Fine tuning our Foundation

Scott and Beta are at the USDAA Northeast Regional Competition this weekend. So between being glued to the live feed on-line and trying to accomplish the projects I slotted for myself, I am retraining a few foundation things with Kindle. I could have competed this weekend, we were qualified for Grand Prix and I love being on a Dog Agility Master Team, but I am not happy with our team work right now so I opted to take a short hiatus from competition and work on those things.

I hurt my knee in May 2012 and since then had not really trained much trying to save my knee for competition only to end up having Scott or Christie run Kindle at shows. She did marginally well, but was not her happy little self running with others. She loves her Dad and Auntie, but she would rather run with me. My knee was pretty shot before the big blow out and then I had it replaced in December of 2012, had to heal, and try to get back to running form, so it has been a while that I felt we worked as a team. So I have been making note of the things that are not working and re-training them.

Our project this week is 270’s. So the clicker has come back out and I am marking proper performance for her. Its the best way to help Kindle understand my criteria for her performance.
I found this setup in Clean Run Magazine this month and I like how flexible it is to work a lot of stuff.
170When I first started working this sequence the jumps were much further apart and I realized Kindle was not understanding my signal to stay outside the jumps and was cutting in to take the wrong side of #2. This meant I had to get in that pocket between the jumps and babysit her to the correct backside of the jump. I don’t want to babysit anything, ever! So I moved the jumps closer, got the clicker and worked it clicking and feeding as she accomplished going out and taking the proper side of the jump. I began progressively hanging back farther from the jumps until I was sure she understood what I was asking her to do. At this point I moved the jumps further apart.
From the first repetition she confidently went out and took the jump from the proper side. I was able to work this dropping back farther from the jumps with each repetition so it also became a distance exercise. I am still clicking and feeding her to mark the proper performance, so my click comes as she goes around to the back side of the jump and I am making sure my physical cues are consistent with what I want her to do.

When we first started she was tentative but did all the repetitions correctly. When I moved the jumps apart she made couple mistakes which I did not click and feed. After that she was perfect for about 10 reps. We took a break and played Jolly Ball fetch for a few minutes, then came back and continued. At this point she was perfect for 10 quick reps and I loved how confidently she performed the task and so we stopped for the day.
Well almost, she worked fast weaves for her dinner too and did an awesome job.
I am interested to see how she does today. I hope to be able to get some video too.