a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Agility Dog Gets Faster

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Agility Dog Gets Faster

Our instructor quizzed us in class today on how fast our dogwalks and weave poles are. For Tika, I said confidently that the dogwalk was about 3 seconds and the weaves also 3 seconds. (The 3-second dogwalk was an improvement over where we were--um, hmm, OK, it was April at Power Paws camp the last time I analyzed a lot of our object speeds, where I think her dogwalk was 3.5 to 4 seconds because she slowed down on the down ramp--but I've checked periodically since.)

I was the only one other than the instructor who really had any idea about our own dogs' times.

Her weave poles were consistently right at 3 seconds. This hasn't improved much over time; I was using 3 seconds as a rule of thumb back at Power Paws camp. I think she did the 60-weave-pole Challenge in 18.x, but I'd expect the dog to slow a bit through that many poles. And I've been trying to really push her and reward her right at the end of the weaves while practicing in the yard. Sigh. Time to push harder--instructor's younger dog was about 2.4 and a couple of the other border collies were around 2.8.

Her dogwalk was consistently 2.5! This is much better, and I think she's probably even faster in competition. I need to review the nationals tapes from the other week with my stopwatch in hand and see how fast she was on the obstacles there.

She's also the only one in class, including the instructor's dog, who drove down to the contact in the same amount of time when the handler (me) stopped 10 feet before the end of the ramp. I wasn't positive she'd do it, although I do try to push that behavior during practice all the time--so I was glad that she actually demonstrated it. Still-- instructor's dog was about 2 seconds with handler running with her, and dropped to about 2.4 (added an extra stride across the dogwalk) when she stopped early, so even so they're beating our time. Keep pushing, pushing, pushing...

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