Friday, July 10, 2009

mirror image exercises

I set up some mirror image exercises that I got out of one of my clean run exercise books. There are several different sequences with the same set up of jumps and tunnel. I did three this morning - 2 advanced for Oreo, and 1 intermediate for Misty.

The two advanced were tricky, they slowed us down, and my handling was really exaggerated. In the end, I think I got better. I stood up straighter, and had more confidence that Oreo knew where I wanted him to go.

I am trying to encourage some independence in Misty. She is getting better about tunnel sends, but she really wants me to be moving with her for jumps.

At Oreo's agility class this week, my teacher set up the standard course from the CPE nationals. It had a lot of obstacle discriminations, and some obstacles thrown in to trigger an off course. She also set the green tunnel (our nemesis in our trial) under the dogwalk. I made sure to reward Oreo bigtime when he took that tunnel. In fact, I decided to reward Oreo for all his tunnels, and most of his contacts during class. I remember being at a seminar with a world team member who said, "The difference between world team dogs and other agility dogs is rate of reinforcement."

Since I can't use my clicker or food reinforcements in trials, I am going to start using more in class. Instead of just rewarding at the end of a 18 obstacle sequence, I'm going to start doing a lot more click/treating, especially for tunnels/contacts. It interrupts our flow, which I don't like, but if it helps Oreo become more confident and speedy, it will pay off in the long run. I also click/treated anytime Oreo looked at me when other people/dogs were close by. I deliberately parked next to my classmate who has a boisterous lab puppy. He goes nuts in his crate when she works her other dog. So, I did a lot of click/treating for Oreo tolerating that and focusing on me.


Dawn said...

Misty is just checking, "You want me to jump over THIS one Mom? You're sure it's THIS one? :) Oreo is having a blast as usual!

Diana said...

Great job. I would definitly reinforce alot in class. Maybe one run at the end you can do the whole thing and celibrate at the end. It sounds like a good plan. Diana

Bob said...

Hi Sara, I think its good how you get them to do all that stuff. Bob.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

It's all looking very good! Mom thinks it's difficult to remember to stand up straight with smaller dogs!