Firstly apologies if we are getting a bit techie in the agility space. We have had a great time over the Christmas break learning about some of the foundations of agility that we hadn’t really got into before. It is still all about having fun but mum has been learning more about the mechanics of jumping so that hopefully there are a few less bars down when Cyclone Bodhi goes through a course.
The other benefit is my physical well being. Like humans needing to look after there bodies with certain exercises when they are doing sport us dogs are the same. So this bum strength that we wrote about last week is important for making sure I am using the right muscles and therefore not straining others.
These recalls on the flat don’t need any equipment. Just a little bit of space on a non slippery floor and of course treats (food treats are better at this than a ball or game treat as you want to keep us close by). The whole idea of these are for us dogs to learn to stop with our back legs rather than or front. How you will now we are stopping with our back legs is if our bum doesn’t swing out (think of us like a race car). So when we do these properly use your word like “yes” or your clicker and hand over the treat so we understand that is what you want.
So 3 simple exercises that we are doing:
- Extension Recall: put us in a stay and head directly out and turn 90 degrees. Call us in so we stop perpendicular (90 degrees) and reward if our bum doesn’t swing out.
- Part Collection: the same exercise as above but this time when we come in have us turn 90 degrees to be the same angle as you.
- Collection: this time we come in and turn a 180 degrees.
The key thing with all of them is stopping without swinging the back end out… so using the front legs rather than the back to stop.
Figures 8, 9 and 10 from this extract from Linda Mecklenburg linked here shows the diagrams of how the exercises work. We haven’t had a chance to do a little video yet (but promise we will and update this post) but in the meantime here is an example that someone else has posted. They are probably swinging that bum out a little but it is still helpful to see how it works.
So these are a bit more of our serious agility Training Tips 1st World Dog Style but hopefully you find them still fun and also good mental stimulation. There are plenty of other fun things to try over on the Training Tips page so be sure to check them out and if you take videos or photos of you doing any of them be sure to send them over.
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Have fun Oooo