Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dawn Weaver Seminar: Quick Bits from Foundations

Last week I told you I was lucky enough to attend the Dawn Weaver seminar at Flying Feet. And now I'm finally able to share a few key points I've taken away from the seminar. Today I'll cover the Foundations Seminar and then do the first day of the Masters Seminar in a post later this week.

(Sorry no videos, yet...I still have to get the husband to work on them with me).

(Special thanks to Merinda for letting me have a copy of her notes. I was able to take good notes during day one, but day two I couldn't keep up while working LaMesa!)

From the Foundations Seminar:

  • Let your dog dictate your handling--no handling systems!
  • Show mostly green lights for maximum speed.
  • Reward after obstacles--creates drive to each obstacle because they think it may be rewarded.
  • Shoulders cue the turn, but your feet show direction for the current obstacle (your shoulders show the next obstacle)
  • Don't go into the obstacle close only to run away from it--fade laterally once the dog passes you (I'm guilty of this!)
  • Too much franticness and/or high-pitch cheerleading can cause your dog to offer calming signals, such as slowing down. (How many times have you seen someone yelling in a high pitch, cheering their trotting dog along, and you think the dog is getting slower? This totally makes sense!)
  • Teach agility as a series of tricks and games--make it fun for you and your dog and build that relationship.
Even if you are an experienced agility handler, you still could take away some valuable points from the Foundations Seminar. And the beginners were able to soak up so much information to start towards the experience of years of agility.

Stay tuned for more from the Masters Seminar...

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