Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 73

Bond skill foundation Success Hope: FUN focus training CONFIDENCE Our FIrST YeAr By Leslie Granville-Smith, photos by Pix 'n Pages Hope, a West Highland White Terrier, is my first agility dog. In our first year competing in AKC agility she earned her MX, MXJ, and XF titles and she was ranked the #2 AKC Westie in the nation for 2007. I believe our success is the result of the critical foundation training that we did together before I even considered entering our first trial. Hope and I wanted to share our story in hopes that people starting out will be inspired to take their time and build a strong bond and foundation with their partner in this sport. We started our journey when Hope was three months old and enrolled in group puppy class. That was followed by six months of basic obedience, including earning her CGC title. Hope adapted well to new environments, people, and dogs, and was willing to take on new challenges. We worked hard to ensure that she was just as well-behaved running free at the dog park and making new friends, as she was doing therapy work at a local rehab center. I taught her lots of tricks to entertain the people there. Hope really seemed to enjoy and understand that learning was fun as was performing. I believe that training happens 24/7. Hope understood that good behavior was expected at home, and nothing came for free. I reinforced consistency from the very beginning using a combination of play and food. Suggesting that we try agility, our obedience instructor referred us to a local trainer. We were hooked from the first class! Our new instructor taught both agility and competitive obedience. We trained in both and there were complementary skills in obedience that built confidence and focus necessary for us to grow as a team. Shortly after starting classes, I began bringing Hope to watch agility trials. We made a game out of it and practiced her obedience skills with all the distractions around us until she was unfazed by it all and could focus only on me. I think it’s key that you as September 09 | Clean Run a handler become the best thing in your dog’s world. While I was training the obstacle, as long as I remembered that it was all a game we were able to overcome most of our struggles. When Hope was a puppy, I had her jump small boards on the ground so that she learned collection as well as extension. My background includes competitive equestrian events in show jumping, equitation, and dressage. I used some of my skills to my advantage, without knowing how valuable creating good form and balance over jumps would be to our agility future. I later learned this skill should be included in weekly training. Also, teaching a dog to bend to both sides is important. Jumping was never a problem with Hope —it was the tunnel, the chute, the A-frame, and the dreaded teeter! The weaves, which I thought would be the most challenging to train, weren’t the problem I thought they would be. I didn’t even realize that the games I played with her were increasing her flexibility. Teaching her to tug was a major motivational breakthrough, and 73

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - September 2009

Clean Run Magazine - September 2009
Contents
Editorializing: The Finger of Blame
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
When Pigs Fly: The Ins and Outs of Serpentines, Part 3
Trainer’s Forum
Can You Handle It?
My Favorite Course
Shelter Champs: Auggie
To Stretch or Not To Stretch?
Comparing the Derrett and Mecklenburg Handling Systems, Part 7: Serpentines
Distance Challenge
Power Course Analysis
Foundation Fundamentals : Delegating Distance
Motion Discrimination
Training Dogs to Work with Physically Limited Handlers
Power Paws Drills: Inside/Outside Loop Drills
Hope: Our First Year
Jenny’s Guide to Successful Teamwork: Front and Blind Crosses, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Clean Run Magazine - September 2009
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Editorializing: The Finger of Blame
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - When Pigs Fly: The Ins and Outs of Serpentines, Part 3
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 22
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Can You Handle It?
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - My Favorite Course
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Shelter Champs: Auggie
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 29
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - To Stretch or Not To Stretch?
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Comparing the Derrett and Mecklenburg Handling Systems, Part 7: Serpentines
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Power Course Analysis
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Foundation Fundamentals : Delegating Distance
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Motion Discrimination
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Training Dogs to Work with Physically Limited Handlers
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 65
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Power Paws Drills: Inside/Outside Loop Drills
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Hope: Our First Year
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - Jenny’s Guide to Successful Teamwork: Front and Blind Crosses, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 77
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 82
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - September 2009 - 84
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