Unfortunately the flu hit a couple of our folks this week, plus a planned absence. For homework this week I am going to assign a few things that we worked on in class.
- We reviewed 4 feet in a box and 2 feet on a plate and working on marking movement of the hind feet. For the box (which should be getting smaller and smaller) mark as the hind feet go in. With the plate start to shape the dog pivoting with their hindfeet around the plate. You can use a little pressure to get them started but quickly back out of the picture so that the dog is thinking on their own about what their feet are doing.
- We reviewed backing up in the chute. Now start to ask you dog to back onto a different surface or a low dog bed. Again “mark” when the back feet hit the new surface.
- If you have a sturdy box then flip it over. Ask your dog to go up and over it and then “mark” as your dog’s front feet hit the ground. This is the foundation for a two feet on two feet off contact in agility. Reward for duration and release with an “OK”
- For Fun! Since the dogs are now very aware of their feet we pulled one of the ladders in the barn out and had the dogs walking through the ladder. We also circled the barn mulitiple times walking on a loose leash back to the ladder.
- Finally we had fun in the round pen sending the dogs around some cones in a figure “8”. This is fun to recreate at home with dining room chairs or stools.