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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!
I am new to the forum and have already posted in the introductions. Even though we started about 9 months ago, I figured I would start an agility thread for my boy. We have an amazing AAC club that we joined with several phenomenal coaches. They focus mostly on Susan Garrett methods from what I understand. My boy is just starting to get solid on his 2o2o contacts, and for the very first time ever yesterday, went through 12 weave poles!! Very proud dog-mom moment!

At this point in his training, Tyson is pretty solid, he's a very "Honest" dog and goes wherever I tell him. The problem is that I'm still not very coordinated and tend to tell him one thing with my body and another with my voice. If I'm pointing towards a jump but want a tight turn and don't give him a vocal cue in time he'll go for it and continue straight for a couple strides. I also have quite the tendancy to get lost on any of the small courses when we've done them, but we definitely are making progress. If anyone has any advice for course memorization, and getting more coordinated with them feel free to share!!

Our club is putting on an AAC trial at the end of March and I'm really wanting to enter my boy in the starter jumpers just to give it a try. I figure we're doing this for fun only, so if it's a complete fail, oh-well, we tried and all we need to do is learn from it. And if it goes well, then that would be pretty amazing too!

I'm very excited to get to know people on this forum and learn all I can. I also am excited to have a place to share our wins and fails in the future!

Cheers
Melissa and Tyson
 

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Welcome! Sounds like you guys are doing awesome and are working with a great club (those are a dime a dozen).

As far memorization, that's something I am pretty sure the everyone struggles with. I've found memorizing small sequences is a little easier then trying to remember the full 18 obstacle course. Also, I walk it as many times as they will let me. Over and over again. Sometimes I run it like how I would run it if I have my dog. I find repetition helps me as well.

Congrats on the weaves! We are still working on nailing our entries with my aussie. As far as the jumping and having to go a few strides, it sounds like you aren't giving the dog enough notice and they are jumping in full extension. I work with this (because my dog has a MASSIVE stride and jumping in full extension can really throw off any chance of cutting a corner short) by giving my dog a check command as soon as I know she is committed to a jump. I taught it by sending my dog over a jump, giving her the check command, and then throwing the cheese off to a side or corner where she is going to have to (and want to) turn sharp to get it. Might be something worth asking your trainers about. I know it is something Susan Garrett uses.
 

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Very smart to break it down. It's always seemed so overwhelming all together. I've been downloading some course maps and scribbling all over them how I would ideally run them so I can at least get used to looking at that.
I probably wasn't explaining very clearly. I'm finding myself to be a little out of sync between my vocal cues and my body position (particularly when doing tight front crosses while jumping). I have a tendency to point my body forward like we're going to continue onward but then tell him something else. I think it's just practice at this point that's going to help with that one. I've been setting up small courses at home and running them without my dog too in hopes that my maneuvers will get more fluid over time.
I really have been very lucky with the awesome people I get to work under in my club as well as having such an eager, willing, and honest dog!
 

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Oh that sounds pretty normal. It may feel more elevated because you may have a more sensitive dog, but I am sure you'll get better with time. Just keep practicing!
 

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Welcome!! You are going to have a blast competing in agility. It sounds like you are off to a great start. :)
 
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