Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Training 33

FINALLY, A TRAINING UPDATE! I think I could just gush forever about tonight's agility class. Really. Her performance was awesome and her behavior was even better.

Louie tagged along, so there is video to go along with my elation. This is actually a video of Marge and me running the whole course after class during my private lesson. On a totally unrelated side note, I love the sounds of the crickets chirping at the beginning of the video. Watch the video for that, if for nothing else!

  • One of the biggest lead-outs I've done to date. I did this for a reason. I could have handled this with a simple back cross through the 180, but our back crosses are so solid that it made more sense to practice something different (especially since it's this sort of thing that ALWAYS throws me off in Jumpers). Had a little trouble the first time because I didn't turn my shoulders enough so she went for the table.
  • She had a couple of times where she got up while on the table. I think it's my fault. I haven't proofed me walking away from her while she's on the table enough. Something to work on in our spare time. Her sends to the table were nice, though, and I'm happy she's doing her automatic down after we had two table sits during our last trial.
  • The A-Frame I'll talk more about later, as we dedicated 5 or 10 minutes to working on the contact for it alone.
  • I was pretty happy with the jump-tire-tunnel bit. The front cross after the tire wasn't hard, but it was tricky to get yourself in the right spot so that the dog took the tunnel.
  • AWESOME weaves tonight. Really. Gorgeous entrances and I faded back a bit as she finished up so I could put myself in a better position for the offside tunnel entry. She pulled out of the weaves once towards the end when I was just fooling around with her, but a) she was a little unconfident because we had just finished up working on the frame contact b) she was tired and c) I turned my body to face her after running all the way to the end and that threw her off. So, no concern there.
  • I blind crossed after the tunnel purposely. I never blind cross, but I think it can be a useful tool after tunnels instead of spinning all the way in a circle like a post turn.
  • The angle to the tire was tricky but she did it. She knocked the jump before the teeter on one run, but Marisa said I was over handling it by yelling out to her too much. It was probably something I did. I NEVER get upset over knocked bars, anyway, since I know Marge really wants to keep them up.
  • Nice teeter tonight. I tried not to babysit it as much and the results were good. I did do some babysitting of it just for fun to really motivate her in between runs. I'm still not requiring a 2o2o contact on the teeter.. I think that I might not at all. The jump after the teeter was the end of the course.
As usual, please, agility friends, critique all you want!

Marge has been doing so well in class. Tonight, her behavior matched the agility, too. She played a bit with Papillon friend Holly and PWD friend Star. She sniffed big Max, the super-sweet Cane Corso, but then proceeded to mount him so I pulled her away. Not one single snark the whole night, though, so I really was thrilled.

Like I said, we worked on making the A-Frame contact more independent. I think we actually got somewhere. By the end, I was able to run past her and she'd stay on the frame. She was creeping a bit, but Marisa said that it's likely due to the fact that she's still figuring out exactly what I want for her to do (since usually when I move forward, that means she should move forward, too). She got a bit stressy when I told her to try again after she broke from her contact, but we did it one more time and ended on a good note.

Afterwards, Marge got a fully body massage. It was finally warm enough for it. She handled it much better than last time, standing in place instead of wriggling all over. We're going to do it once a month. Marisa said her neck felt good and there wasn't anything other than normal tightness any where else. The hip flexor that bugged her last month is still slightly inflamed, but apparently it's nothing to be concerned over. Still, I think that's my cue to really pick it up with some strengthening/stretching exercises.

She's pooped, now, asleep on the couch. I'm pooped, too, but really wanted to finally get back to my Tuesday Training. Off now to play catch-up with my favorite blogs.


Life With Dogs May 26, 2010 at 1:29 AM  

Hello there - it's great to catch up again - sorry to be a stranger but I'm still clearing land for our yard expansion project. See you when I get back after the weekend. Hug Marge for me and tell her how proud I am of both of you. You have come so far...

Scout and Freyja May 26, 2010 at 1:38 AM  

Not an agility friend but a Marge cheerleader. WOO-HOO, Marge, way to go you gorgeous girl!

Sam May 26, 2010 at 2:00 AM  

Cheerleading works, too!! - I am sometimes reluctant to post too much about agility out of fear that it will bore people, but I am glad that all of my blogging friends have enjoyed seeing Marge grow more confident each time she runs. :)

Laura May 26, 2010 at 2:28 AM  

Wow - love the video! You guys look like pros - gives us something to aspire to :o)

Love Laura, Bella and Barry :o)

Marg May 26, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

Gosh, that is just super. Marge really is good at that agility and so is Mom. You two are going to be stars. Our Mom has always loved agility and so enjoyed that video. She just never got around to doing it. She was always too busy working with the horses and teaching riding.
Can't wait to come back and see you again. Thanks for visiting out blog.

doberkim May 26, 2010 at 7:01 AM  

GREAT video - you're becoming a nice handler and she has great attention on you and follows your cue very well!!!!! you can really see a good foundation there!!!!!!!

