Sunday, May 8, 2011

Need advice

So out of 7 runs, (4 Masters Gamblers and 3 Starters Snookers), Mika and I haven't Q'd at all yet this year. I know it's not about the Q's, and I definitely don't place a lot of value on Q's (it's all about the fun, drive, and speed for me!!). But it would be nice to improve our game.

I need advice. How do you guys do so well in Gamblers and Snooker? I'm just kind of at a loss.


  1. I feel your pain. I wish I had some advice for you. I cant Q in snooker if my life depended on it. And cant get a jumpers Q either. The only thing I can think of is set up those course and rerun them to see what went wrong and what skill or things you need to improve on.

  2. Watching your snooker run and a few others from your youtube account, I do have a bit of advice for you.

    Teach Mika to run beside you and not take any equipment. Really. Run as fast as you can and keep her close. She shouldn't take anything unless you have told her to. Practice this LOTS.

    Don't take your eyes off your dog. If you can't see her, even for a split second she could be off doing something naughty. :)

    I also notice you tend to bend over a lot- try standing up straight and be more confident with where you are sending her- especially in gambles.

    Distance Practice- Masters Gambles are hard! They almost always have a contact or weaves in them. Verbal directionals are a must- aswell as independant contacts and weaves.

    This is probably stuff you have been told, or tried already but I thought any thing might be helpful!

  3. I wish I had advice for you but I really don't - :) So glad Amanda had some good stuff to suggest!

  4. I wish I could help too but I can't as I don't do agility. Hope other bloggers can give your some good advice on it.

  5. For Gamblers, I've noticed certain types of distance sequences tend to appear again and again so over the years I've tried to add some of them to Walter's and my skill set. Some examples are 180 turns away, be it from a dogwalk or a-frame to a tunnel, or for that matter from any obstacle to another (e.g. jump, jump, 180 turn away over a jump going the opposite direction). Another type of skill set is sending the dog out past one obstacle to take another (layering or discrimination, I guess?). One VERY recurring thing I see in gambles are send-aheads to tunnels; that is definitely Walter's and my weakest thing – it has cost us many a Gamble Q! I'm sure there are tons more types of distance skill sets to work on but my memory is the pits.

    Anyway the more Masters Gamblers you enter, the more you'll get the hang of the sorts of things to expect and practice for. Also one thing I do is if I'm not entered in Gamblers but if there is a course map left over at the end I'll take it and add it to my stash of Gamblers course maps. I save all my course maps (I have a feeling you probably do too) and I actually keep the Gamblers maps in their own separate pile just because they're so totally their own unique thing. Love looking through them for one we didn't get and setting it up to give it another go.

  6. Well I can't help you in Gamblers because I am a total FLOP there, but Snooker...aha, that's my game. I find that it helps to have a dog that is particularly sensitive to handler direction and also knowing your dog well enough to cue a turn on time. Also, going to the briefing is always helpful =P. NEVER miss a Snooker briefing. In Snooker also KNOW your PLAN...and if something goes wrong have a BACK UP! It's always best to stick to your original plan, though.

    I would start teaching Mika at the field that when you pull for her to come toward you she needs to react right away. Make it fun! Lots of treats. Also teach her that she gets rewarded when you push out too. That's how I got Abbey used to my handling. If I pull in you come in, if I push out you go OUT. Place a high value on both actions so that the dog is not apt to choose one over the other. SIMULATE a snooker run when you train! The practice makes perfect for both of you!