was totally on the ball.
Okay, now, the second half.. what is up with that tunnel suck by the A-Frame? There were two reasons I didn't front cross in front of the A-Frame (which would have blocked the tunnel). One, I figured in a real trial, I wouldn't have the time to get there. Two, I wanted to be close to the A-Frame to enforce the contact. The only reasons I can think of for the tunnel-suck are either Marge not paying attention or me being ever-so-slightly in her path. What do you think?
  • As you can see, her A-Frame is very much a work in progress.. on this run, she preferred bowing to downing. We'll work on it.
  • Figuring out the last line of jumps was actually pretty difficult. I had to be in the perfect spot to ensure that she took the jump right next to the tunnel, but not far enough that she took a different jump. Then, I had to send her out to the triple but then decelerate and stay close to ensure that she didn't go barreling up the dog walk (which she did a few times). Once I figured out the mechanics of it, it was nice.
I'm really upset that we ran out of time and couldn't run the whole course. This was such an awesome course and Marge seemed absolutely thrilled to be running it.

Starting next week, I'm going to have an hour at the building all to myself before class. I anticipate that this will help me with the contact situation and also give me some time to practice with my instructor. In a few weeks, we won't be able to attend most of the classes anymore (at least 'til April) due to my college schedule, so I'm really happy that I got this time.

15 comments:

Sara January 12, 2010 at 6:17 AM  

Ugh, I'd be going crazy with your internet problems! Weird how you can upload, not download. Hope they fix it for you!

Marge looked great on the video. I have my own tunnel suck problems at A-Frame discriminations. I find I have to pull myself away from the A-Frame laterally and call his name so he looks at me, then send him up with my arm. Of course, you didn't have much room to move to the side in that sequence.

Glad you have a new A-Frame criteria! Always good to have something to work on!

giantspeckledchihuahua January 12, 2010 at 7:00 AM  

Marge's weaves were amazing! So fast and confident!

Diana January 12, 2010 at 7:50 AM  

Great runs. I think your shoulders were open slightly the first time and she was making her decison coming around the jump where she needed to go. She saw your shoulders open and said "got it". The second time your arm being up so high usually means "out", so I think thats why she took the tunnel. She did great!

Has verison already changed your modem? The last two times we have had problems and they couldnt fix it, they changed the modem.

BRUTUS January 12, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

I've had to deal with that exact same tunnel/A-frame set up. Same thing happens to us - Brutus will take the tunnel every time given the chance! The only thing that I've had success with is calling him to heel WAY on the A-frame side, sort of pulling him through that turn so he can't get over to the tunnel on the far side. You really can't do that in the limited space you are working in, so unless your dog has awesome obstacle discrimination, I think your hands are tied!!
I'm still having some trouble figuring out the new editing software - haven't forgotten you! Considering your internet trouble, it's probably a moot point anyways!
Just entered a CPE trial the last weekend of this month. It's back at our "home" facility, so I'm hoping we won't be running all over the place again (I can always hope, right?). What's $100 for two days hanging out with all your dog-people friends & pooches, anyways?

Michelle & Brutus

BRUTUS January 12, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

I've had to deal with that exact same tunnel/A-frame set up. Same thing happens to us - Brutus will take the tunnel every time given the chance! The only thing that I've had success with is calling him to heel WAY on the A-frame side, sort of pulling him through that turn so he can't get over to the tunnel on the far side. You really can't do that in the limited space you are working in, so unless your dog has awesome obstacle discrimination, I think your hands are tied!!
I'm still having some trouble figuring out the new editing software - haven't forgotten you! Considering your internet trouble, it's probably a moot point anyways!
Just entered a CPE trial the last weekend of this month. It's back at our "home" facility, so I'm hoping we won't be running all over the place again (I can always hope, right?). What's $100 for two days hanging out with all your dog-people friends & pooches, anyways?

Michelle & Brutus

Kari in WeHo January 12, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

internet issues suck. Time Warner can't tell the difference between our address and our neighbors so whenever they call to make a change to their service (namely cancel it) we gets ours changed/shut off too. This happens at least twice a month. So annoying.

Reading about Marge makes me want to start up agaility again once I am able to walk!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom January 12, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

Good lukhk with the internet thingie...I know how frustrating it khan be fur I hear my mom say HBO words!

Great work again Marge!

Woo go!!!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Samantha January 12, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

Oh how I hope your puter probs get solved tomorrow - I also know I'd be pretty nuts by now. A lot in this post and I don't know much about agility, so am incredibly impressed by all the amazing things Marge can do, and apparently very well!!! Hip Hooray! (We have another trial Sat AM in San Jose, says Mom shivering...) Great job, Sam!
Hugs xo
Sammie

Cinnamon January 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

Good work again! I am impressed with Marge's weaves. I think I would go for the A frame rather than the tunnel, as I hate tunnels!

Love,
Cinnamon

Lorenza January 12, 2010 at 11:11 PM  

Pawesome job Marge!
My mom used to say lots of HBO words to our old internet provider! She change it for another one and now she is happy!
I hope you fix yours soon!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

kissa-bull January 12, 2010 at 11:47 PM  

you are amazing!!! vewy smart and bewootiful
wiggles
the houston pittie pack

Martha and Bailey January 13, 2010 at 11:47 AM  

Marge, we think you are spectacular!
You can weave as fast as anything - run through that tunnel fast as anything - and climb to the top of that very high 'thingie' without hesitation!
You are soooooo clever.
We are sorry about your internet problems and hope all is well - we know these things annoy humans a lot!
love
martha & bailey xxx

Muttsandaklutz January 13, 2010 at 7:40 PM  

I'm definitely no expert, but maybe one possibility about the tunnel thing is that, given the angle she's at upon landing/turning after the jump before the discrimination, and the speed she's going at, maybe she didn't even see the frame?

Hmmm, I dunno though... just watched the video again and am questioning what I just wrote. Lol. She looks great though.

Training my Mammoth January 13, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

I LOVED the video!! You guys are awesome! I really hope you make it to the Freehold Park shows, I'd love to see you guys run.

I KNOW MARISA!! I didn't know that that's where you train! She came to Show Handling for a few months awhile back, with one of the Chins, and she gave me a link to her site and I saw her shepherds run agility. Very cool dogs.

I'll definitely be posting about Lynda's seminars - it should be fun!

I do keep really busy with Layla - the secret? Insomnia! Honestly. I've had it since I was 12. So I go to my school (college) during the day or night, work the opposite day or night (depending on the day), squeeze in all of Layla's things in my spare hours, and do all of my school work in the middle of the night. I do NOT recommend it - sleep deprivation shouldn't be a part of anyone's life. But the way I look at it, if I DIDN'T do all of this with Layla, if I just had work and school, I would either be massively stressed/depressed or just go crazy.

I really, really loved the video, hope you get the opportunity to post more!

The Thundering Herd January 14, 2010 at 11:02 AM  

At least you live somewhere where broadband is a real option. We had satellite internet for a while before I got so ticked off that I had it removed and currently I use a Verizon laptop card. Cable or DSL are not options.

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