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Sunday, March 6, 2016


Gimme and I are starting a course on K9 Dexterity Parkour.  Its on Sunday nights and is an hour away.  Tonight was the first class (without dog).  I think I'm really going to like it and am sure Gimme will have a lot of fun.  The instructor is very thorough and spent a lot of time talking about safety, spotting, making sure the dog is having fun and working within their comfort zone.  She also explained how its all reward based and the only "punishment" is when a dog gets no treats.  I talked to her after class about how best to set up our "station" so Gimme has her own space.  Its not a really big room, but there are only five students, so we should have plenty of space.

I think Gimme will do well because she's naturally agile and confident.  Also we did a lot of early work on rear foot awareness.  One point I will have to think out before class is what I will use for cues for the behaviors.  So many of the cues which seem to go with behaviors are already used for other behaviors.

Exercises we'll cover include:
  • Proprioception - walking through agility ladder and cavaletti work
  • 4 in: dog puts all 4 feet in an object, such as a box
  • 2 on: dog puts 2 paws on an object
  • 4 on: dog jumps or climbs onto an object, where they may stand, sit or lay down
  • pivot with 2 on (Gimme already does this)
  • send around an object (Gimme is learning this already)
  • over: dog jumps over an obstacle 
  • under: dog crawls under an obstacle
  • through: dog walks between two objects that stand next to each other or dog walks through an object (without crawling), such as between two barrels or through a tunnel
  • backing up (Gimme is learning this already)
  • balance beams (walking, turns and stops)
  • beginner's gap jumps: dog jumps between two obstacles, such as jump from a lower to slightly higher object
  • moving obstacles: 2 on, 4 on and balancing on moving obstacles, such as a sway bridge
  • beginner's sequencing: performing multiple Parkour behaviors in a row where the sequence should look fluent!  For example: using a park picnic table with benches and garbage bin close by - dog goes around the bin, then under the bench, balances the length of the other bench and jumps onto the table.
  • multiple behaviors with one obstacle: dog performs multiple Parkour behaviors with the same object.  For example: using a chair and performing a crawl under, 2 on, 4 on and go around the chair.

In this sport they use the word "balance" to refer to walking/moving on an obstacle (like a dogwalk, or cement wall).

Gimme has been bored all day.  Apparently the 2½ mile walk this morning was inadequate to suit her needs.  So I'm going to do a little free shaping session and teach her to get all four feet in a box.  I've already got a selection of boxes in several sizes we can work with.  We'll start using a large box with low sides and then go to smaller boxes with low sides.  Then will start working with some other objects.

Well... Gimme is sighing impatiently.

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