Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Training Magic

Crystal at Reactive Champion came up with a really good training plan to work on her issues with Maisy. And she has inspired me to put together a similar plan for Magic. We have 2 weeks to get tuned up prior to the APDT trial. Magic earned the APDT award of excellence with his level 1 title, that means his first 3 runs were all qualifying with scores over 190.  (Grace did not manage this by the way)  I would really like Magic to earn this for his level 2 as well. So on that note there are several things I need to do. 

1-we are going to work on happy heeling. Leaving with me head up and happy. Rewards after 1 step, 2 steps etc. both food and the ball.  including keeping up on a fast station, me leaving running and reward for staying with me.  Working the driving forward aspect of turns too.

2- we are going to work on heel position. Closeness. Since agility, heel position has become rather sloppy.

3-we are going to work on pivots. I have never understood well enough to help Magic understand how to move his back end to get in close and straight.  I need to figure out a plan for this that I can work today.

4 fronts.  Our fronts are not bad, but Magic has started to sit (and down to really) sloppily. On a hip, legs tucked under.  I think we are going to try to really reward correct fronts.

5. Moving downs- Because Magic always wants to tuck that front paw under and slowly go down, I think we are going to work downs too.

All of these issues really are because I stopped working on the obedience skills when we started doing agility. I didnt ask for the correctness of heeling or fronts and they have sort of slipped away. When I think about it I understand that easily.  After all, I call all the dogs in, ask for a sit and reward a sit. Didnt really care if the sit wasnt correct, as long as we were sitting not jumping etc.  Same with position, Magic would try for a correct front, someone would jostle him out of the way and he still got the treat.  I wasnt thinking about how this would affect his overall performances when we again did obedience. (DUH, I just really noticed last night that he does try but with 4 corgis all trying, noone gets the "right" spot.)  Same thing with heeling. When I walk down the hallway, I have sometimes 3 dogs trying to fit at my left side. 2 of them, Magic and Siren try really hard to be in heel position. Is this possibly eroding the picture for both of them? Not sure, but I guess I can see where it might.

So its a lot to work on. But I am committed to a schedule where I take 5 minutes 3  times a day to work these issues. Hopefully I wont further muck anything up!


Crystal said...

Have you done rear end awareness work for the pivots? Maisy's pivots really improved once we started using a pivot board- you know, the exercise where the dog steps up on book or a cake pan or something, and you click them for taking steps with their back feet?

manymuddypaws said...

i think you will be surprised to see how much improvement you'll see with just a few minutes a day- I think you and Magic will be able to do that no problem!