The start of this year there have been lots of a-ha moments of mum discovering so much foundation work that can and should be done for agility. As the 1st dog that mum has been doing agility with this whole thing is a big learning curve for both of us. We are loving having this blog as our learning journal to capture and we have just had a wonderful thing messaged from Zsofi Biro over in Hungry…. Chatting about doing agility foundation work regardless of the dog’s age she said “exploring should take a lifetime! that’s when they (the dog) feel they are important, if you keep their lives exciting!”. What a fantastic way to think about doing any sort of training be it Agility, Obedience, Rally O, Tracking, Dancing and just tricks around the house…. making us dogs feel important. Is that not a reason to go have some fun learning some new tricks.
This is mum and I doing Rally O from earlier in the year… a bunch of new stations we have learnt doing Rally O.
But anyway back to Agility and Foundations work. Well you don’t know what you don’t know but gheez we have been lucky to have exposure to some great nuggets of foundation work recently so here is a quick summary of some of the stuff we have been doing:
Jumping Mechanics: Thanks to some conversations with more experienced handlers at our club, the wonderful resource that is our club library and some training from other experienced handlers we have gone back to learn how to jump. We discovered that Linda Mecklenburg has created some great stuff on Jumping Foundations and we have captured our take on some of these in our Tuesday Training Tip posts on Bum Strength, Recall on the Flat and Basics Over the Bar.
Obstacle vs Handler Focus: We were lucky enough to have Noora from One Mind Dogs here recently and mum went in an audit spot to the seminar. Mum learnt a lot in those couple of days and while there was a lot about new handling moves most of mum’s key take outs were about the basics. Here is mum’s summary but the thing we have been really concentrating on is Obstacle vs Handler focus. The other great foundation work on this was a video that Zsofi recently posted of her training with her new puppy Kaija. Especially the work about half way through the video with working out around trees and over jumps to a toy.
The other thing that is really standing out for us is that these foundation exercises don’t need lots of equipment or big course set ups. Noora said something to this effect during her lecture about actually not spending a lot of time doing course work but most time doing exercises with minimal equipment. It was like when mum had this crazy idea with the ladder… I get the feeling I am going to be seeing more of the ladder.
If you haven’t checked out Zsofi’s & Kaija’s video than here is the link as it is worth checking out for great inspiration on foundations. Can’t wait to watch the progression.
So this is only the start of a journey of going back and understanding the foundations but it is so much fun… and I love feeling important as mum and I spend time together learning.