Friday, 23 November 2012

Time flys when your having fun!

Well as per usual I have being completely useless with updating my blog!
Fling is now 19 weeks and a total Diva! It doesn’t seam like I have had her for 10 weeks. Its true what they say.. Time flies when you’re having fun!

id love to update this blog with videos but is just a few pictures and a video that i have already downloaded to my PC pervious to me finding my phone cable personally personalised by the madam herself this morning!… I will get to downloading more of her clips ‘in training’ as soon and the new wire come for my phone!

I would say note to self never leave anything on the floor.. But fling thinks she’s a Cat and she can get anywhere! She will sit and mentally draw up a plan. However she has being really good and not chewed much i.e. all table and doors are still intact: p she just loves the phone cable my IPad cable and my mobile cable... hummmm theme there! This week I have Kamals Boxer Puppy 'Punch' to stay with us as he is abroad teaching. Fling and Punch absolutely love each other. Punch is getting a fair bit bigger then fling now but he has being really good with her and rarely gets too much for her. This time they seam to both come to a mutual decision of 'Yep were shattered now. Sleep' where as on punches last stay it was battle of who can stay up longest the pile on the looser!...Its nice to have a different breed other then collies for Fling to play with. They are definitely best buddies! :-)
                            Fling @10 Weeks
Best Buddies!

Lucy Osborne

Agility Voice Article - (wing wraps.)

Just a quick recap, last time we looked at the your straight, drive on command, (to most handlers its 'GO') and some simple ways in which we can proof that.
This time we are staying on a similar theme. Commands, what they mean and proofing exercises.
Wing Wrap
Ok so everyone seams to be raving about Wing wrap commands, why?
Having a well trained and proofed command means that hopefully your dog understands the command/job. When training the exercise you will have proofed it from lots of different angles and increased distances and speeds. So that when your lagging behind that all important command is understood by the dog. And you have an increased chance of completing the sequence. For my dogs the word 'Tip' means (take the jump my drive arm is pointing to, to wrap around the wing I'm pointing to, land and focus on me.) Not, jump off to another jump close by. I expect that sometimes my dogs and myself are going to make a mistake, but you have to remember us as handlers and our dogs aren't robots, mistakes can happen and it's not the end of the world!
New to wing wraps?
So you need to think of a command. Some people use two commands one for a left turning wing wrap and one for a right turning wing wrap. Personally I cant think that fast! It Took me long enough to learn Left and Right! :-P
As I command before the jump and before the dog takes off I use my normal Left and Right command followed by the wing wrap command of 'tip' (If I was to just say left or right they would turn in a 90degree turn, not wing wrap)
There needs to be a difference in the command To the left/right/90 degree box style turn and the Wing wrap. The dog will need to shorten stride more for a wing wrap to a normal left /right, box turn.
If you haven't trained a Wing wrap command and your dog is competing I would still go back to basics.
have 1 wing, no pole and teach them to go round the Wing, close to the wing. At first I will deliver the reward as close to the wing as possible. I want the value to be in the jump wing and staying as close as possible to it. If i always run off with the toy at first the dog will not shorten stride they will begin to extend more to catch up with you and get the toy, in turn you will loose the tight turn and shortern strides.

