Ugghhh winter is here and that can mean that if the weather is cold & raining mum doesn’t want to go outside for a walk or run…. And to be honest I’m a 1st World Dog so can take or leave it too if the lounge is looking nice and comfy too.
Somewhere between mum’s preoccupation with my bar dropping and the time mum has spent at Pilates and the Physio dealing with her own back issues she has come to the decision that I need to do more Core Strength Work.
So if you are a regular reader of my little blog here you probably know mum has had a couple of pre-occupations lately… getting my bum over bars and more recently start line stays. So after taking in lots of advice we put it into practice at the weekend trial and couldn’t be happier with the result… so here is a summary of what we learnt.
We have written about before in the blog that we don’t know what we don’t know. There were also things that we were exposed to in our earlier days of training that we didn’t really understand the why? behind them and the importance of them. This is especially the case in agility. One such thing we have learnt more about is contacts.
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.
Believe it or not Mum doesn’t want it to always be about her. I know…. I’m confused too. One of mum’s key learnings from the recent One Mind Dogs seminar was that I need to increase my level of obstacle focus and understand it is my job to successfully negotiate whatever the obstacle is.
Inspired by a couple of social media posts we have seen from Tim Norris of Both Ends of the Lead over recent weeks.
Partly because of my bar dropping and limbo abilities and also because I’m not one of those naturally athletic agility kinda dogs (thanks mum.. I won’t take that as an insult) mum is very conscious of looking after me. Making sure joints and muscles are all well looked after. We have a friend at the dog club who regularly gives me Bowen Therapy (LOVE Jacky!!!). I have also been lucky enough to have Tim from Both Ends of the Lead work on me when we see him at trials. Mum & I were both really happy with how he worked so when we saw these recent pieces we thought they were worth sharing with a broader audience so others can appreciate how to look after us dogs.
Well mum is making this sound easy…. Put your feet up Bodhi…. In fact it has been anything but.
While the step up last week was pretty easy. Hey I’ve practiced the manoeuvre before when toddler step stool is left in the kitchen and I need to watch when mum is doing on Foodie Friday.
Running a bit late this week. Blame mum. She is traveling for work and hence there is a bit of a communication break down (and I’m busy sulking).
But getting over my sulking what we were working on last week when lots of rainy weather prevented some walks was my ‘step’. This again is part of mum’s preoccupation with my rear end and making sure I know it is there so I hopefully remember to get it over the agility jumps.
So step up itself is pretty simple. Get a low stable step of some sort. We have used the toddler step stool and also a low container that we have turned upside down. Other people we know use a phone book and just tape it up so it is more stable. Then it is simply a matter of using food to lure into the position of two feet up on the step. Once both feet are up mark with a “yes” or clicker. After a few times when the action is starting to come naturally then you can add a name to it. We use “step”.
Once you are stepping up then you can get a bit of side to side movement happening. This is where the back end awareness starts to come in. Holding front paws in same position, just pivoting those front paws around, use food down just beside the nose to lure around. You might actually find it is a bit strange to move the back legs in isolation for the front legs. When they do move, even just one step, mark with a “yes” and hand over that treat. Make sure you do both directions. It is a bit like a Twist and Turn but taking it in slow mo and you move around with us at this stage.
With some rainy weather recently in Sydney recently and some other wild weather elsewhere (check out Elko’s post from Chicago… brrrr) this one is an exercise that can be done instead on a stable surface and bring some fun and also good mental stimulation. There are plenty of other fun things to try over on the Training Tips page so be sure to check them out and if you take videos or photos of you doing any of them be sure to send them over.
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Have fun Oooo
Well we had a Training Tip Tuesday post planned. And it was going to be a fun one… more trick… less of this agility stuff…. and then mum got thinking and chatting to people about my agility start line stays again. Guess it is a nice change from her pre-occupation with my bum strength.