Agility Practice Journal Entry

24 Aug 2004Steve Schwarz

This is a back dated post about Wednesday night class with Dana Pike. Like two weeks ago, the opening was just like a Jumpers course and had a total of about 20 obstacles. The course took the dogs through a similar sequence twice. The first time the dogs go across a diagonal and I Rear Crossed Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross, the second time the dogs take an opposite turn cued by a Front Cross Front CrossLearning the Front Cross.

It was the type of course that, due to his speed, I have the most trouble handling with Milo. It was a cool night with a little drizzle in the air; just the weather Milo likes. So he was running “at 11” (ala Spinal Tap). Mr. Peabody had no problem, I was in position for the front cross on the second time through and he responded nicely. Milo, on the other hand, burned me every time; I ended up in a foot race if I tried to get in position for the front cross. Trying the rear cross was hopeless since that was the same handling I had used for the first pass through the sequence. So Milo

knew that we were going to do the first sequence again... I couldn't solve this one and the rain was picking up. In retrospect, using a verbal leash prior to the front cross could have got him to turn to me.

Lessons Learned - Practice Items

  • Mr. Peabody
    • Stay well ahead especially when cueing rear crosses
    • Practiced weave poles and entries were fine as long as I stayed back on the entry
  • Milo
    • Setup front cross sequence for practice
    • Mark "hard" front crosses with a verbal cue
    • Awesome weaves and weave entries tonight
    • I hung back successfully on big turns when I'd be pushing on his line
    • Teeter contacts were much better and I reinforced every time

A lot of things went right on this course with one area that really needed work.

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