Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Silvia-Day 2

WOW :) So today was Masters Handling and I was SOOOOO jealous the husband was in it and not me (you could only do one handling session and mine was the Advanced with Lynn). The courses were AWESOME...and I would have loved to run them (and WILL be setting them up for sure :) A friend made some copies of them and will be emailing them to me...so you can see the setup! Thanks S! For now...just basic stuff :)
The husband was a bit overwhelmed at first...but then settled into the courses just fine :) But I think it was a good test to see where they were as a team. I know I would NOT have been confident running Lynn on some of those courses...Klink and Gator, sure...but for CERTAIN not Lynn :)
Once I get the courses I will talk more on that but...the good thing about the courses is, I can set many of the hardest parts up in my garage...so that is what I am planning on doing...setting them up and then videoing the dogs running them. Not sure if anyone wants to see that, but I want to! LOL
Tight turns are huge...and running...which, with 25 less pounds on me, is MUCH easier :) So...that is good. But you know "turns are everything"...but I don't always realize just HOW much of "everything" they count for :) I do now. They. Are. Huge. As in the biggest thing in agility. Cuing them and then running onto the next sequence needs to be as quickly as possible...
As far as handling goes...I handle (OK...TRY to handle) closely to her and it was easy for me to understand what she wanted and why. And where I could clean up some turns on my dogs...
Which made me sign up to audit her seminar about turns on Wednesday...along with Motivation on Wednesday as well :) Lots and lots of good stuff.
Running contacts--my main goal...turns...I had read stuff on turns, and my attempts with the stuff off of Silvia's website...well, I was encountering some issues. Mainly, Lynn was bringing out the old pocket protector and solving math problems...which caused her to offer a 2 on 2 off behavior when we were working turns...AWESOME. NOT....
So I decided to just STOP working them until the Silvia Seminar. I have been just calling her after she was in the yellow...and go with that...which works...OK...if my timing is right etc etc. So I was REALLY hoping she would offer that damn behavior when we started working on them...
GOOD DOG, Lynn did...Silvia looked perplexed :) As we stood there, watching Lynn in 2 on 2 off (and no, she hasn't been asked for that EVER on the DW) she had to think a bit about things and came up with a plan of attack. She gave me some great advice on how to teach her turns without causing that to happen. And we worked through a few and Lynn's pocket protector went away :) Whew!! Another thing with Lynn that I have to get into her head and figure out. And thank goodness Silvia was there to help :)
Then we did a few straights and that was absolutely no issue. She doesn't miss straight DW's at all...even into nothing...so the next step is just to work turns. Silvia said that Lynn had a very good understanding of her job and to work turns separate from straight DW's. So we will probably be adding that to the list in the spring. How I am handling things at trials was also confirmed to be correct. It won't help her right now to mark a DW if she misses (she has only missed one) so just go on, her confidence will build and she will be just fine. Good, good stuff :)
The husband worked more advanced turns with Crackers, and a bit of handling with turns as well. We had some issues with Crackers driving ahead as the husband is behind, but Crackers opted NOT to do it...so I ran him as I was sure he would with me..and yep, he did! WOO HOO! Failure! :) So we got ideas on how to keep the terrier driving forward when Andy isn't right there.
There was another dog named Vito that also worked on turns, (Vito's owner reads the blog, SUPER NICE gal!) he was going to be able to use a bit different method (the one with the pole she has on her website)...so it was nice to see the start of that method.
There were some beginning dogs too, which was nice. So people could look for runs or jumps (NO MENTION of "rotary" or "transverse" gaits (whew!!)) just run or jump :) Happy Loretta!
One thing I learned was...my criteria for Lynn (and Crackers) in the beginning was TOO strict. Silvia would have been rewarding things I didn't. I would have been better to loosen up criteria and get more rewards in with the beginning stages...
As far as HOW to reward, that was good...I had that correct and I was glad about that...dog jumps and retrieves the toy, just don't play. Dog runs and retrieves the toy, PLAY HUGE!!!!
I wish it had been longer, to cover some more handling...we just did the DW as all the working dogs didn't have A-frame issues or hadn't started the A-frame training.
Totally NOT related to running contacts or handling...things I "assume" people do with their dogs that I realize now, they don't necessarily :)
Are able to play with their dogs...will need to work with some folks on this :)
All trained behaviors are tricks...ALL of them. Many people categorize things the dogs learn into "tricks" and "training skills"...and I don't. They are all tricks to me. Agility is just a string of tricks...nothing else. So this causes people to value teaching "tricks" as more fun, while "agility skills" are work...thus this gets passed to the dog as that way. Not good. Everything is a game, everything is a trick. I need to tell my students this a LOT more from the start.
Running: My dogs get to run, and I am not talking cantering, or trotting...I am talking HAULIN' A** running...at LEAST on walks every, single, day. So they learn to run and run hard. I run WITH THEM...running as fast as I can (yeah a real joke as they catch up to me very quickly) often as well. We, I guess, haul a** together many times during the week. I assumed others did this...but MANY do not. WHAT?? Yeah...so...to work on that with people :)
Tons of good stuff...many things to be reminded of. Silvia really wants all the teams to improve and I really like that.
I will hopefully get those courses up soon! Promise!


Ricky the Sheltie said...

It all sounds so amazing! Glad you are getting this chance to work with Sylvia!!!

Xsara and Tani said...

Yes, Silvia is the best :) We are really lucky to be able to train with her on a regular basis! I'm really glad that you learned so much from her :)

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Can you spell out the advice you were given with Lynn and her turns? I remember her doing the 2o2o (and I was afraid Vito would do that as we practice side loading the teeter at times, but instead we just jumped a lot!) but I don't really remember your final advice. Was it to just move the jump slowly into deeper and deeper angles???

I really love watching how you handle and interact with your dog!

Loretta Mueller said...

Thanks Xsara! How awesome you get to train with her all the time!!!! :) I am jealous!!!!

Laura---will do, I have to teach all day today, and then a trial this weekend...but I will for sure work on that :)