Vito- Loretta Mueller Seminar

Vito and I headed up north this last weekend for a Loretta Mueller agility seminar!  Our topic was transitions- extension to collection and vice versa.

We've been working hard since we last saw Loretta and received our great advice on getting Vito back into obstacle focus after collection.  Apparently Vito really wanted to show off in front of her as he chose to be super happy Toller!  Obnoxious screaming, fast weave poles, and overall running was pretty darn fast for him.  If he did become Sad Toller on the collection parts he went right back into Happy Toller as soon as he could chase me again.  Downside to Vito demonstrating awesome sends meant that he didn't demonstrate how he's still having pulling off of jump issues in practice, just not as much on wraps anymore.

Advice for us:
1. Practice our "rebound" trick immediately before sending him to the first obstacle.  Basically before his feet even hit the ground I should be taking off running.  I've had him do this trick while waiting at the start line if there's a big delay, but I've never done it as a bounce and go type of deal.  Hopefully this will be another way to get Vito into happy running mode at trials if he's not quite feeling it.  Another tool in the box.

2. Keep looking for the handling choices that maximize as much movement from me as possible.  SPRINT!  I am his engine.

3. In order to do the above, keep practicing sends to obstacles to give me time to run away.  Throw the ball.

4. Try going back to throwing the ball immediately after wraps.  Under Loretta's advice I had stopped doing that and had switched to running to other obstacles after wraps to get Vito back into obstacle focus. But since he's doing so well with that now, I need to also be able to reward immediately after the best wraps.

Kristen  – ( June 27, 2013 at 4:27 PM )  

I used a similar start for my dog Luna. She's not as athletic as Vito, so it was just a spin on the ground, but it worked really well and almost tricked her into being VERY happy at the starts.

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