This here to the left is my lovely Sheltie dog. She is called Fayah and is now (2011) about 3 years old. I practice agility with her and have learned a lot about how to observe her and act accordingly. One could say that she has learned me how to lead her. The trainers learned me how to learn this stuff all by myself. And my dog learned me how I should let her develop her capabilities all by herself. In the beginning it takes some rehearsal and sometimes endless patience, but in the end both my dog and I get rewarded! So it’s worth the patience and rehearsal. It pays off to rehearse and learn, even though in the beginning you don’t see immediate benefits. So how do you train your dog for agility? Look at the center picture. It is an example of a rather generic dog agility parcours. You could call it the architecture of the agility. It consists of predetermined building blocks. We call them devices. They have been designed by architects for flexibility and yet are worldwide standardized. There are no tight couplings. All devices can be moved around independently. Combined together they can be arranged to form any type of parcours, endless combinations are possible. So with a few basic, very simple, standardized building blocks you can achieve a lot of flexiblity. Developing the arrangement is someting the trainer or coach often does. The building blocks get rearranged often at random but never identical to previous arrangements. This makes that the dogs don’t get too boared. The arrangement is thus every time again a surprise for the dogs so they need to think and work hard for it. But before starting agility training your dog must have had some basic training. In this basic training you build a basic relationship with your dog and you practice basic commands like follow, sit, wait, go etc. I also followed some additional training to learn how to communicate with my dog (or in fact with any animal). At Brigitta’s practice location I participated in both the basic and advanced training, a total of four excellently led training days. I can certainly recommend this training. Now when the first agility training starts you rehearse device by device. Once you’ve mastered two or more individual devices you learn to combine them in a route (or arrangement).
Posts tagged ‘sheltie’