Agility with an Audience

Zumi got to do agility in public yesterday!  Her 2nd time doing agility in front of other people, the first being at a seminar when she was 8 months old.  This was also the first time she did agility at this location, and her first time on turf carpet.

I was so proud of her focus!  The first run I used a tug toy to ensure she wouldn't do a victory lap.  I kinda let Zumi do little victory laps at home so I wouldn't have been surprised or upset if she did one.  But the 2nd run I even threw her ball and she came right back to me each time!

I discovered I haven't actually taught Zumi the tire.  She did the tire in that little puppy agility class I briefly had her in when she was like 4 months old, but no jumping was involved then and she hasn't done it since.

Zumi kinda remembered the auto down on the table!  Another thing I only practice with her every few months as I don't have a table at home.

And she even did the dogwalk!  This will be the 3rd dogwalk she's ever been on.  The one at my house, the 2nd at the club she just started doing these last 3 weeks since she has been at full height, and now #3.  The first run she came off it on the upside to chase after me.  I put her back on and she did hit the yellow, but it was fairly high and I don't think it would have been in on a USDAA 36" zone.  In run #2 it was much lower and was easily in, although still not quite the criteria I want.  Still, I thought her first time at a new location went fantastic!

My handling not the greatest.  I haven't actually gotten to "run" Zumi yet on a full course setup.  Even with breaking down and rewarding lots I'm just not used to doing a course with her.
Run #1:
Run #2:

Vito also got to play for 2 runs at the match.  I handled it like the UKI trials I've done FEO at.  Warm up with one toy, set it down outside the ring like at a real trial, and have a hidden ball in my pocket he doesn't know about.

First run- happy toller!  Rewarded him after the teeter which was actually pretty decent for a "trial" teeter.  Then redid the teeter and it was magically the teeter I get in practice- fast and immediately into the 2o2o position.
Then did a stopped dogwalk with him as I hardly ever do that in a trial and it isn't very fast when I do.  Because he already got a toy the stopped dogwalk was the same I get in practice :)

2nd run had a fast teeter I verbally praised but didn't reward.  Then I rewarded the stopped dogwalk again.  And finally I chose to do the dogwalk a 2nd time, but as a running dogwalk.  Awesome!  First time he has done both running and stopped in the same sequence outside of practice!

Glad Vito got to play.  Never enough opportunity to reward him with toys for doing agility in public!

Oh and you guys are killing me with the zero comments to Vito's experiment!  Seriously?  No one has any words of encouragement or expressions of confusion?

I don't know if I clearly stated that this experiment will be limited to obedience only.  Vito will still get toys in agility for 3 reasons.
1) Agility runs are short enough that there is zero reason to really fade the reward.
2) Agility is all about speed.  There is no way I will ever get the same drive and speed without external rewards, in agility and in obedience.  And since Vito doesn't naturally love to just run, the difference in his speed would be huge, although the process would still be easier in agility versus obedience.
3) Little to gain.  Nothing to gain really from my perspective.  Agility is postively trained already and most trainers do not have a huge problem getting what they have in practice to what they have in trials.  The differences that do exist are more so due to arousal differences than the lack of reward, for most dogs anyway.

Kristen  – ( October 26, 2015 at 10:37 PM )  

I've tried to comment...earlier today I found I had 3 tabs open with comments started. Bitey, escaping puppies keep distracting me!

Agility: I have to keep comparing her to Viktor because they're so close in age. She seems so, so much more responsible and mature and focused than him. Very impressive how well she could handle the new equipment and location.

Experiment: Like I said, I keep opening comment boxes! I'm really eager to see how it goes over time and the changes you have to make in your training (in terms of what you work on or how you structure your sessions). If Griffin was a little further along I may have been tempted to join you for a while. We already have a few plans in place to do more trial prep, fix the heeling problem, and then work on very in-progress skills (drop on recall, stand to down, evil scent articles). I can't wait to see how your experiment goes - in your next update you should mention (or link to anything from the past?) about how you've worked on/developed the 'personal play' up to this point.

Stand Class: I'm so, so happy I don't currently need this class. We got 3 perfect SFE scores (out of 3) on our last obedience weekend. Somehow our past weakest skill is now one of our strongest! I can feel the pain of every one of your future students.

Laura and The Corgi, Toller, & Duck  – ( October 26, 2015 at 11:35 PM )  

She is very mature! Goldens are so slow to mature, and you have a boy! No comparing.

I expect my sessions will mostly involve me sitting in a chair outside. Watching him eat grass. Today was session #2 and I purposefully did it after he ate dinner when he would be the least aroused as session #1 he was way over the top aroused as he knew Zumi had just done agility. He wandered for close to 4min. Then came and started to engage. And then ran to the bigger yard gate to stare at me. Did do some stuff though. Then wandered off again to eat grass. Total session 14min.

I would have loved it if you did it with Griffin. But he just started trialing and it doesn't make sense at all to do it with him! And that's right you don't need the stand class!!!

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