Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Warm Weather Gambles

It's ridiculously warm outside, so Jonah and I had to take advantage with a little agility.

When I got home right after school, we went out back and I didn't have any food but Jonah was getting really excited about his stick, so we would do some obstacle performance in return for a tug/chase of the stick.  That was fun and motivating for him.  Maybe someday we won't have to be entirely food motivation.  At the moment, though, whenever there is food he chooses that over a toy.

After my lunch we headed out there with a rake, the tunnel and some string cheese.  I don't really want to rake too much yet because there are still so many leaves on the trees, but it was getting a little deep in a few spots so I cleared it off a little.  Then we practiced some discriminations which Jonah did beautifully with.  The only one he missed was a tunnel on the outside and I really didn't push at all and I had significant lateral distance, so he correctly read all of my cues except the verbal 'tunnel.'  I'll take the blame on that one.

Next we decided to play with some distance work.  Here is the little 'course' I set up:

I was impressed that Jonah did very well with this.  He did come back to me after the weaves but when I sent him back out to the table he went happily and downed quickly.  His weave entry was excellent every time.  We also ran the whole course (minus the teeter) backwards and he handled that well, too.  (As a note, for number 2 on the map I would choose either tunnel or DW...it wasn't dog's choice ;-)).  

One other gamble I set up was harder for Jonah.  I had the weaves where jump 4 was so it was a jump out to the weaves, and Jonah kept going in at the second pole.  He needed more support than I would ideally like, and I had to cross the vertical line (he has no problem with the horizontal other than that's the one time I made him miss the tunnel with the discrimination):

When I added another jump before the weaves, even with the weaves farther away, he found the entry much easier:

All in all, it was good practice.  There are lots of little variations I can do to keep giving him new looks and challenging ourselves to work at distance, which isn't our favorite thing.

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