Thursday, May 13, 2010

agility with 2 left feet and apparently no brain

Grace and I are working on our foundations agility training.  We are supposed to be working on our front and rear crosses.  The problem here is that hte dog is supposed to learn to do this stuff based on my body language, right?  How does that work when I can't seem to master any of these things myself?  Last night I am standing there, with Grace in front of our cone, and I cannot for the life of me remember how to move my body. Where to move my hands, arms, legs?  What the &%&^?  I have done crosses out on the courses with Magic?  At least I thought I had? I think Michelle told me once or twice that we did a movement right?
I dont want to mess Grace up, she is not as forgiving in relearning what I taught wrong, so I want to do it right. I want to be a better handler.  Does it make sense to practice the movements without the dog until its smooth, and natural, and them add the dog? I did that a bit with obedience footwork, and found that although I can do the foot work correctly without my dog, I often dont when the dog is with me.  How do you get it ingrained into the stupid handler? 
Sorry for the ranting, I didn't post last night because I thought it would fade, but I still feel frustrated today. I took a break from agility for the last year or so because I was feeling this much frustration. Maybe this just is not the sport for me?  Shouldnt the handler enjoy the activity too?


Kristen said...

Go get the _Agility Right From the Start_ book!

Your instructor can/should have you practicing without your dog. Ask for it. The book outlines all the steps for learning these skills without your dog and also has a person taking the role of the dog for some activities.

You're on the right track! You can do it!

Red Dog Mom said...

You can do this! I find when I actually THINK about the movements, I have a harder time doing them - especially front crosses.

Chris said...

YES! Practice a lot without the dog--muscle memory works for humans, too. You get bonus points for practicing in public. Grocery aisles used to be the perfect spot, but they have gotten too narrow for most flatwork.....

M.T. said...

My instructor keeps saying that every good agility instructor should have "trainer dogs" for newbies to the sport to run and learn cues and handling with! I tend to agree! LOL