'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Monday, 18 April 2011

Agility Foundations: Learning to Jump.

I took advantage of the early morning sunshine (though I forgot about how soggy the grass would be from the dew though - now I have a soggy puppy) and the currently rotting-in-storage weave pole/jump posts to go and start teaching Lola how to jump; I put up a jump on the little (ahem, no dogs allowed) field atthe end of my street.

Because of Lola's young age, I won't be pushing her to jump any higher than she is now until the end of summer, but we'll be playing once a week or so to build a solid foundation for her agility training later. We played around for about twenty minutes, just getting her used to the idea of jumping. This video was shot about ten minutes into the session, and was the fifth or so rep after me actually putting the bar up; prior to that, the bar was just resting on the ground.

She knocked the bar a lot when it was first raised, but gradually got better as time went on. I'm pretty sure she was more interested in waiting for me to throw her new ball/tug though, rather than bothering to notice what was going on - but when I tried luring her over with treats it didn't work that well (she just sort of lazily hopped over). The ball/tug quickly got her going!

Next time I'll be doing jumps again, until I feel she's confident enough to follow the 'jump!' cue, and then I'll bring out her diddly little crinkly cat-tunnel and work her on that. I'm hoping that by the end of the summer, she has the basics of jumping, tunneling (I'll be getting a 'real' tunnel later on) and maybe weaving. Maybe. I don't want to push her too hard, but my extremely long summer is perfect for foundation training; and by the end of it she'll be almost a year old, and perhaps then able to start agility classes, if I can find some nearby.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Lola is doing great with her jumping! It is fantastic that she likes her ball and tugging as rewards! That will work so well for agility!

Sophie said...

I hope so! I'm trying to keep her motivated for tugging especially; she prefers to fetch (hence why the ball-tug toy is so great for her!) :)