Monday, March 26, 2012

Agility Seminar with Dante

It was a very long day, but a lot of fun. Dante is a great presenter and had lots of good information, aswell as reminders. It is funny how you just forget about things when you don't use them all the time. The thing I enjoyed the most about the day was that Dante had something for everyone- fast dog, slow dog, and everything in between he had suggestions and advice. I appreciate that.

He spotted Pixels weaknesses right away and gave me some good ideas for her. Pixel is a dog that is completely driven by my motion. If I don't have motion she will go- but she will go slowly. He showed me a simple two jump exercise to build that up a bit more. Also he noticed that Pixel really gets excited at the end when I clap for her or cheer. He suggested that I use that more. In fact he made me, and it did speed her up more but do I really want to cheerlead her throughout a course? I might die. lol. But I could certainly see the difference so something to think about.

The seminar was all about crosses- front, rear, and blind. For a slower dog Pixel has pretty great rear crosses- thanks to Terry Simons she really understands how to drive to a jump. The front crosses took a bit more work- my timing was off and I need to just send her and go- trust that she will take the jump. He is a believer in doing the cross as soon as you can- and as far ahead as the dog as possible- this really pushes the dog to go faster and hug the jump standards. Not only was he looking for good crosses- but perfect ones. And he would encourage everyone to try again, and again until they got it right.

 I have never learned how to do a blind cross and have done a handful in my whole life- mostly by accident. But I was willing to learn! He talked about the controversy a bit- in the GD system (of which I follow) there are no blind crosses. So there is certainly conflict. His point was that a good blind cross can speed up your dog, and put you farther ahead. He admitted that the biggest problem with them was that in his experience it does confuse the dogs- so it is important to keep your shoulder open and really make sure to present the dog with the correct side. (the same as you would after a front really). The exercise we did was fast and fun. Pixel was able to maintain her speed throoughout and didn't stall out or have to wait for me. It was fun.

While I don't intend to start blind crossing all over the place, it is good to actually know how and when it could be useful. With the way that AAC courses are headed I can certainly see that there could be the need for them sometimes. Our courses are getting more and more technical with a european flair- staying ahead of your dog can definitely give you an advantage sometimes! 

I would take a seminar from him again- it was a fun day and I came home with some stuff to work on- what more could you ask for!


Paws on the Run said...

I can't count the number of times you've told students they need to be more fun. Sounds like you need to take your own advice while running a course. ;)

manymuddypaws said...

but I am fun- when I reward my dog, or warm her up, or play with her. It's all about fun. He is suggesting that I cheerlead her through the course. Which is different than being more fun. ;)

onecollie said...

please please please be a hand clapping cheerleader so I can get it on video !!! pleeeeeaaasse LOL!!