I would not command until I was
1) Consistently seeing them do it right and not pulling off.
2) Shortening stride to turn around the wing.
Then add in the other wing. Still NO pole and practice it on both sides. Also practice it as a rear cross.
Then when you think the dog is focusing on the wings, add in the pole on the floor first. If you dog starts jumping to the middle of the pole then I'd personally take the jump pole away again. I want my dog to hear the command and jump/wrap close to the wing not jumping to the center of the pole and then turning as this will loose you time. Take an extra few days of rewarding them for hearing the command and sticking turning close/towards the wing.
 If the rewards good enough they should soon pick it up as long as you don't reward the no so good turns. You need to paint a clear picture of what you want, by rewarding appropriately.
Once the dog is jumping towards/close to the wing and shortening stride when the pole is on the floor begin to increase the height. If the dog begins to lapse give them another chance maybe reduce eliments of movement or excitment, not totally just slightly. You want the dog to understand and to the command. if they know you have the toy and are running off this may be why the are not shortening stride and extending.. run off but chuck your toy back close to the wing or get a helper to throw in the toy for you.
I personally want the dog to take the command and do the job then look at me not take the command see me taking off and go into a frenzy
''OHHH MY GOD SHES RUNNING AWAY!!! I need to keep up run faster = extend, forget about what i was asked to do my mums running away she always had the toy its pointless up here!!!''
 In order to get this I would reward close to the pole with me still at distance.
Remeber 5 minutes is long enough in the garden on your own with the dog. when training eliments of a new exercise.
So below is some exercises you can practise. The Line is where the I want the dog to turn. Remember you can repeat all exercises from an increased distance,on the opposite side and as a rear cross.
Have fun training.
Lucy Osborne

Agility Voice Article (September) - Learning with Lucy

Over the next few months I am going to be doing a series of garden exercises. Ways in which we can learn teach and proof our commands. I say learn, because as an instructor I have found it one of the most common issues in training. Handlers cross wiring commands, resulting in spins, early turns or ‘ignoring’ not understanding what you mean confusion when the handlers are getting frustrated the dog it getting even more wired up and then it some cases its followed up with a frustration nip off the dog.. I touched on this topic in the wait box of tricks article. How many people know what their command mean, just a short definition? Can you tell me what it means without having to pause and think about it for a second? If you can’t how is your dog meant to know it? After reading this now go find a pen and some paper, write down all the commands that you ‘think’ you dog should understand with a short clear definition. Re-read and do any commands and definitions sound exactly the same? Did you have to rethink what the command was?

Once you have set straight the definition and command write it down and copy it! Leave one in your car one near your training equipment at home and one in you hand and learn it.

So this month we are going to look at my word for

‘Straight line forward in the direction you’re (the dog) facing, when I say it’

That word for my dogs is ‘GO’

‘Go’ is a common word in agility for driving on and most (in the UK) use it, but do you have a definition of it and does you dog know it? Can your dog do it regardless of you being there and just on the verbal command?

I would say for my height and leg length I actually get a good way around the course, not being too far away from Ben however in the lower grades I could hardly ever get near him (depending on the course design) as most of the course was blasty. So my dogs need to understand verbal command. I need to know that they have a good understanding of the verbal command and that it’s rewarded appropriately so that they have a desire to perform the definition of the verbal on cue.

I don’t have a jump command if I say ‘GO’ it is to take whatever is in front of you and carry on in that direction, when I say GO. I shouldn’t have to keep recommending for every jump as they it doesn’t become a drive straight on definition  commanding 'Go' before/ after every jump makes 'GO' a jump que. If you feel you need to command you dog to jump then have a look at my May Blog which can be found on ‘Its been a clicking success with stig.’ This will give you some help on taking away the jump command and teaching the dog that it’s rewarding to take the jump you tell them to. However far you are away because they will get rewarded for it.

In the picture below I have set Ben up he is looking forward (I’m stood behind him, taking the picture!) from my definition of the ‘GO’ command Ben should take the 2 black and red jumps not take the one off to the left. If he took the straight on jump and then the jump to the left this would NOT be a ‘GO’ because I haven’t asked him to turn off the straight line he set off on. If, Ben maintains the straight line to the second jump I will reward him ( throw a toy in) I don’t wait for him to come back to me as I want him to understand and want to drive FAST away from me because he can still get an amazing reward thrown over.
If you’re slightly confused the picture below should help you.
Taking the same picture again. Now say ‘GO’ He should follow the Orange line and this is a straight line forward from where he is when I give him the verbal command of GO
Here are some simple exercises below for you to practice your ‘Go’ command.

Have Fun
Lucy Osborne