Thursday, 26 March 2015

Another Long Thin intermediate agility course featuring the Holmberg Double

Following on from last weeks course for intermediate students here is this weeks course inspired by AgilityNerds post on the Holmberg Double. This one also includes some backside of jumps and some running past jumps and a fairly tricky weave entry.

If actually ran very well. 
Dog on RHS wrap 2 360 then push to 3 while staying on the landing side of 3. Front cross pulling dog past of course jump 2 then weave.
To 9 with dog on LHS. Flick (rear cross you staying on take off side) dog turns left over 9. Dog on RHS 360 wrap 10, push round 11 staying on landing side and front cross so dog on LHS into 12.
Run to take off side of 13. Turn dog left over 13, pick them up on your left hand to wrap round your body for nice approach to weaves. 
Dog on LHS 360 15. Push to back of 17 and race dog down to 20.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Living the reactive life

A few months ago I remember a lady commenting on a forum that she had never owned a reactive dog but she had been to enough seminars and read enough books that she was confident that in no time any dog of hers would no longer be reactive.

The science can make it sound nice and easy

But one thing that tends to be glossed over is the effect on the human of living with a reactive dog.

For a while at least its not just your dog who is reactive, your stress levels become sky high.
When you are out and about you need 6 pairs of eyes.
Gone are the happy chilled walks in the country, now you are scanning the horizon in all directions looking for 'triggers'
Is that fallen log over there actually a dog waiting to pounce?
Does that person have a dog with them or is it just a carrier bag?
and at the same time you are constantly scanning your dog and trying to see what they are spotting, trying to get your plans into motion when they spot a trigger
And freaking out that even that giant empty field you have drove out into the middle of the country to find might have a random person suddenly appear from behind a hedge with no warning - and a barky GSD on a short lead (yup it happened)

You dont just HAVE a reactive dog, you feel like a reactive dog!

And other people are so helpful!
Some people seem to assume that a dog is reactive because you are not a strong enough leader (sheesh, I wonder which telly entertainer they got that gem of behavioural (non) science from), they either give you looks of scorn or (better yet) start yelling at you!
Suddenly everyone is an expert. When I first got Mia I was inundated by people offering me help from teaching me to time my corrections properly to some kind (!) person offering to lock Mia in their garden with their dog so they could 'sort out who was the boss'!!

And there is the other wonderful well meaning advice that at the moment you just cant follow - like when you have messed up and your dog isnt coping with something and has charged to the end of the lead on their back legs screaming at something and someone tells you you should keep the lead loose

Or you turn a corner to get away from an oncoming dog and find a horse and rider - and someone tells you you shouldnt pick up a dog

Sometimes you have to break the rules to get out of a situation.

Sometimes I forget how far I have come with Mia, when we are walking in the park, playing, having fun and I realise I am not scanning the horizon. I am not horribly stressed

I try and not forget what it was like tho so I can try and not judge people who are living with it just now.
All the theory in the world is all well and good, and there are some great methods out there that can and do help dogs all the time. As you can see from the photographs, Mia is a pretty happy dog most of the time, she has canine friends and can play offlead. It is possible to improve things (she will always be reactive, but she wont always be reacting)
Nothing can actually prepare you for what it is actually like to really live it at the time.
I hope I will never judge someone or condemn them if they realise they cant cope with a reactive dog. If you can in the long run it is really rewarding, but no shame if you own up that you cannot cope.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Intermediate Long Thin agility Course featuring the Holmberg Double

Saw this fun challenge on the AgilityNerd Blog (check him out - he really is awsome!) and decided to try out his Holmberg Double on our intermediate courses in our yard

We were running medium sized dogs so found it easiest to 'Ass pass' 2 and 3 (get to the take off side of 2 with dog on left hand, send him over jump wrapping behind you and pick him up again on the left hand to get to 3 to try that again) 
Other options that ran very nicely was to get to take off side of 2 then front cross or ass pass the dog to turn them left over 2, push round the back of 3 and pick them up on the left hand to send to weaves.
10 to 11 worked best for us with an ass pass on 10 with the dog on the right hand then run with them to the take off side of 11 and flick them right over 11 into the tunnel 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

McFuzzylugs at Crufts

Some of my wee fuzzies made it to Crufts this year :)

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Long Thin agility course

Over the years some amazing people have been kind enough to share their agility courses and handling ideas and these things have really helped me.

So I thought I would share some of my agility courses to pay back all the help I have had.

My yard at Old Mill Dogs is long and thin which is quite a challenging space to think of courses.

This is last weeks Intermediate class course. The main handling challenge we were trying to work on here was sending away to the back of a turned away tunnel (I am sure there is a fancy word for that)
So at the start of the class we worked on Jump 6 to the tunnel

First with a stay at 6 we stood right at the tunnel entrance and recalled the dog over the jump and post turned them into the tunnel.
Then repeated several times taking steps closer to jump 6 and sending the dog further and further into the tunnel until we were able to send the dog over jump 6 and stay at the takeoff side of 6 and send into the tunnel.

Repeat for 18 to 19.

Then on to running the course. 1 - 6 fairly straightforward, running with the dog on the right then send to the tunnel. There are several ways to handle 8, 9, 10. A cross between the tunnel exit and 8 tended to show the dog the line to off course jump 3. A blind or front cross worked well between 8 and 9 or a front cross after 9. A flick on the right hand over 10 worked with dogs who could read that well.
11 to 13 with dogs who could drive out to the tunnel a good way to handle was 11 on left hand then send over 12 and to tunnel while rear crossing and passing 12 on the left hand side. For dogs with a less confident tunnel a blind cross before 12 worked nicely.
Then it was a race getting to 14, being out to the left of 12 gave a nice diagonal spring to 14 which pushed the dog out over 14. 14, 15, 16 on right hand. Front cross 16 and push the dog over 17 to 18 - if you are slightly infront then the dog dosent even notice the off course tunnel. Send to 19 then finish over 20 - simples :)

I hope you have fun running this one, if you do get the chance to film it I would love to see it. (note my spacings are not exact, adapt it to suit your space)


Related Posts with Thumbnails