Moving forward with our agility training! - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your two cents, everybody! Love getting feedback from people who have experience.

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Originally Posted by TwoBigEars View Post
As far as contact behavior, to be honest I've never seen a 4o performance hold up consistently, except on the teeter. Never seen it hold up on the dogwalk or a-frame. If you want a stop I'd definitely recommend a 2-on/2-off.
I was only asking about 4o for the teeter-I'm planning to train runnings for the dogwalk and a-frame. In fact, we just signed up for Silvia's online class and are waiting for it to begin on the 17th! I picked up my plank at lowes yesterday!


I know the runnings are going to require a lot of dedication and are pretty much considered the hardest to train... but go big or go home!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I forgot to add, re: the tip-assist. After watching a few different videos of people training the teeter with this piece of equipment, I am definitely a fan. I especially like the versatility of using the tip-assist with an adjustable teeter. I think I would definitely consider using that method in the future, but its just not economical or practical for me right now.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 05:11 PM
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Yeah I do think the TipAssist is a better investment for someone teaching classes or using it for multiple dogs. Otherwise it's expensive to get it just for yourself, unless you can find someone local to commission one for cheaper. I like that it makes it easy to adjust the tip in very small increments.

Good luck with the running contacts! I think it's one of the most frustrating things I've ever tried but that makes it even more satisfying when it looks great. Taking Silvia's class should be a huge help for you!

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, TwoBigEars! It promises to be an interesting ride, at least

We had another lesson today, which will be our last Sunday lesson as that particular trainer is not going to be coming out to that field anymore. I'm learning so much about how much work I have to do on my handling skills, lol! Xuri reads my cues very well so any mistake shows up instantly... "good dog, shame about the handler," am I right?!

I really really hate standing still at any point on course, so I am working on figuring out which turns work best for us as a team that keep my feet moving and also motivate her. But at the same time I need to seriously work on slowing my mind down as we take each obstacle. It seems that every time I remember to calm down and make my cues more clear, I forget to move to the next obstacle afterwards, lol!

We did have a bit of a revelation about blinds today. I've done a fair bit of foundation groundwork with blinds but haven't incorporated them in sequences much. Truthfully, I never really think to do them because when I first took agility classes back in the day, that was when everyone was of the mind to NEVER EVER take your eyes off the dog, and blinds were therefore the work of the devil. We did a few in sequences today, however, and they really work for us as a team. I am still most comfortable with rears but I need to be more aware that other options (perhaps better options) do exist. Fronts are NOT my friend at the moment... darn dog is so fast I get flustered with my footwork. I nearly plowed into a jump and ended up falling down trying to execute one particular front cross today- whoops! Glad my dog is willing to keep playing through all of my mistakes.

We did have one moment of brilliance today when I was discussing options for a particular serpentine sequence with my trainer. She was recommending I incorporate those blind crosses, and I thought, "hey, I think we could fit a ketschker in here." And it worked out BRILLIANTLY. Definitely going to keep an open mind to fit those in when appropriate.

We also did the chute for the first time today. Trainer held it open for the first three successions, and it was free-sailing from there. I love this dog.

On tuesday we join a group class 2 hours away. We are starting at intermediate level (skipping the beginner class of leading the dog through the obstacles on leash). I know she is 100% ready as far as the obstacles go-although we will have to be creative about avoiding contacts for now-however I am a little nervous about getting her in a group environment. Which is incidentally exactly why I WANT her in that group environment. She hasn't had much exposure to OTHER dogs doing agility, and I have a feeling that she will find it very stimulating. It's also been a while since she has been in a group class situation and I just hope we will not make fools of ourselves. I would hate to show up and have an over-excited, reactive dog. I think I've done all I can to prep her, but I do have that fear in the back of my mind. I will certainly be bringing multiple bags of pepperoni, and an arsenal of balls and other toys.

Don't mind my long-windedness. Hopefully at least someone will get some entertainment from reading of our progress. Meanwhile, I think it will be neat to have a record of our training.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Hate to double post, but just wanted to give an update.

We went to the group class today. I was apparently worried over nothing, as she behaved very well. Only one quick bout of barking at one dog, which was shut down very quickly with a simple correction and being put straight to work (sits, downs, heels, etc). In fact, by the end of the class, we were getting compliments on how nice her temperament is! AND a dog got loose while we were sequencing and walked into Xuri's path... and Xuri completely ignored it!! Good girl

The class is waaaaaay below our skill level, but I still feel that it is very important for her to be around other dogs running. We shall see how it progresses. One thing I was a bit frustrated with was the fact that we ran an identical sequence (that we performed well on the first try) three or four times. Looking back, I realized I should have at least changed up my handling and tried a different cross to try to spice things up, instead of handling it the same way every time-live and learn! Will definitely be doing that next class.

On a side note, we did some impulse control training last night, in preparation for the class setting. I took her out to the dog park (which is really just an open field where people walk their dogs), and had her sit, down, or heel whenever we passed another dog. I was shoveling a lot of hot dogs into her face to keep her attention, lmao! Funny how everyone else was asking if she was dog friendly. Guess they just see me "restraining" a GSD when they walk by and assume she is dangerous. Although we WERE off leash so to me that would indicate a dog being well-trained, not ill-mannered. But hey, everyone is always scared of my big bad GSD anyway
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