Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 25

How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes lasses By Sharon Freilich Photos by Karen Hocker Photography except where noted Over the years as an instructor I have noticed that there are students who excel in a class environment and those who put their time in at class yet improve at a much slower rate. Those who improve at a steady rate and get the most from their agility class have many common denominators. Here are some tips to make your classes work for you and your dog, and also to help make you a better classmate so that everyone gets more attention and more turns at an exercise. Be Prepared Class preparation starts at home. To be a good student and dog trainer it is important to be ready to train and learn, which means having the right leash, collar, toys, and treats. Treats need to be cut up and ready for your dog to eat quickly. Bring a notebook along to jot down a few notes about what was covered in class or about homework for the following week. All agility trainers should have a “hit list” that contains the skills that you want to work on in the next week or two, and skills to work on in the future. It is important to keep a list and prioritize the skills that you need to work on. Focus on one or two skills over the next couple of weeks so that you and your dog can get a handle on those particular skills. When you feel like you have accomplished a better understanding of those skills, put them at the bottom of the list to revisit at a later time. Move on to the next skill on your list. Just think, over the course of the year you will easily have mastered 26 or more skills. This list can change as your priorities change, but one of the keys to successful training is to approach your training in an organized manner. Have a plan! Here are several other things to consider before you leave for class: • Should you take the edge off your dog before class? Has your dog been counting the minutes until you get home and take him to class? Is he ready to spontaneously combust as you turn down the street of your training facility? These dogs might do better with a romp at the park before class, while other dogs, if taken out for a run before class, have little juice left for the exercises—know your dog! • Should you feed your dog before or after class? Again that depends on your dog. Generally I recommend feeding after class; use a portion of the meal as training rewards and feed the balance of the meal after class. There are some dogs that find it too difficult to concentrate on training while they are hungry. If you feed your dog before class, make sure that enough time has elapsed so that his digestive system has had a chance to start working on the meal. For dogs that are susceptible to bloat, I would wait to feed after your training is finished. Play around with feeding before or after; see if it makes a difference in your dog’s performance. The More You Watch, the More You Learn When instructors make a lesson plan, they put a lot of thought into what they want to cover for that week. Typically, lessons are designed with a particular skill in mind. Listen to the instructor on how the course should be run and then watch your classmates. You can learn a great deal by analyzing the cause and the effect that the handler has on the dog. In the beginning it may be hard to detect what effect the handler is having on the dog, but in time you will be able to predict the outcome with your trained eye. The more you watch, the more you will learn. In class when something goes wrong in an exercise and the instructor has to repeatedly explain the exercise, it eats up valuable time. To save time, if students are paying attention, they can either ask why the particular problem is happening or move to a position that enables them to get a closer look to see why the problem is occurring. Likewise, when you see a classmate handle a drill resulting in a really nice sequence with the dog, you might want to try to handle the sequence in that way. Push yourself outside your comfort zone; class is the place to try it, not a trial. Train to your weakness; compete to your strength. March 08 | Clean Run 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - March 2008

Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Contents
Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Give Your Dog a Running Start
On Course with Ronda Carter
Trainer’s Forum
How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
What Is a Handling System?
Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Agility? Deaf-initely!
When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Skill of the Month
Shelter Champs: Sadie
Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Distance Challenge
Focus on Recalls
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
In Cider
Letters
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Give Your Dog a Running Start
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - On Course with Ronda Carter
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - What Is a Handling System?
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Agility? Deaf-initely!
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Shelter Champs: Sadie
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 65
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Focus on Recalls
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - In Cider
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 84
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