Disco gets to Train Outside

For a February day it was very nice out again today. Enough of the ice has melted so that I can actually move some stuff around outside. I went outside without any dogs with plans to just reset Disco’s weave exercise to one of the more advance set ups so I can get back to training him on those before the March trial. I ended up spending several hours also cleaning up the main agility training area and setting up several other training sequences. It took a while to do but should be worth it as it set me up to be able to train on more things as long as the weather holds.
After getting things set up I decided to go ahead and work the wild child. The first exercise we did was a modified version of one of the advance 2 X 2 weave exercises. Here is the set up and the basic sequences we did.

As you can see the dark blue squares and red circle numbers are working on some really tough weave entries at speed. These exercises continue to teach the dog to collect as they approach the weave entry and then go fast once in the poles. The dog also needs a very clear understanding of the entrance of the poles. On the red the dog must move out to wrap around that first pole. On the blue course the dog must find the correct opening. For Disco they are also both great jumping exercises as he gets use to doing a short jump chute with different spacing. Disco was great on both of these exercises and is even starting to bring his toy back to me most of the time. I just have to remember to take some breaks with him to play in between attempts.
The orange and the light blue exercise are two that I set up to continue to work on some jumping skills and front crosses at the entry to the weaves. I did a front cross in between #4 and #5 at the second weave pole entrance. The jumping challenge was getting a nice tight line at #3 to #4 and #6 to #7. I could have done a front cross between #6 and #7 but wanted to let Disco figure out how to turn tight between those jumps and come back to me. The first time he was a little wide but improved as we continued working. Overall I was very pleased with his work on these exercises. He was a little distracted with some of the sticks on the ground but continued to work through this very nicely.
Our second training area we worked on the “out”, “here”, “Back” and “tight” commands using three gates set up in a pinwheel. I like to teach these basic directional commands away from the real agility equipment. Disco is doing very well with the “out”, “tight” and “back” but does not totally understand the ”here” command yet.
After working with the gates for a few minutes we move over and did some flat work with the Zoner Honer and mouse pad. Disco really enjoys racing to his pad and doing a quick down. After a couple of tries I moved the honer and pad over to a flat (on the ground) dog walk board and had him race over the board to the down on the pad. Disco had no problem staying on the board and offering the correct behaviors at the honer and pad. So it was time for time to move on to the teeter. We have already done this down at Barto once or twice and Disco had no problems doing his teeter to the mouse pad. This is much faster than the way I had him doing the teeter before. He use to go over slowing down and waiting for the command to sit, now he races over the teeter and under the hoop at speed before bouncing into a down on the mouse pad. I am really impressed with how quickly he has picked this up. It will be interesting to see how the performance holds as I fad the hoop and pad. It was then on to the full size dogwalk with the Zoner Honer and Mouse pad. Disco had a blast playing this game and seemed to really enjoy making his daddy sprint to the other side of the walk to reward him on his mouse pad. By the time we finished a few attempts on the dog walk he was really settling down and focusing on his work.
The last set that we worked on was some double box exercises.

I have several goals while working in this section. I want to start trying to get Disco to give me a little more control at the beginning of sequences, to settle, sit and give me a short lead out. I also want to start to get a better idea of his commitment point on jumps so I can move into position for both front and rear crosses. I need to get him to understand that at times it is ok to focus on the equipment and not my movement. At all three of his trials I have had a major problem with him coming to and jumping on me rather than focusing ahead on the equipment. I started with the course marked with the blue squares. I started off by making him sit and working on having him stay while I moved toward the first jump, clicking and rewarding him for not moving. He caught on pretty quickly today and allowed me to build up to a lead out about half way between the #1 and #2 jumps. I than ran him doing a front cross on the landing side of #4. This is a very tough sequence for Disco as it requires him to go out to #3 and stay out on the correct side of #4 while I move in front of his path. As he jumps #4 he is rewarded for coming to my hand, helping to teach him a tight turn, before continuing the sequence. I also send him out to #7 and I do another landing side front cross at #8 again rewarding him for coming to my hand.
On the red course we work on a rear cross into a tight turn at #3 and then a send out and landing side front cross at # 5. The orange course adds a lead out and some of the same move off the other side. The green course we started doing an angled lead out again with a couple of landing side front crosses. At his point I am pretty beat and Disco I play a short game of Frisbee before calling it a day.
Now “Go Weave”