Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Place is Fun

We had our first private practice in the brand-spankin' new training building today.  I was worried that Marge would want to spend the hour sniffing, but she took to the place without a problem.  She zoomed all over waiting for us to put the obstacles out.

Since the goal here was to have a relatively easy night but still work on some specific skills, I tried my hardest to get Marge to think and pay attention without stressing her out.  Here is the result (special thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for a plethora of videos and pictures from the evening):

Tunnels were the main focus tonight, since we've been having some problems in terms of control upon completing them.  The first thing I did was re-create as best as I could the part of the NADAC Novice Regular sequence that we screwed up at the trial.  I discovered why she didn't drive ahead to the weaves at the trial (in addition, of course, to my cautious handling) - I should have been telling her "weave" while she was still in the tunnel rather than only when she gets out of it.  I waited too long to tell her to weave while practicing tonight, and had the same botched result.

Next thing I wanted to work on was having Marge explicitly take direction after the tunnel.  This has been a very large problem for us.  In the next clip, I asked her to come into my hand and take the jump next to the tunnel instead of barrel straight down to the weaves.  My handling could have been better, yes, and I probably could have skipped the lead-out and just waited waaaay back for her as she flew through the tunnel.  But, we got it done, and I made sure that was a super happy thing for her - as you can hear by my girlish high-pitched praise.

Later on, I tried to perform some weave drills with her, but she seemed like she was really tired and kept skipping poles, so I called it quits.  The last thing we did was a jump backcross after the long red tunnel, similar to the sequence that doomed us on Tuesday at class.  (Note to self: you wait too darn long to ask for the cross, Sam!)

It was a good start.  Just like when I started renting the old training hall, tonight was all about getting a feel for the room and seeing what'll fit.  Next time, I'll try to do something similar - incorporate the learning of new skills into big, fun, flowing sequences.  When all of the outside equipment at the field gets brought in to winter, I'd LOVE to set up a mini NADAC tunnelers course with the five or six tunnels that should be available.  As we progress, we can add in weaves, too.

I'm glad she likes the place, as we'll likely be having our regular agility class in here in a couple of weeks.  Though I prefer being outside (and so does she), I'm hoping that the transition will go smooth and we can enjoy agility in the winter months indoors.


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With Khattledog November 8, 2009 at 12:06 AM  

Good lukhk!

It looks and sounds as if there is more than enough to keep BOTH of woo out of trouble!

Tank woo fur sharing!


Sharon November 8, 2009 at 4:14 AM  

great! Fingers crossed for a great second time :) (and third... and forth... )

Martha November 8, 2009 at 5:09 AM  

We would like to wish you all the best too!!!!
We loved the video - as always we bassets were worn out watching it although Martha reckons she does some weaving through the trees!
We wondered Marge if you had brakes?
We were a bit worried with the table jump although you did manage to stop!
You guys have the best fun!
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxxx

Cyndi and Stumpy November 8, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

Looking good! We're lucky to have a videographer to watch you practice and compete. thanks, Louie!

The Thundering Herd November 8, 2009 at 7:38 AM  

I really watched agility for the first time at the Siberian Husky Nationals and it looked like a lot of fun, but have never tried it.

By the way, I use Google Reader to follow all of my blogs, so don't know if there is an automatic "follow me" button for wordpress. Will look to see what I can find.

KB November 8, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

Marge looked really good in that arena. The two of you were like a well-oiled machine.

It's interesting that you point out that you need to give Marge her next cue before she comes out of the tunnel. One of the hardest things for me in my amateur agility is remembering to give my dog cues early enough. Otherwise, she just barrels to the closest or most familiar obstacle.

You mentioned the funny choices dogs make about treats in your comment on my blog. I find a similar thing - at training class, K loves everyone else's treats, no matter how boring they are, better than mine (even if I bring multiple kinds). She's sad because now I have to ask that no one else ever give her a treat due to her pancreatitis (we all treat each other's dogs during play period if they politely interact with us).

Anyway, it's great that you'll be able to do agility during the winter!

Frankie Furter and Ernie November 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

Hey Marge you did grrrrreat. Wow your mom has a tail on her head. That is grrreat. She did grrreat too, by the way.

Frankie Furter and Ernie November 8, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

Hey Marge you did grrrrreat. Wow your mom has a tail on her head. That is grrreat. She did grrreat too, by the way.

Dexter November 8, 2009 at 9:34 AM  

Weave, weave, weave, go, go, go, go! I saw you almost land too fast on the pause table. It can be hard to stop when you are going full speed.

I hope you get to go there again soon.


BRUTUS November 8, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

Nice job guys!! Do you get to rent that hall whenever you want to for private practice? We finally can do that here at our semi-indoor facility (horse arena, very dusty, though). We can see you progressing, and Marge looks so happy :)

Michelle & Brutus
p.s I'm a member of the "hunched-over-handlers" association too!
p.s.s. I finally sent that email.. hope you got it this time :)

Gus, Louie and Callie November 8, 2009 at 11:28 AM  

You are doing such a great job...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Life With Dogs November 8, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

Perhaps the change of scenery will be a good thing - there is no baggage to get in the way of her devoting attentions to the tasks at hand...

Kathy Mocharnuk November 8, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

MARGE you look terrific! We have never done agility in an indoor place and there sure are a lot more noises then working outside, but Marge looks like she handled the new place really well. Marge just looks so relaxed while she is running, that is totally cool to see.

Lorenza November 8, 2009 at 12:52 PM  

You did it great!
Good luck!
Kisses and hugs

Astrid Keel November 8, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

good luck! you both look good!

The Army of Four November 8, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

Good luck! Sounds like a blast!
Play bows,

Golden Samantha November 8, 2009 at 9:47 PM  

Wowowowowow! That was so totally pawesome! I am extremely impressed! And I thought obedience was tough! That looks so hard, Marge! You are amazing!
Hugs xo

Kate November 8, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

That looks like fun!! I would've started that with Koda if we hadn't started doing sled dog stuff!!
Bet they deserve some treats and a lie down after that!!!

Ruby and Penny November 9, 2009 at 7:32 PM  

We thought you did really great. Marge looked like she was having fun. Wish our agility instructor would find an indoor training room for the winter.
Love Ruby & Penny

Cinnamon and Mint November 10, 2009 at 5:33 AM  

It seems Marge really likes the sport. That's great!

If there were tunnelers in New Zealand, Cinnamon could have tried it even if she is not allowed to run standard agility courses because of her hip problem!

Golden Woofs! SUGAR November 10, 2009 at 7:43 AM  

Woof! Hi There I'm Sugar. Just found your blog n making new friends. I think you did a really pawsome job. Wish you all the golden luck. Looking forward to hear from you. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly November 10, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

Yay for being able to practice indoors!!

Woofs and Kisses!

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