Today we went down to Eugene so I could take a private lesson with Naomi Snapp. She runs Aussies in agility and I wanted to get some personalized looks at Twitch and I, to see where we could improve. He has concerns and motivation issues in trials so I am trying to address those.
The first thing she noticed was that he disconnects from me as we enter the ring. So we are going to work on stronger nose touches for pre-run routine as well as his spins as we walk out.
The second thing she noticed was that he slows down when I slow down, which in most situations is great, he reads deceleration, but there are times when I need him to keep moving like pinwheels and wraps around jumps. So maintaining motivation through tricks will help, not fixing things in trials and working on using a lunchbox to get speed.
The lunchbox is a hard sided plastic cooler that is heavy enough he can’t run off with it, sticky enough that he can’t open the lid and big enough for any kind of food. We worked on that today and it helped a lot. We used the LB for proofing weaves and contact behaviors and it helped with his motivation around the push to the back of a jump with a 180 to the tunnel. So some good stuff and really glad I did it.
Then we went to Spencer Butte. It was a 2 mile hike with 900 feet of elevation gain. And it was busy! There were so many people and other dogs and Twitch did really well with all of it.
He met dogs on the trail, he walked past dogs and ignored them, it was great!
Those are the Three Sisters mountains in the distance.
The trail wound through the forest with some really large trees!
Then we stopped at Oakshire Brewery for food and drinks and headed home.