Friday, December 3, 2010

A New Plan

My lesson last night with Karen Holik was fun and productive I think.  Basil was a little stressed in the beginning, probably because it was a new place and he has only been to a handful of new agility courses so far.  I explained our continuous start line stay problem and she watched us attempt a few segments.   He ran off the first time, came back and we attempted it missing one jump because I pushed in too much. 

Our segments were fine, especially when he was held for a 2 jump leadout.  I've been working on my flying arm syndrome and it has gotten a lot better lately.  Basil is more consistent too without me running around like a flapping chicken.  Byron will benefit from this later on in his training too.

My "prescription" was to work on crate games with him and use a crate at the start line.  I don't have a copy of Susan Garrett's Crate Games DVD but I know some of the basic things.  I just have never transferred it outside of my bedroom where the doggie sleeping crates are.  I ordered the DVD.  I'll be working on it as I have time before the trial next week and we will see where that takes us.

I also got some great tips on puppy agility training.  Byron is so young right now I've been doing little more than socialization and play which is perfect.  She showed me how to use a toy to begin training cues like a release, ready, leave it and go get it.  I'll do some crate games with him too so that he has a good start line stay foundation for when we begin actual training.  Karen said at this age you just want to PLAY with your puppy and get them excited about toys.  Overloading a puppy with cues and commands for agility just doesn't work and their little brains right now can't handle it anyway. 

I'm excited about our first real trial next week!  I hope he has fun and I don't get all nervous and mess up my handling plans.

Byron goes to daycare for the first time on Monday.  :)  I'm excited to see how he does.  I think he will have fun playing with other new pups.

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