April 2010

Running Contacts Update

Spring is really here now and I’m enjoying every day. All my agility equipment is at home again and we’re mostly working on contacts, weaves and jump grids right now. Squid’s running contacts have been a bigger challenge than Shejpa’s and Missy’s. Both Shejpa and Missy chose a nice style right from the start and was pretty consistent with hind feet at the end of the contact when running straight. Squid has chose to push off with her hind feet on the ground right after the plank. It doesn’t seem as efficient to me, and it also seems that she is more likely to stride over the contact. I have been experimenting with stride regulators to get her to change her techique, but she always goes back to her old style. I have decided to let her do it in her own way, as long as she’s got at least one front paw on the lowest 2/3 of the contact. We’ll see how it works out when we start sequencing. I’m glad that she is challenging both my training and my observational skills (it’s a lot harder to see if she’s correct, since she never jumps, just strides over the contact and puts her back paw on the ground less than a centimeter from the contact). Here are some videos from a few weeks back:

When we’re not working on our agility skills, we’re spending time herding sheep. Squid is really doing well and she is going to her first trial in two weeks. Thomas bought a 7 month old border collie girl from Derek Scrimgeour in England a few weeks ago. Her name is Jen and she is a very nice dog. Calm, sweet and soft. She is starting to learn the basics of herding. We’re also training Squid’s mother Fly at the moment, and will be doing some trials with her this summer. She is so much like her daughter and it’s great to have her here.

Weaving 2×2

I’m really falling behind with the english blog, but I’ll try to update more often in the future. We’ve had a long winter and the snow has just gone (although it is snowing again today). We have still been able to do a lot of training indoors and both girls are making progress. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how Squid’s weaving with the 2×2 method has progressed over the past month.

This is the first video, where we go to four straight poles for the first time. She is having problems with entries from 10-11.

Squid weaving 2×2 from Fanny Gott on Vimeo.

In the next video, the problem persists:

Squid Weaving 2×2 from Fanny Gott on Vimeo.

So I decide to break it down and work on just that weakness:

This clip is after one more session:

These are the two sessions from the day after, where I add a jump before a set of four straight poles. It was a true lesson on latent learning, where you can see the amazing difference between the two sessions (with a five minute break in between them):

In this clip, we’ve had one short session since the last video:

This is the latest video, where I have gone from four to eight poles. We’ve had one session since the last video, where I gradually over four repetitions put two sets of four poles together: