A little backyard "agility"

Now that spring is FINALLY here I can start moving my training outside! I've been dragging out the long wooden board and starting to teach Vito running contacts. Even though running contacts are still controversial in the agility world, I plan to use Silvia Trkman's method (my hero!) as it's the easiest (plus she's the one who invented running contacts). Just put a board on the ground, have dog race over the board to a target, and gradually raise the height of the board until you have full dogwalk height. There's no reason for the dog to jump off and miss the contacts if it's flat on the ground, running is the most efficient! So Vito and I have started and since it's easy, we have no problems. The only hitch is that Vito is not the most patient of dogs and has decided that if I am taking too long he might as well do it himself, run over grab target and bring it back to me in hopes I put a treat on it for him. Clever boy, too bad it doesn't work that way!

Adam also put the weave poles back together for me and I've just started Vito running the channel. Right now he's not actually weaving at all, but gradually the poles will move closer and closer together until he's weaving without even knowing it! I'm in no hurry for him to start really weaving since he's not fully developed yet, but for the next couple of months I just want to practice him having good entries. I also am restarting to do this with Lance. Unfortunately I got the weave poles right at the end of summer last year and we barely got started with Lance before the poles were buried in the snow. But Lance seems to be right where he was when we quit last fall (still a definite channel for him to see, but his body has to weave a bit to make it through).

My dream is to have a backyard full of equipment, but right now all I have is one 6ft board, and a set of channel weaves made out of pvc! I was able to utalize Petsmart the other night pretty well with Lance though. There were quite a few big display boxes in the center isle so I made up a mini agility course! It was just a bunch of "outs" (go around the displays without me) sequenced together in a funky pattern with some front crosses thrown in. But Lance seemed to love it and read my directions perfectly :)

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

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