Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Collection is a Four Letter Word…..

Just ask Seeker!!

Our collection or lack there of, has been deteriorating for quite awhile now. I know, you should catch it early, but why would you want to do that when you can simply avoid it? So, in the meanwhile, it keeps getting worse. I’m frustrated, Seeker’s frustrated, so nobody’s happy! So, it’s back to basics!!

You might be asking yourself, if not…I’m doing it for you….”Why ignore it?” That’s easy! I find working collection rather boring, it’s much more fun to run around a course as fast as you can in wide open arcs! While this type of handling will work on some courses, it simply won’t on others.

Why worry about collection? The most obvious reason is that it wastes valuable yardage, which will add to your overall course time. Keep in mind, ‘Agility is a Timed Event’, just in case you’ve forgotten. Most importantly however, if you’re dog doesn’t understand collection, lands hard and tries to turn, it’s hard on your dog’s body. Fortunately, for Seeker, he compensations (and saves his body), by adding a couple strides (wasted yardage), in order to make it easier for him. Good for him! Not good for our times! Some training is needed here!

So, this week we’re ‘Back to Basics’ on collection! I realize it’s not something we’re going to change overnight, but it will become a focus on our training. I’m going to look for some fun games to play, that will keep us both happy! Luckily, Nettle is ready to focus on this type of work as well, so it’s a double bonus!

Working collection can be a lot of fun! There are so many games you can play, and it doesn’t take much set up. How totally silly not to practice it! UGH!

Monday I went out to the barn, and brought in a large traffic cone to get started. Yep, right inside the house! Could it get much easier? I doubt it! Loaded with some food and a clicker, I simply shaped them to go around the cone. Working turns in both directions of course.

We will continue to build on this, moving out into the building today as we’ve run out of room for tugging in the house. Maybe play a little barrel racing, that’s always fun!!

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