Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Agility Training

Here is a video of Maddie doing some agility training.  We had done some teeter work here and there awhile back and have since raised it a little higher.  After that is some weave pole work using the 2X2 method.  The border collie folks often use a toy as a reward.  My problem has been that my hounds either prefer food or they like to run laps with the toy which gets them tired, hot, and winded.... not great for training.  So I am using a little zipper pouch with Maddie.  It contains dehydrated turkey hearts in it.  She can smell treats and the pouch is not so fun it gets treated like a toy.  Often Maddie will pick it up and give it to me.  And then there is some jumping and some play time mixed with some awesome recalls.
Notice that I take Maddie by the collar a lot or even just touch it.  I never want her to associate me touching her collar with being leashed up and put away.  I want her to know that recalls and jackpots include me touching her collar.  And then my ultimate pet peeve is when folks repeat their dog's name over and over and over again.  So when I am training, I will often guide my young dogs by the collar instead of verbally directing them simply because they are easily distracted and often veer off in another direction. I do my best to avoid using their name multiple times.  For me, I want my dog's name to mean something and when I say it, I expect them to look at me and often come to me.  But you desensitize them if you say it 20 times in one training session... especially if you do not reward it. Think about that the next time you are talking to or training your dog.

If you want an explanation of 2X2 Weave Poles, I did a post with video using Riley a few years ago. Click Here. I figured there was no need to type all the gory details again.