Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kili has focus

Kili. What can we say about Kili? Ask me a month ago and I would have told you that she has great promise. She has all the attributes that should make for a great agility dog. She is food motivated. She is toy motivated. She is fast. She is agile. She likes the agility equipment. I would have also told you that her promise was hidden by the attributes she has that make her difficult to work with in agility. She is distracted, unfocused, and undisciplined. When she is distracted she runs off from working to do other things. Even when she is more focused she is out of control... does a few obstacles and then has a big party of one running around the ring.

I signed up for an Agility University online course called "Building Drive, Focus, and Teamwork in Performance Dogs". The course is all about gaining focus from dogs who tend to have trouble with distractions. We are only 3 weeks in but I am seeing improvement in Kili. Today we had a particularly good day at agility class so I thought I would share.

This first video is of Kili doing some group work. All 3 dogs are out and working in different areas of the arena. We are working on a single jump and taking it on a sharp angle. I kept Kili's leash on at first because I am supposed to grab her the second she tries to leave working with me. But as you see from the video... she really never did try to leave work. I was very happy. Usually she would take off several times in one drill to try to visit.

Then we worked on jump sequences individually. Each dog got to work for a couple of minutes while the others were resting in their crates. Individual work is always easier for Kili but she is often still distracted by things in the environment (smells, sights, sounds) and will leave to sniff around and investigate. If not then she takes a few jumps and then chooses to wander off or has a big party all by herself. Today we did this rather difficult sequence with no major problems. She was focused, she was controlled, and she was WITH ME. The sequence was a single jump into a pin wheel, followed by a blind cross to two very angled jumps. It was just so easy and smooth. I was so proud of my little nutball! I love when I can see her promise coming to fruition!

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