We had a great practice in the horse barn Sunday! Stewie really needed to run and stretch his legs after the recent snow and cold. We have been practicing our tugging, using Susan Garrett’s Brilliant Recall program for guidance. Stewie’s tugging has really improved! He tugged inside the barn, and also outside with other dogs and horses present. He was really keeping his focus on me.
Click here for a recent Susan Garrett post on tugging duration.
We had a workshop in Grantham Sunday and worked on get outs and also coming back in to reinforce control. One of the get out exercises was working with two hoops next to each other in a big circle. You drew the line so the dog went through the inner hoop on one set, then the outer hoop in the next one and so on. I had a lot of trouble with this exercise. I was being very uncoordinated. I am going to ask my son to make me some more hoops and practice this in the backyard. Once mastered this will be very useful on NADAC courses.
In the afternoon we worked on a box of jumps. I handled it from the inside of the box and did well. Then I was challenged to run it from the outside of the box, and that was a lot more difficult. But as I was told, I have to work distance to gain distance skills. After a couple of tries I got a bit better at it. I really need to work on my body position, cues, and timing. Poor Stewie has to work with a very inconsistent handler, the poor dog.
I am still working on my lateral distance right from the start line. It is getting a bit easier all the time.
Today we went out in the backyard, and I was going to give Stewie the day off from agility, but he was asking to play so we did. We worked on the dogwalk at a distance and also going on from the dog walk to another series of obstacles with me at a lateral distance. Stewie was going very well with the dogwalk exercises.
Stewie and I are heading to outdoor run-thrus at Boo-Gee in Raymond this afternoon. Should be fun!
Stewie and I had a good practice at club practice today. We got to work the contacts, including the teeter, and did several sets of weave poles. We had a great time!
Clicker training is the best, and you can get some info about it and a free ebook download at AgilityNerd
Stewie needs something to protect his foot from road salt and the elements since he ripped one of his back toenails off last week. We got some PawZ Protective dog boots from Clean Run
The Pawz ran true to size, they recommended the small for Jack Russell Terriers and it fits well, it is even a little roomy. The boot looks like a small balloon but is quite rugged. It slips on easily and it stays on really well. I am very impressed. Stewie wore it in and outdoors on Sunday, while he was loose in the yard and while taking a walk, and it never came off.
Pawz boots are disposable and reusable. They come in packs of 12, we are still using the 1st one we put on. They are waterproof and thin enough so Stewie can keep his grip and balance on the ice.
They are very cool and Stewie recommends Pawz Protective Dog boots.
Stewie is doing really well with Get on the Ball, and we are now starting the Advanced exercises. Now I do see him getting a bit tired after our sessions. We aren’t getting out much in this weather so this is great for him.
This is our 3rd night of doing the beginner section of Get on the Ball 2
Stewie is catching on very quickly. He will do anything that earns him treats. He will get on the ball, lay down, sit up, stand up, bend from side to side, and wave. We did 10 minutes tonight. It is a great time to year to do this program, especially with the cold and wind today.
After a good walk, we got just few minutes in the backyard before it got dark. I wanted to work on directionals. I set up a hoop with another hoop 8 paces directly in front of it. I also put a tunnel off to the left of the 1st hoop.
I sent Stewie to the hoop, told him “left” and he took the tunnel, good boy! I worked him off of both sides, and also sent him straight ahead with a “go on” several times as well. He only made a mistake a couple of times.
Tomorrow we work on “right”, Stewie is not quite as consistent on rights.
Today since it was raining, I got our the Crate Games CD, and brought in Stewie’s travel crate. We have not done this formally since last winter, but Stewie remembered it. He has a memory like a little elephant! We had a great practice with some of the games, and the cat was a handy distraction.
Tomorrow I will bring over my son’s dog Cleveland to really up the distraction factor.