Home > Agility, Dog training > Krypto’s and Pongo’s training update

Krypto’s and Pongo’s training update

I realize that I haven’t updated my blog in quite a while…yet I had promised I would be “better” this time around! Oh well!

So here we go!

Last Saturday Krypto, Pongo and I went to the April fun match held at Red Gate. Many friends were there, among them Lyne with her Piano Keys, and Sue with Indigo. First challenge of the day: walk a standard course and try to figure out a way to do only tunnels, jumps, weaves, chute, tire and teeter, while minimizing my movement and maximizing Krypto’s distance work. In the end I decided to “run” my own course. It started with a double jump leading into 12 weave poles. And there you go, first time ever, Krypto is so excited that he acts up! What to do, what to do? I decided to give him a time out. So I asked him to lie down, and he obliged. After that, he found his brain, and we had quite a nice performance, nice fast weaves, good distance, and amazing independent 4 on teeter! I even attempted a rear cross, that worked on the second attempt. Larry was in the ring pretending to be the judge, but Krypto did not even see him, he was to busy working! The other runs presented pretty much the same challenges, and he did quite well, and he did keep his mind clear, unlike during our very first minutes of the first run. I must say that he loves agility so much that it is very hard to have him leave the ring. Not bad for the little guy!! To be honest, I am very proud of him!

Pongo run one of the two steeplechases. He did quite well, he is the usual slow and steady dog, that powers up when he sees the last stretch of obstacles…ok Pongo, perhaps you’d rather be outside the ring than inside it, I’ll keep it in mind!

As for training, Krypto and I have been struggling with our 2on 2off contact on the dog walk. He now very well how to target, and I always get to the point of starting to back chain, move him up along the inclined side of the obstacle, tell him “target” and here we go, he craws down to the 2o2o position! He has no clue what I want. I read about this, I watched DVDs about this, but then the solution sometimes is something that comes from you, the master/trainer. So I started thinking at what I did to get to the amazing teeter performance Krypto has. Repetitions, and I did not back chain. I built the end behaviour in the teeter once he was comfortable with the obstacle. So today I did just that. Sat him in front of the dog walk, led out mid way to the end, released him, told him “walk”, and run next to the obstacle to its end. He run with me and stopped in a perfect 2o2o. I then started moving around, doing jumping jacks and so on, and he kept the 2o2o. Then I released him. We did this a few times, then I realized that to make him love the teeter, I had added an obstacle before and one after. So I did the same. A jump and a tunnel. So I had Krypto jump then “walk”, run next to him to the end, and when he stopped in a perfect 2o2o I released him to the tunnel. The first time around he run so fast he could not stop. But he went back to his 2o2o position once he noticed I was not releasing him to his tug or to the tunnel. I praised him then. The second time around he was perfect. We did a few repetitions, in both directions, with me on both sides. Perfect speed. No crawling to the end. He is getting what I want. Once this will be perfected, I’ll start changing my position, as I did with the teeter. I think I am seeing the light at the end of the contact nightmare! Krypto appears to me to be a dog that does not get little bit and pieces. He needs to understand the whole picture, and then he will perform. That’s ok with me. It is making me adjust my training methods and learn to be creative. 

As for the weaves, we have started working with distractions. So far it is his tug toy falling next to him while he is weaving, or being shown in his face. Quite the challenge but Krypto showed to me, after the initial odd behaviour, that he can take it. Next step is more distractions, more toys, food, me “dancing and singing” etc. Then I will have to start teaching him to be independent when he weaves. He seems to get confused if I do not move with him, although I am pretty sure he had no issues when I sent him to the weaves from far, in my backyard. But then again, my backyard is not Red Gate Arena, nor a competition field, full of distractions and challenges.

As for Pongo, we are working on him listening to me and not assuming that I want him to go up the dog walk when I am pointing and saying “tunnel”, just to mention one of his assumptions! Once he gets past the idea that he know what I want, and starts listening, he can be very very good. I just need to invest much more time in his training to make sure he does not assume anything. After all, I “assumed” he knew it all, and maybe yes, if we talk about individual obstacle performance. But that means nothing much really. You have to put it together in a specific order! That’s the challenge!

 

 

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Categories: Agility, Dog training
  1. Lisa
    April 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    That was a fun read! Not half as much fun as you and Krypto are having training and learning together though! Sounds like things are going fabulously!

  2. April 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Yep, things are going pretty well! We will see what happens at Dream Fields in May, I have entered the little bugger in jumpers and gamblers!

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