oh my auggie

Agility Goals

I’m revising our agility goals.

1) Work with Auggie so he becomes a smart jumper. Jane Simmons-Moake briefly talks about using a ground bar to help flat jumpers learn how to adjust their takeoff. Auggie stutter-steps up to the bar almost as much as he jumps flat, so I’m not positive if that method will work. Instead, I ordered myself a copy of Suzanne Clothier’s book “The Clothier Natural Jumping Method.” Once the snow melts (SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER) I’ll be outside with Auggie working my way through her book. I think I have enough room if I run the entire length of the back fence to set up a jump chute, and I think I have enough jumps. If not, well – I’ve got some more PVC layin’ around here, and it’s like $5 to make a brand new jump even if I had to go get all-new pipe and fittings.

2) Target training. I started this last week when I was home sick from work one day. Funny enough, I had basically lost my voice, so I trained the entire thing essentially mute. I took out one of those little plastic can covers, held it, and got Auggie to paw it. Moved it down to the floor – reward for paw touch. Moved it away from me, reward for a “go touch.” This weekend I purchased one of the big puppy Kong frisbees to use as a bigger target, because when he would get a distance away from me I had trouble seeing if he actually got his paw on the little can cover.
So far this is working out great. He’ll go touch with no problems. I’m starting to use it on other things, like putting it up on the steps and having him get up on something to touch it. I have a big flat plank that I bought to make into a teeter and am currently running him across that and having him 2o2o at the end. It’s got a coating on it that I need to sand down, then paint it with some of that gripping texture stuff I used on my mini a-frame before I can start doing any sort of lifting it to simulate a dogwalk. (Believe me, I tried. It was pretty funny because Auggie basically slid straight down it like a slide, with me holding him so he didn’t fall, to 2o2o at the bottom. Yet more proof that this dog trusts me absolutely – he lets me put him on, in effect, a slide.)

Anyway, if I can remember to do so I’ll update here as our training advances. I think I’ll definitely be doing updates when we start the jumping method training, because there are “lessons” to advance through so I should be able to remember to update along with each lesson.
On the plus side, our rear crossing seems to be going wonderfully.

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