Winter Is Coming

I love this winter! If every winter would be like this – dry, not really freezing, and sunny – I wouldn’t mind at all. Sure, the real cold is still coming, but I’m enjoying what we have right now. Plus, the shortest day of the year is almost here and then the days will start growing longer again. What’s not to like 🙂

The ground is still soft enough to do some training, so we’ve been going to the club once or twice per week. I decided to revisit our teeter which I somehow completely forget about. Ruby’s teeter used to be quite fast, but is now very rusty, so we’ve been building value for slamming it down. It could still be faster and I think it will be, but first he needs to brush up on understanding of holding that 2o2o position until released – no matter what! Once I start throwing toys and quick-releasing for the fastest tries I think I’m going to see faster performance very quickly.

I also let him do the competition weaves a few times. It shows that he hasn’t done them in a year since his muscle memory is not quite there, but he stayed in and got faster with every try. It should be a breeze to have him cruise through at his former speed. Oh and I love that last entrance on the video – so fast, tight and confident!

I have been trying different things to help him think more in agility and hopefully stay safer that way. I tried obedience exercises (especially heeling) before running a sequence. The result was very excited heeling, but not much more thinking 🙂 Then I tried using less and less desirable toys. One such toy became very desirable after being used in agility for a while 🙂 Finally I resorted to using food, which does seem to calm him down a bit, but then he isn’t running around as much during pauses as if I give him a toy and in the winter I miss that. And yet, his arousal level is still quite high even with food:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Winter Is Coming

  1. Ha, I LOVE his enthusiasm and engagement. Ruby is such a nut. 🙂 The glove part cracked me up. Calming could probably be accomplished through Mat work and/or Look at That games from the sideline, if you’re interested, using treats that require licking (pb/applesauce mix, for example). It’s gotta be hard to get a safe performance when his whole life has been about speed and precision – definitely a mountainous task. Good luck!

    • He is my crazy boy 🙂 I did relaxation protocol with him, the whole 15 days indoors (which actually took about 40 sessions to complete – he had a really hard time with it) and started several times outdoors, but never completed it there because it’s so freaking boring. So… not much handler motivation there. He has a real hard time lying down and taking food on club premises (as opposed to taking food during agility session like on above video), so I would have to start somewhere else and build a LOT of desire to be on that mat. Which frankly I don’t know if it’s possible to do since food == boring. And if I use action for reward then he won’t be relaxed on the mat. Besides, there are only a few months in a year during which a whippet can lie on a mat for 15 minutes and not get cold.
      And LAT? LAT doesn’t work well with his brain, he tends to either ‘lock in’ or not care at all with very little in between. BAT is much better, but I don’t know how it could possibly work in agility.

  2. Penny

    Oh I do love Ruby! The glove was so very very very funny! And what is it with European’s and not fixing their tunnels!! 😉

    • Hehe if you liked that wait until you see Java with a glove! It’s one of her favorite toys 🙂
      I know, we seem to have an unwritten rule in our clubs that tunnel holders are evil 😦

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