Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skills and Drills Agility

I love doing full courses in agility class, but surprisingly, I think our skills-filled class last night was one of the most fun classes I've ever had.

The first sequence (light-circled numbers) was a rear cross exercise.  We weren't allowed to talk to our dogs (except at the start and between 5 and 6) and instead had to rely on body movement alone.

I led out just past 1, post-turned around 2 and 3 (but made sure she avoided the tempting off course 6) , and rear crossed over 4.  Moved as soon as she committed to 4, up the line to 5.  After 5, I ran with my shoulders pointed almost towards the A-Frame, asked her to rear cross on the flat.  Reared again over 8, reared again over 9, held position to make sure she came back in for the threadle-ish 10.

Super fun sequence.  It was supposed to be hard.. but honestly, it wasn't that bad at all.  My rear crosses are just too good.

Second sequence (dark circled numbers) was an offside tunnel entry with a choice of either a front or rear cross between 5 and 6.  I went with the front... and I'm glad I did, because Marge and I both really need work.  My positioning is wrong and she doesn't read it at all.  I led out past 3 and used a lead out pivot to get her in to the tunnel.  I tried to do a landing side front after 5 but it took me quite a few tries to get it.  Rest of the sequence was pretty easy.

Due to the limited number of obstacles, I can definitely set this up at the training hall.. which is exciting, because I'm running out of ideas since we have a very limited number of jumps available there.

At the end of class, I worked my A-Frame contact a bit.  She hit it every single time and seems to be doing it more quickly rather than creeping.  Also, for the first time ever, I tried sending her away from me in to the tunnel under the A-Frame.  I see stuff like that a lot in AKC Excellent Standard.. so it's good to know that she was able to do it.

Didn't get any pictures or video, but I do have these shots from her zoomies episode on Monday night while I taught the Pet Agility class.

EDIT: Please e-mail me or leave a comment if you are having issues viewing my blog.  It appears to be being temperamental today..


Kari in Alaska August 25, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

when we did some agility with Baily we always seemed to have better nights when we were doing skills. Mostly the tunnel because Baily was addicted.

Don't forget, we moved to

Chris and Ricky August 25, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

Looks like a fun skills class! I like to run courses but drills are often very fun and you learn a lot. We might try to set some of that up in our backyard and try it!

Amy / Layla the Malamute August 25, 2010 at 8:17 PM  

That looks like a really fun class. I wish I trained at your club; Layla much prefers rear crosses but the trainers don't so they want people to do fronts. They don't force you, but if you do rears they say "Ok that was nice. Now try again with a front."

I haaaated front crosses, but doing the box work really helped. I have a bunch of course maps of it that I copied from box work if you want me to email them to you. You need 7 regular jumps, so it should fit.

It's so cool that Marge is entertained by Layla's wooing. Casey never even blinks and never seemed to care.

I loved her zoomie pics! Her ears are so cute when she's running.

Maggie Mae and Max August 25, 2010 at 8:23 PM  


All dat agility stuff looks so hard but you makes it look so easy...way to go!
Mom said to tell you that Moffitt Beach Campgrounds is about 1 hr and 45 minutes north of Albany, which would make it 4 1/2 hrs from NYC
Go to:
you might be able to find one closer....good luck!

Woofs and Licks,
MAggie Mae

Granite State Pet Sitting August 25, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

Looks like you guys had a blast at the skills class. I never knew that agility class could be so detailed. I would mess my dogs up if we did it. Awesome Job.

Alien August 25, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

I like that last photo. It looks like you are ready to take off!

Sara August 26, 2010 at 6:27 AM  

Those look like great exercises to try. I can almost set that up in my backyard.

Those photos of Marge are hysterical.

Anonymous August 26, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

Marge looks like she's having way too much fun :) Zoomie time is great!

Wishin I had the room in my yard to set up a cool agility course like your diagram,

LauraK August 26, 2010 at 8:21 AM  

We had a skills class the other night too- sometimes they can be a nice break from everything. Makes you think about the little handling skills that are so important, but often overlooked.

Those pictures are SOOO funny- especially the middle one. What a great idea- I should attempt to catch one of Riley's zoomie episodes on film too- she's our only "zoomer" out of the three.. Thanks for making me laugh this morning- I needed that!

andrea August 26, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

great drills - thanks for posting them :)
I really like doing drills - I bet 3/4 or more of the work I do is drills either for me or for the dogs or for both

I have this fundamanetal belief (from my horse days) that an animal only has so many jumps (in agility I think obstacles) in them and I like to use every minute as a learning experience - of course in class we do what is set up - often a long course ... but I identfy places on course to stop PARTTTEEE or at least reset :)

Brody is such a steady fellow he doesn't really need course work
Sally is such a wild child she doesn't really need full course work
Thea would benefit from it I think - but she's out of luck living with me :)

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS August 26, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

Good job as usual Marge. You are something else!

We luv you and mommy,

Riley and Star.

The Army of Four August 26, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

You guys are GREAT! That layout diagram looks like one of those crazy Sudoku puzzles our mom does.
Tail wags,

AC August 26, 2010 at 1:58 PM  

Yeah for another good class! I think it's always nice to beak things down/ practice skills, drills. It's also a good reminder that slowing things down and chopping them up can be a good approach (for dogs and people. In agility and in life=)

Those pictures are great! Marge perfectly exemplifies the insanity that is zoomies!

Gus, Louie and Callie August 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

We are so proud of you Marge.. We love the action shots...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

KB August 26, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

Very cool. I love hearing you so honestly assess what you're good at and what you need to work on. A lot of people aren't so good at either of those things.

K and I have been "playing" agility every night this summer. My handling is very sloppy compared to yours but we have a blast. Last night, we needed a rear cross, and it didn't happen. The hard thing with K is that as soon as I decide to seriously practice something like a rear cross, she tunes out. That's how her nervousness and fearfulness expresses itself. So, contrary to every tendency in my spirit, I need to leave the skill for the next night, when I get another shot at trying it with her.

Regardless, the 15 min per night that we spend "playing agility" is so much fun. I think that I might try setting up the first course that you showed above so we get lots of rear cross practice perhaps without upsetting K.

Carolyn August 27, 2010 at 12:12 AM  

Woah! Super tight courses, particularly the "white" numbered course. However, I can see how you guys had so much fun!

Awesome job!!


BRUTUS August 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

Love the zoomie pictures! It's finally cooled off a little here, and it was so nice to see Brutus moving with a little momentum finally! All summer he's been like a slug outside, but if he's smart enough to slow down to keep from overheating, how can I complain?


Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart August 28, 2010 at 8:20 PM  

I love that photo of her coming out of the chute! Ha!

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly August 31, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

Even with that cool map, we'd get lost!

Way to go Marge!!

Woofs and Kisses!
The Fiesty Three

Sue August 31, 2010 at 3:38 PM  

She looks like she's really moving.

Scout and Freyja September 1, 2010 at 11:04 AM  

Marge, whenever our momma comes to visit and sees you doing all of your furry smart and wonderful things she looks at us lounging on the sofa like she wants to light a fire under our hind ends to get us going! We all think that you are a remarkable, beautiful and special dog!

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