Friday, September 16, 2011

Working on Distance - A Tale of Three Aussies

I used a novice jumpers course map from 2000 and set up a course with hoops to work on handling and distance with the Aussies.  This is the course I wanted to set, but I was pressed for time, so I just eyeballed the placement of the hoops.

Although I've been working for years with each of the Aussies, when I train, I concentrate on different things with each dog.  With Belle, I'm primarily interested in increasing her speed and improving my ability to communicate with her at a distance.  With Dusty, just getting to the start line is part of the training process.  I want him to come to the line without barking and leaping and twirling.  When he's running, I want him to run without head-checking or barking at me, which means I have to really concentrate on my timing.  Despite appearances, Libby is a soft dog who has shut down in trial settings two or three times in her agility career.  The last time was three years ago, and I have not trialed with her since.  When I bring her out to "train," I'm interested in making agility fun and keeping her motivated.  Therefore, I usually don't react to mistakes, and I spend a lot of time playing tug with her.

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