Sunday, 4 August 2013

Mighty Chuffed with our First Ever Clear Round!

So blue skies despite earlier forecasts, and some lovely courses put up at The Patch for the Mind To Win Fun Day.

The "Tunnel Vision" course was a nice sweeping course with only a couple of tricky  twists, and this is where we struck gold.  We did a running start .... and then remarkably we just kept doing one wee bit after another right...  Every little twist worked, and suddenly there we were crossing the finish without faults!

So no action shots today but here we are with the lovely Judge's Special Rosette that we won for the round.

I brought Finn out to let him see around, and was really pleased with how well he took everything in his stride.  And Shona was delighted with Jack Jack who did four lovely training rounds without leaving the ring at all.

That's Finn in the background, Honey up front and Jack Jack on the right.  All with Shona.

Good day!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Verbal Commands in Dog Agility

I would LOVE to be one of those silent handlers who just points at an obstacle and the dog understands....  but as that is not the case, this is a post about the verbal instructions that I try to give Patsy.

It seems that the choice of words used to instruct the dog is related to where you train and local fashions.  Obviously all that matters is that the handler and the dog are speaking the same language!

So these are words I use with Patsy.  Some are my own, and others are more widely used, (I've put in brackets words I've heard others use):

Obstacles:  Patsy can recognise most of these words and select the right obstacle.  
Jump            (Over)
Tunnel          (Through ---- Usually pronounced Throooooooooo!)
A                 (A-frame / Walk-on)
Dogwalk      (Walk / Walk-on)
Bendy-bendy (Weave, Wee Wee Wee or Weeeeeeeeee!)

I don't differentiate between soft tunnels and round ones.  Perhaps I should?

Directionals and other Instructions:
Leave it!       This one is especially important  for me if a contact is anywhere close to the next obstacle!
Out               Used to send her away to a far jump or around a wing to jump coming back to me
Go! Go!        To send her on down an obvious line of jumps ahead of me. Usually interspersed with Jump!
Close           Run on my left side (this is not yet fully understood by Patsy!)
Side             Run on my right side (ditto)
Switch!        Flip behind me to run on the other side. (She's starting to get this one.)
Here!           To call her back towards me again.

The Right and Left Dilemma:
I haven't been good about teaching right and left.  I wish they came second nature to me, but my problem with trying to teach this is that in the heat of the moment I am very likely to call the wrong one!  I should perhaps start with Finn and see if we can learn this one together!!

And to Finish:  Here's Patsy going "Bendy! Bendy! Bendy!"  

I just found this much easier to keep repeating than "Weave! Weave! Weave!"  or even "Wee Wee Wee"