Monday, 13 August 2012

Lure Coursing

My agility trainers had suggested that Kobi and I give something called Lure Coursing a try yesterday, so we did.
Lure Coursing is a competitive sport in the states, but around here it's just for fun! A track is set up along the ground and a twisty turning pattern and a plastic bag is pulled along it, and the dogs chase it!
The great thing about Lure Coursing is it requires no training, they're either good at it or have no interest in it.
Kobi and I were one of the first to run so I didn't realize just how good he was at it. Most of the other dogs either had zero interest in it or would only chase it for a short distance then give up.
Kobi on the other hand probably would have chased that thing until the machine died.
His first run was a little sloppy for a few reasons, the biggest being he got a bit worked up waiting his turn which meant he was already tired out when he did his run.
His second run on the other hand was awesome! From the minute we walked through the gate he was pulling at his collar to go! He chased it hard for two laps before they pulled the bag back into the closed off area. However, Kobi was not done. With a glazed over look on his face he started circling this area trying to figure out where it went. When he couldn't find it he decided to look along the track again to see if it was out there somewhere.
Along the track he managed to zero in on a pivot and decided to try pouncing on it a few time to see if that would make the bag come back, and much to his surprise it did! We sent the bag out one more time to bring him back in so I could get his collar back on and let the next person take their turn.

All in all it was a pretty fun day!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Teeter Work

So. It's been a while! I'm not going to try to recap everything that's been happening, there is just too much. I'll try to start fresh and just recap when and where I can. If you're wondering what happened to us, I got married on July 31st and now we're packing to move for the end of August (hello giant new yard!) and have our honeymoon next week. So I haven't just been lazy!

We managed to stay involved in our agility training over that time, some classes were better then others, some I was stressed and other Kobi was stressed but we've been doing pretty well given Kobi's lack of confidence.

Our biggest challenge has been learning the Teeter. In class we're working on the end result of having the two on two off position at the end of the teeter and getting the dogs to hop onto the end of the teeter forcing the end down making it bang. Most of the other dogs have no problems with this where as Kobi has been struggling to just even put a single paw up on it!

In just a few sessions we've been able to make it seem as though he never had an issue with it! We've been spending more time working on just the 2o/2o position in the house, finding areas where his but would be high (stairs or a landing etc.) We also spent more time on working on getting the nose touch on the ground on a dot. This is something we did during breakfast.

To work on getting Kobi up on the board I had to choose a time when Kobi was amped up and ready to play, took some high value treats and would do circles leading into the board, blocking his way with my body to force him up onto the board. If he stalled out, I would circle around again, building my criteria from one paw to two front paws, then a back foot had to come up and finally the 2o/2o with a nose touch.

Keeping sessions fun and short was the key and keeping things moving. If he stalled and I stood and tried to wait him out he would get frustrated and was prone to wandering off. Switching sides doing circle work and releasing quickly was the key.

At one point Kobi does a back cross (not good) but I ignored it because he wanted to walk straight up the board! Given his extreme lack of hind end awareness (something we've worked on a lot) it was shocking to see him just climb up without dropping his back end off. He still has yet to successfully walk across the board flat! I made sure to release him early especially since the top of the board would not have been safe or stable in the set up I had.

I am so amazed with his progress. Oh and did I mention this all happened in a week??