Monday, 7 January 2013

New Year Training

On New Years Day we hired out some agility kit to do some private training.  We hired Little Revel End in Hertfordshire which is near where we live.  They have a full set of kit on astroturf so it's great for training in any weather.  It did help that it was sunny though.

We took all of the dogs along for training but we concentrated on the puppy, Zazu, and Storm, who generally needs more experience.


We started with Storm on the dog walk.  One of the issues with Storm is that she often flies her A-frame and dog walk contacts.  We wanted to continue working on this so we carried on with the method that she knows which is essentially treats on a touch point at the end of the contact.  As you will see from the video that this help her to an extent.  The problem is, that even with treats I don't think she really knows what she is supposed to be doing at the contact.

On the video you'll see her coming down and looking for the treat.  Sometimes she will come off sidewards, sometimes straight down, and on the A-frame sometimes leaping the contact and coming back for the treat.  The other point is that when she gets the treat she continues to hunt around more.  This helps to show that she doesn't necessarily know what she is getting the treat for and there may be more around if she looks hard enough.

Later on in the video there is evidence of a slight mistake on our part when training the A-frame.  The first time we did the A-frame we only went in one direction.  Later on we did it in the other direction but the first few times Storm stopped on the up contact briefly to search fr treats.  This goes to prove that contact equipment should always be trained in both directions and with the handler standing on both sides.

Another thing you can see with Storms contacts, particularly on the A-frame, the she doesn't drive away from the contact very well.  She can be quite slow in moving to the next obstacle which isn't ideal.  This is less of an issue when not training with treats on a contact but nether the less we want her to drive away.

We are going to have a think about other methods to use to re-teach Storm the contacts and see what works.  We have a contact trainer (basically a small A-frame) and a plank we can use train just the contact.


Zazu is still a puppy at only 12 months old.  He has been training for a few months now.  He can do all of the equipment and we are starting to put it all together gradually.  I will point out that he is only jumping over small jumps so as not to hurt his growing joints.  Recently at training he lost a bit of confidence with the dog walk and didn't seem to want to go on the dog walk when running at it.  So guess what today's training involved?

We started him off on a low height dog walk to gain his confidence.  He managed this a few times quite happily.  Unfortunately we didn't film it as it took both of us to train.  Later we moved on to the full height dog walk.  He was starting to pick this up much better.

His contacts are also coming along nicely.  We are stopping him slightly off the contact to eventually encourage a running contact.  We'll see in the long run how this turns out.

We did a little bit of jumping with a tunnel.  This shows how he isn't running on at the moment as he waits for Susi to catch up before running.