Vito's Agility Lesson

Earlier this week Vito and I had a lesson with Loretta Mueller.  I wanted her help on Vito's tendency to pull off  jumps if I have to send him and run off somewhere else, and his difficulty of getting back into drive after tight turns.

Vito was thrilled to play with only ourselves in the building, and his tennis ball of course.  Loretta quickly gave us some great solution for addressing both issues.  In the past I have rewarded Vito for pulling off of jumps since I saw it as him responding to my handling.  Yes he should commit to the jump if I tell him to take it, but I couldn't help but feel my bad because I turned my shoulders or something before his 2in commitment point.  I've only recently started to look at how often Vito pulls off jumps and realize it's a problem that needs to be addressed, and I wasn't sure how to handle it without pulling Vito out of drive.  Loretta suggested something I had just started doing, which was standing my ground and pointing if he hadn't yet run by it.  When he does blow by it I am to quietly bring him back around.

On my own I've also tried to tackle Vito's loss of drives on turns and getting him to accelerate out of it.  I've done a lot of wraps to chasing me/throwing a ball but it hasn't helped transition him to accelerating out of turns on a sequence.  Actually, Loretta pointed out that it has likely contributed to his pulling off of jumps as she noticed Vito immediately came into handler focus after wraps.  To fix this I am to to work on lots of sends to turns and running away, but running away so Vito can accelerate into a line of jumps, or his beloved contacts.  Reteach him to be in obstacle focus.  This should be much fun for the Toller!  I also think it is going to be key to fixing his speed in trials.

Ximena  – ( January 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM )  

I can totally see how pulling off the jump/not committing could be confusing to both parties.

That's an awesome picture - agility ears!

Loretta Mueller  – ( January 27, 2013 at 10:28 PM )  

Let me know how he is doing! Really had fun working with you guys!!!!

Muttsandaklutz  – ( January 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM )  

So great to have not only a vision, but also a plan to execute it!

Lynnda  – ( January 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM )  

Yes, increase his 2" commitment zone to jumps.
Private lessons can be b=very motivating for dogs as well as handlers. :-)

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