Canadian Kennel Club Novice Course – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Canadian Kennel Club Novice Course

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  • Collene says:

    I am just getting around to this and just wanted to say how very awesome it was to have a course of about this size – little bit bigger than the small space and not quite so big as the larger ones you do. A Goldilocks size for sure!

    Also I really appreciated the commentary about how the subtle difference the line you run out of tunnel 3 affects your dog.

    I’d admit too, that looking at the map, I might knee jerk into a RC of that tunnel 3, but then when I walked it, I really did not like how that forced me into the serpentine type handling Esteban discussed on the right side of 4 & 5 which to me felt awkward on my setup. If you can’t get a lead out, of course, try the RC. But if you can, I liked being ahead enough to FC tunnel entrance and BC tunnel exit to be on the left of 4&5 (dog on right). Without a leadout (just to try it!), I had to rush a little to get in the FC between 2&3 and got a little bit too much extension on 2.

    I found on my setup a couple other things that helped my run:
    1) A little decel before 5 and a threadl at 6 to help pull dog towards me and clear up what was in my setup an ambiguous approach to tunnel 6.
    2) On that line 6 to 9, make sure to monitor where your dog is so that you are the right distance ahead to set the line and not too far ahead so that your slow down at the tunnel entrance causes a refusal. It was trickier than it seemed like it should be!
    3) Similarly, don’t get so excited at tunnel 9 exit that you ditch your dog loading into the weaves or they’ll run right alongside them instead 🙂
    4) Jump 11 is nice contrast training to 5: 5 would have minimal but perceptible decel vs 11 much stronger decel.

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      Wonderful observations. I think a threadle at 6 is largely a “keeping consistant” move, but also provides the handlers with a little extra confidence. It should be a quick cue though!

      If you’re getting refusals at 9, I would work on commitment to the tunnel. Ideally, your dog should take the obstacle even in the face of decel. Decel should just tell the dog to come out looking for the handler, but shouldn’t indicate to not take the jump.

      On the other hand, it’s not ideal to run into a stop just because you run out of room. There are many spots where we need to monitor our speed and manipulate it to get the best performance from our dog. This is one of my favorite new ideas (sometime that I’ve been doing but hadn’t identified as an instructor).

      And you know I love contrast training!

  • ODMAD says:

    Thanks for posting a novice course from Canada. I will be going there next month to the Irish Setter National plus 4 agility trials, obedience trials and rally trials as well as the fru fru ring.

  • Hdickin580 says:

    Sounds good Esteban. I’ll play around with the break cue and video and see what I can learn. Thanks for your feedback, always appreciated! Happy 4th!

  • Hdickin580 says:

    I tried this course with slothy.

    • Sarah Fernandezlopez says:

      You are on top of things! Esteban provided a critique here –>

      And if you want to check out the exercises in the weave group he mentioned, you can do that here –>

      • Hdickin580 says:

        Thanks for the info! Yes, slothy doesn’t know weave entries very well yet from motion. He can find them from stopped. He knows it’s enter with poles on left shoulder. But he can not, does not want to, or does not understand how to collect to get in that first hole. We are really struggling with this, have been trying for 15 months! If I put a gate, he makes correct entries every time from about any sequence, but he can’t do it when I fade the gate. I also worked with 2x2and channels with no luck, can’t fade them once I add any amount of speed on approach. I’m currently doing a ‘spider web’ and it actually seems to be working!!! So maybe this is the answer for him. He has been about 70% correct on weave entries from flow on first attempt since I started spider web last weekend, which is up from close to 0% previously. (I haven’t worked tunnel entries in spider web yet, and I think those are harder because dog comes out blind.). So I feel really encouraged that I figured out how to help him get it, finally!!! Give me maybe 2more weeks to work it, and then I can tell you for sure if spider web worked or not! But I have seen so much improvement after 1week, that I really think it will work!! Per your question about opposite arm, I use opposite arm as a ‘brake’ / collection cue for my dogs. My threadle cue is totally on a verbal for my other dogs. I spend a ton of time teaching ‘come tunnel’ (tunnel entry nearest me) versus ‘out tunnel’ (tunnel entry furthest from me), and right or left is the verbal if they are heading towards a tunnel but the course turns and it’s not the tunnel, rather than using opposite arm threadle cue for getting the correct tunnel entry. This works for me for tunnel entries because I don’t need to be as close to my dog where he can really see the arm, and it also works if I am behind. It works great in 95% of courses. I use ‘here’ on approach of first jump of threadle to mean after you jump, come back through the gap, and then I send to the 2nd jump. My other dogs are very much trained on verbals, that is why it is soooooo different with sloth since verbals are not going to be a good choice for him and they cause him so many problems. It’s a complete 180 from what I have done in the past. But that keeps it interesting, so all good!!! Thanks for your feedback. I will check out the link.

        • Hdickin580 says:

          Oh and I think I forgot to say why I used the brake cue – I wanted him to do the tunnel a little bit collected to try to help him not blow out full speed ahead so maybe he would have a better chance of finding weaves. I try to cue how I want the next obstacle to be taken right after my dog has decided how he is going to take the current obstacle. So once he committed to how he should take the double, that’s when I was trying to cue how I wanted him to take the tunnel, even though it was still on approach of double. I might have been a tad bit early on the brake?

          • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

            Weaves take a lot of work and with practice he’ll get better. It sounds like you’ve found something that is working.
            For the brake hand, I just don’t think it’s actually changing anything, so I don’t know that there’s a point to it. I think it’s a stretch to think you could cue the brake and expect the dog to have a slower speed exiting the tunnel. Some handlers do slow their dogs with a verbal, so they check stride, but it’s usually on a verbal, with deceleration help (from handler body motion) and only immediately where they need the decel, in this case, just before entering the weaves. Any sooner is too soon.
            To be clear, you can keep using the brake, and see how it goes. Video will tell you how your dog is recognizing the cue.

  • GB says:

    Super informative. It’s only VIP 2018 day #1, and I have already learned so much! Thank you.

  • GB says:

    I am a “just out of novice” competitor and very slow runner. I often rear cross, and certainly would have considered the rear cross at #3. As a matter of fact, I often rear cross tunnels. However, I think I heard something in one of your recent webinars about the issues with rear crossing tunnels due to struggles with lead changes…ie dog on left lead but tunnel curving right. Perhaps I misunderstood in the webinar. Could you clarify? And my apologies if this is not the correct spot to ask a question!

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