Friday, 23 November 2012

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