Saturday, May 28, 2011


Okay I MIGHT have made some of these videos to prove a point, to all those that pipe up and frown at me when I argue.  Oh and just fair warning, if you are not REALLY into agility, as in at least borderline addict, then don't bother watching these videos or even letting them buffer.  They are pure training videos with a lot of repetition.

Let me not get distracted.  My point is that to me, obstacle performance and handling are two completely different things in Agility.  I believe in independent obstacle performance, I TRAIN this, I don't just expect my poor pooches to figure it out on their own.  I spend months and months and months and more months training my young dogs the obstacles properly before very slowly adding distance and 'proofs'.  This applies to EVERYTHING, jumps, tunnels, weaves, contacts...  To me, handling is only there to get the shortest, best lines IN BETWEEN obstacles.  This past weekend, after having a knock on one Dog Jumping round, I was approached by another handler that told me I caused my dog's knock with my front cross.  My reply was that, yes, it might have been the cause, but it is no excuse, since I TRAIN my dogs regardless of circumstances.  Now it was a friendly conversation and I really appreciate it when other handlers offer advice and tips.  But the response to my comment was a look that said 'erm, fine you stupid, crazy, insane person'.  Now if you please look at the video below:

This is some of my specific jump training (well that is what I call it anyway).  When I train like this, I reward for one jump and trust me I do everything in my power to 'throw' the dog odd verbals, bad crosses, standing right in front of my dog, long leads outs with HUGE speed etc etc etc.  And as you can see Chaos does it brilliantly.  My point was proven when I saw Lee Windeatt's weave proof video... of course you will (theoretically) never really run full speed in the opposite direction while your dog is in the poles on an agility course, but that is not the point.  the point is that our dogs should be UNDERSTAND their job and to make sure they do... well we proof.  I have a friend who always argues about this, see I also trained Chaos's weaves to the extent that I can run in the opposite direction... and I get snarled at that it is ridiculous and there is no reason for this, but these people don't get the point.  Well to my way of training anyway.

Normally independent obstacle performance is applied to weave poles and contacts in agility, but to me, it is just as valid for jumping.

I was quite gobsmacked the other day, when R was b%tching and moaning about a course where the dog walk went into nothing.  He trains four on the floor, but he openly predicted that his dog would come off the side (which she did).  His argument against this in a course is that he has 'never seen that at the AWC'.  Erm... dude so not the point.  If your dog comes off the side she doesn't actually understand THE BEHAVIOUR, she is working solely off your body language for obstacle behaviour...

I have dogs at very different stages in their training.  I mean take Quake, he is just a slight bit younger than Chaos, yet he has never even competed.  Well that is about to change, but my point is he is a very novice dog.  However, from an early age I train towards that independence...   Hopefully you can see that in this video where I train his poles.

You may also note that his contacts are a bit crap... and it is all me.  I tried some different things with him when he was a pup and messed him up.  However we are getting better every day and he will NOT compete in contact until I am completely happy with what he is doing...

Now on to some recent training with the Voltenstein... man this dog is awesome, let's hope I don't screw him up... I have already taken more video of him and cannot wait to edit his NEXT video, but lets start with this one.

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