Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fetching for distance and speed!

Mum's been teaching me for a quite a few months to GO!!!! Go on, go out - teaching me to take obstacles that are far away from her, and to take obstacles that are in front of me. All with the purpose of speeding me up, and helping me work away from her for gambles.

It sure came in real handy in our Gamble run this past weekend that got us our Advanced Gamblers title!

See this ball, it's my absolute favorite! Favorite for playing fetch. It stays in the yard all year long, and nearly every afternoon or evening when it is cooler (or warmer in the Winter), Mum and I play fetch.

Mum revs me up with it, pushes on my chest and says 'do you want it?' over and over until I just about bust with excitement. Then she throws it and says GO, GO, GO!!!!!! I chase after it, as fast as I can, get it in my mouth (which isn't an easy task since it is 5" inches in diameter) and I bring it back to her, shaking it all the way. Sometimes she uses the words GO OUT, GO OUT!!!!

Now, I think this is a simple game of fetch; but Mum knows it's really a lesson in working away from Mum and a lesson in speed. Because I now associate the word GO with speed (and running, or taking obstacles that are in front of me) and GO OUT with going out and working away from Mum.

It didn't start out that way. Mum just happened upon the usefulness of this game in agility, and has begun expanding upon it's uses, like putting the word 'GO' in front of obstacles and the word 'GO OUT' for those obstacles that are even farther away

There are several ways Mum has utilized this game for agility:
  1. When she wants me to speed up through a flowing part of a course where the obstacles are pretty much in front of me - she says GO! GO! GO!; and I will race through that section of the course and keep my speed up,
  2. Mum wants me to take a specific obstacle that is in front of me, but away from her - she says GO tunnel, or GO jump, or go teeter and I will go and take that obstacle. I know the names of all the obstacles, which is key,
  3. And when she wants me to take an obstacle that is far away from her like the middle jump of a pinwheel - she says GO OUT jump.
Here's an example of how we applied this, this weekend. Here is our gamble from Saturday. You will see the gamble - 1-4.

Here's is how Mum handled me through the gamble. When the buzzer sounded, she directed me across the first jump with me on her left, gave me an OUT jump as she turned to the right a bit, for me to take #2. Then she backed up some to bring me toward her and around #2; and then stepped forward and to the left and ran to the left saying, GO jump for me to take #3, then GO, GO, GO - to get me to go on to #4.

I have to say this one worked beautifully and utilized all the fetching 'lessons' we had been working on for all these months.

GO, GO OUT, GO OUT (obstacle) has really been good for us - well, as long as Mum says the right words at the right time! Ha! So we're gonna keep this up.

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