Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Agility ladder

Recently I bought an agility ladder. An agility ladder is basically a PVC ladder that you lay flat on the ground to practice footwork. A lot of human athletes use agility ladders to improve footwork, precision, and conditioning, and you can use it similarly for your dog.

The look of concentration
 For an agility dog the ladder helps by improving foot awareness, especially in the hind end. Dogs naturally have poor hind end awareness, and the longer the dog the worse it seems to be. My experience with the greyhounds is that they have absolutely no concept of where their rear is in space unless they are taught. Hind end awareness is really important for agility dogs, particularly on obstacles like the dogwalk and teeter. If they are confident in their hind foot placement they will be more confident on these narrow obstacles, resulting in faster transit time and fewer accidents.

Going forward was easy peasy with Kili. I just walked along beside her the first few times and now I can just send her to it. Going backwards was a lot harder because it requires a lot more hind end awareness. I'm really pleased with how she has done though and now we'll just work on increasing speed!

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