Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Backyard agility training!

Today is the Dog Agility Blog Event Day, a day when dog agility bloggers share posts about certain topics. Today's topic is 'Backyard Training'.

When you practice backyard agility living in the mountains sometimes you have to be really creative.

Not too long ago, when we lived in the cabin before this one down the mountain, I shared a little tour of our mountain agility yard. Here's a little taste....

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I thought I'd give you a little peek at our mountain agility yard!

Our back 'yard' has a really big deck on the back of the cabin, beyond that is a lower level, and then a big berm that goes up and makes an upper level.

Here on the north side of the berm we have our jumps, good for working on distance, 'cause Mum can't run beside the jumps very well, not a lot of room.

Then going down the berm, which is just about the same grade as a down dogwalk, we have our dogwalk training board. Works really well taking the jumps, then working the dogwalk with distance as Mum stays on the berm.


On the south side berm we have our teeter, and on the lower level our weave poles. The space around the weaves is pretty tight and makes for good independent weave training, rear cross entries and layering practice.

Further out from the weaves (out of the photo to the right) are a couple of jumps. Mum likes to send me out to the jumps and weaves, and then run on the other side of the trees next to the weave poles, then have me turn up the berm to do the teeter. Kind of odd, I know, but it works for us in practice and then shows in competition too!

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Since moving to our new cabin (the one with the amazing view, below), we've had to adapt how we practice agility in the yard.


Our new yard is more open than our previous one, but it's more sloped; so we have to work with it...putting the weaves parallel with the slope...the jumps, and teeter too.

But the nice thing about a tight, sloped area is that we get creative, and focus on some skills that we need and want to focus on right now including: distance, layering, independent weave entries, tighter turns, ketchkers, serps, overall independence without forward motion, obstacle discrimination, gambles and much more.

On occasion we'll travel the 1.5 hours to Atlanta and participate in some run thrus. When we're there, Mum likes to work on her overall handling of us with forward motion (since she can't move a lot in our yard). It's helped her to watch us more closely during runs, anticipate when we are committed to specific obstacles, and fine tune how she utilizes her movements to direct us more accurately - closely and from a distance.

The best part is that this 'different' work we are doing is showing well in competition for both me and Gracie; our accuracy is up, our independence is up , our distance is up and Mum's timing has really improved.

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Thanks for stopping by! Visit all the dog agility bloggers pawticipating in today's Dog Agility Blog Event Day, and read their posts!

1 comment:

Teddy said...

That agility course looks pawsome! I wish i could have one in my back garden :)
What a beautiful view from you're new cabin!
Teddy xxx