Chris and Ricky May 26, 2010 at 7:32 AM  

Great job in the video!! You're being really clear with your handling and Marge is responding so well! And that was an awesome weave entry!!

Rebecca May 26, 2010 at 7:53 AM  

Oh Marge looks like she had fun! It's very clear she loves her momma and wants to make her happy too!
Daisy Mae

Diana May 26, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

You guys did awesome!! Diana

LauraK May 26, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

What an awesome night! Your run was beautiful- and look at Marge's A-frame contact! wow! That weave entry was VERY impressive too. I'm so happy that you two had a great class :) And I did enjoy the crickets too!

Cyndi and Stumpy May 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

Marge looks so freaking happy through thw whole thing!

Frankie Furter and Ernie May 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

When something Clicks it is pure magic, Right. Grrreat job Marge, and you too Sam. hehehehe

Natasha May 26, 2010 at 10:31 AM  

That sounds like a really great class!! Makes me want to really get back into our regular training routine again. Marge looked awesome in the vid and I love how well you read her!

The Army of Four May 26, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

That was a GREAT video! I like how happy Marge was when you told her she could start!!! She really looks like she's having a blast!
Tail wags,

SissySees May 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

No agility experience here, but that was inspiring! Too bad Sissy is so thoroughly unreliable off-leash...

Kathy Mocharnuk May 26, 2010 at 11:54 AM  

Looked FANTASTIC, the Aframe contact looked BEAUTIFUL, the weaves spectacular, really nice handling, looks like you guys are just coming along so well!!!!

mayziegal May 26, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

That's Most Wonderful! Marge is my idol, you know. We've been loving my Rally class. I'm doing just great but mom - well - between you and me, she's not Most Coordinated and gets all turned around about some of the stuff we have to do. I am working very hard on being patient with her and encouraging her. I'm sure she'll get it eventually. And if she doesn't, I'll still luvs her.

Wiggles & Wags,

PeeS. Thanks for stopping by and giving me your dee-en-ay guess.

Dexter May 26, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

That was like the longest lead out I almost thought you weren't coming back. My idiot mom is just learning about shoulders. Duh. I don't miss a thing. She needs to be more precise.

What fun when everything goes right.


AC May 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

What a great night! I did a few sessions of agility with Kona last year, but it was too much for her at the time. If we ever go back, I'm coming back to use your post as training references! Great write-up.

Alright, I laughed out loud at the thought of Marge mounting a cane corso. Marge, that is not the dog to challenge. Remember, bug guy always wins =)

Sierra Rose May 26, 2010 at 5:29 PM  

You both really wow'd us here!! That is a fantastic run! What awesoeme teamwork! Wootwoot :)

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Gus, Louie and Callie May 26, 2010 at 5:34 PM  

Awesome Marge...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Sara May 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

What an awesome run! Sounds like a great night. Marge is really at home on the agility field.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! May 26, 2010 at 7:47 PM  


Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Amy / Layla the Malamute May 26, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

You guys look GREAT!! That was a fantastic run.

Layla got a full body massage a few weeks ago too. I had to go through 3 sticks of string cheese to keep her focused. The therapist said that it takes most dogs a few times to understand what's going on, and then they just plop there and stay.

Also I liked hearing that I'm not the only one with a female that mounts other dogs. I'm kinda tired of the weird looks.

Never Say Never Greyhounds May 26, 2010 at 8:30 PM  

Great run!

KB May 27, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

I agree -those weaves were beautiful. She's so smooth and it looks like she's single-footing them (she didn't used to, I don't think). The biggest transformation is how precisely YOU move now. It looks as if every motion has a purpose so Marge is getting really clear signals from you.


Dawn May 27, 2010 at 9:33 AM  

Awesome! The weaves were stunning! And GREAT contact stay on the A-Frame! Makes it all worth it doesn't it!

BRUTUS May 27, 2010 at 9:51 AM  

So nice to see! Isn't it sweet when things come together and you have moments like those? Makes all the struggle seem worthwhile!

Have you seen the AKC rule changes? Not to say that you shouldn't still train the "automatic down" on the table, but they are eliminating table behaviors soon - all it takes is 4 paws on & your count starts. And they are lowering the tire 4" from your normal jump height (odd) & eliminating the up contact from the dogwalk. After July 1, only 3 attempts at the weaves & you must restart from the beginning. None of those really mean much of anything in how we'll train, just thought I'd mention it.

Keep up the awesome work!!

Michelle & Brutus

Cinnamon and Mint May 27, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

You are doing a wonderful job!! Awesome!!!

Muttsandaklutz May 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

Looking fantastic! Marge looks so confident -- and her teeter! Didn't she used to be nervous about it? I would never have known that from how she looks on it now. Keep up the great work.

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