Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brittany Schaezler Seminar, LCCOC Agility Field

Brittany Schaezler drove over from Houston this weekend to give LCCOC an agility seminar.  She worked basic skills on Saturday (running contacts with stride regulators, etc.) and more advanced skills on Sunday (handling various sequences).  Grace and I attended on Sunday.

Brittany handles using Greg Derrett's handling system.  This is the same system used by Susan Garrett.  Brittany also trains her dogs using Susan Salo's jump training.  Our task on Sunday was to teach the dog to work standard jump configurations so that with the dog understanding the jumping sequence based on the handler cue, the handler is then free to move towards the next obstacle and not babysit the 180, 270, etc.  After lunch we worked on a jumpers course that contained several of these jump sequencing so we could put our new skills to to work on a course.  The pictures are presented in seminar order with captions describing the skill being trained.

Our First Exercise was 180 turns with the wings together in the middle

We then pulled the 180 turn jumps apart to simulate something more likely seen on a course

We reconfigured our two winged jumps into a 270 with the wings touching

For the next round our 270 was opened to simulate an actual course setup 

We then spent a few minutes working the beginnings of a serpentine

Then we moved on the a double box of winged jumps with several front cross drills

In the afternoon we spent our time running a course utilizing our new handling skills
For the last few minutes we worked having the dog wrap around the wing and  take the jump from the back side
Take aways from the seminar:

  • Grace didn't herd me any today that I can remember
  • Her "rights" and "lefts" are working....she needs more work on "right"
  • I felt like we were a team out much better than previous seminars or trials
  • Grace needs to see lots of variety in drills (like the double box) so she learns to better responds to handling cues
  • We never off coursed today for her not watching... we had a few bobbles but they were very minor and mostly caused by her not understanding a serpentine cue or similar
  • Grace held her start line stays and allowed nice lead outs for me
  • We need to do several of these and similar drills to improve my handling and her steering
  • She is still not comfortable in a stay when I leave her.  If I go "too" far by her measuring stick she gets up and comes towards me to reduce "too" far to an acceptable distance
  • Grace needs work on her 180s, 270s, and back wraps - she is very unsure of her path.  Brittany suggested I toss a reward along her line while I show her where I intend to stand.  Based on my work with Linda a few food tosses should really help reinforce Grace's ability to work farther away
  • I liked what I saw of the Greg Derrett handling system.  Brittany's explanation of "why" to try handling something a particular way never seemed counter-intuitive to me.  Purchasing a Greg Derrett training DVD may be in my future.  I also will try to read the Greg Derrett articles in Clean Run and other sources that I already may have.

All in all Sunday's seminar was well worth my time.  I thought Brittany did a great job being organized and having a logical teaching outline for her first seminar.  The microphone setup worked great so we could hear her clearly without having to stand in a small circle.