Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What to work on?

My students are always asking about things that they can work on at home. I only spend one time a week with them, so the rest is their deal :) If there is an issue with handling, obstacle training etc..most of the time things can be addressed in class and also with some homework :)

So here is a list of things that I work with my dogs on, call it foundation skills. Hopefully this can give you some ideas on what to work on when you need a few little things:

Remember, train to your weakenesses, trial to your strengths. My weaknesses get trained all the time. For me personally it is front crossing. I rarely train rear crosses as I like them and do them alot already ;) But yours could be startlines, rear crosses, distances etc.

Call to side and heel (right and left side) over a jump, out of a tunnel, out of the weaves etc.
Out (distance) to anything, jumps, weaves, tunnels, contacts etc.
Serpentines
Threadles
Directionals (left and right)
Collection over jumps
Extension over jumps
Front crosses
Rear crosses
Switch (turn away from you--GREAT for cuing rear crosses)
With me (dog stays at your side, great for snooker)
Startline stays (yes I do work these and reward often)
Weave pole entries (hard angles, speed--set tunnels up before the weave poles and see if your dog collects up to get entries)
Lateral distance on the weaves, driving ahead, sending through weaves, recalling through weaves.
Distance on contacts (which can be done on stairs or a board if you don't have contacts)
Sends to jumps while you go to another obstacle (send and run)
Sends to tunnels

Feel free to add onto this in the comments section, sometimes I think we all get caught up in working "courses" that we forget some of the foundation stuff that would make running those courses easier and more efficient! :)

2 comments:

Ricky the Sheltie said...

That's an awesome list - thanks for sharing it! One of the hardest things for me (especially at the beginning) was how to set up meaningful practice stuff at home. I am better now and can usually come home from a class and set up something similar to what we worked on but having your list of foundation exercises would've been such a huge help when we started out!

fulltiltbcs said...

I honestly don't run a TON of full courses when I work my dogs. I work foundation skills all the time. With most of my dogs it is COLLECTION, but with others like Crackers it is DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE and more DRIVE. I am always going back to this list :)