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Rikki, getting brave!

Madeleinemom

MS Bites, My Dog Didn't
Staff member
I know next to nothing about agility, but is a weave, instead of a jump o.k.? I suppose, it would depend on the routine?
 

Kit

Good Dog
I know next to nothing about agility, but is a weave, instead of a jump o.k.? I suppose, it would depend on the routine?
In a trial, it would matter. It practice, it sort of does. But, with Rikki being so new in her training, and weaves were really tough for her to learn, if she wants to offer them, I'm good with that. We tried traditional methods of teaching her how to weave, but it just wasn't working. She didn't have the confidence to do it, and because she is such a prissy pants, I couldn't toss a cookie because she wouldn't search for one in the grass or eat on off the dirt. (I actually got a piece of carpet to toss cookies onto for a while) We finally found a method that worked for her and she caught on really fast.
Same with the teeter, she was super scared of it. We went REALLY slow with her, started with it almost flat on the ground. She's still not confident on it, but she is getting SO much better. If she skips a jump to take the teeter, we have a party. Anything to keep her confidence up.
 

Lillie May

Good Dog
I love watching you work with her. She loves you so much, it just shines out of her! How do you teach each thing? Can you walk me through it? It's such fun to watch and would love to know more about it.
 

Kit

Good Dog
I love watching you work with her. She loves you so much, it just shines out of her! How do you teach each thing? Can you walk me through it? It's such fun to watch and would love to know more about it.
Oh gosh, I couldn't begin to remember everything we did at the beginning. Basically, a lot of simple games. The puppies learned to ignore treats, they learned to go around objects (usually a cone, then later a jump standard) they learned how to move their feet independently, using a perch, then a wobble board. That was all done before they ever saw an obstacle.
The first "obstacle" they saw was a bar on the ground that they got to go over. We'd kneel beside the standard and if they offered to go over, they got a cookie. Once they got that down, we'd increase the distance. It was several weeks before we raised the bar off the ground.
For contact equipment, we started with them getting on the table set super low. Then we gradually moved to then walking on a "carpet" (made of the same rubber skin as the contact equipment) When they were comfortable with that, we added speed, by placing a bowl at the end with cookies in it. That is Rikki's all time favorite game! After that, they were introduced to the ramps on the dog walk, on the ground. And we moved up to them running on that. It's just been the last 2 classes that Rikki has done the whole dog walk (lowered) a few puppies in class are still doing the ramps because their striding isn't right yet.
With the A-frame, we started with it really low to introduce them, then added the target bowl when they got confident.
Pretty much the same with the teeter. That has been really tough for Rikki, but she's getting there. For a LONG time, it was barely off the ground and we just wanted her to sit on the end. Then we SLOWLY added movement. My instructor was always there to keep it moving really slow, so it didn't scare her.
Weaves were another tough one for her. Most of the class used a method by Mary Ellen Barry to introduce and teach weaves. I started with that, but we weren't making progress past the first 2 weaves. Partly because Princess Prissy Pants didn't want to eat a cookie off the dirt or out of the grass (we actually put a rug down at times to toss cookies onto for her) Then it was suggested that I turn around and face her to keep her confidence level up and that made a HUGE difference.

She entered another trial last Saturday and did 5 obstacles. I took her over the start jump, asked for the A-frame, but it was close to the wall with people, so I brought her back and I went between it and the wall, then she was happy. Another jump, a couple tunnels and we called it good and had a party! She loves getting out there to work, but the people bother her a bit, so we're going super slow and keeping her happy.
It was kind of funny on Saturday. I was walking the course for my "Rikki Plan" and then the judge pointed out that one tunnel and the send bonus had to be done a certain direction for points (I was going the opposite way) I just thanked him and kept my plan.