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77-85 Quail St 

Cedar Vale Q 4285

0403 295 501

rdagility@internode.on.net

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Intro and Ex 1 & 2

The video below has a short introduction and then moves on to the first two exercises. Remember a 5 min warm up is important before starting. Just a short walk or have them moving around for that time, freely wandering, but not running. 
 
I lure rather than shape conditioning work,  because I find with shaping, they tend to get faster once they learn the behaviour. We want everything slow and controlled, and you can use the food to control that. I do shape them to offer feet on things though, and teach my guys from very young to want to target on to things with front and back feet. 
 
 
Exercise 1 
 
Drop to stand on the plank
 
If possible, use a narrow plank, that is just a bit wider than the dogs when they are in a drop. I have one made of timber with a rubber surface. It's important to have a non slip surface on it. The reason I am particular about the width is because if it's too wide then it won't help them have good form. They will still be able to not have their feet nicely tucked in, and even could have a lazy drop where the hip goes to one side. Here is a link showing how to make a cheap version of this out of foam mats. 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlucDKua0hA
 
When they are doing this well, you should see them keeping their feet in the same place mostly, and just popping up and down. You can also do a sit to stand version on the plank, as that works their back end a bit more. 
 
What is this working? 
 
This is like a push up for the dogs, but also works their back legs as well. It's a great warm up exercise too and you can use it as part of your warm up for an agility run. 
 
How many reps? 
 
Build up to 10 reps all with good form. 
 
How to make this more advanced?
 
Once they are great on the board, you can do this on a peanut or something with a balance challenge. I often go back to this even now though, to remind the dogs of their form. 
 
Exercise 2
 
Perch work - Back feet pivoting
 
Use something stable at first. Maybe an upside down ceramic bowl, or a thick hard cover book. Reward the dogs for front feet on the thing at first, if they don't know that behaviour. Once they have that, then you need to work on front feet on and stepping sideways with back feet. To get that started, you can just use a bit of body pressure towards each side.  Step in towards them one way and watch their back feet. If they move even a little, say yes and reward. Then try the other way. Dogs always have one side they find easier than another so don't stress if that's the case. Gradually they will start to move a bit more each way. 
 
What is this working? 
 
Every step they take out they are using outside hip muscles. Every step they take back in to the body they are using the inside thigh muscles. 
 
How many reps?
 
Eventually, you want them to do three full circles and reward each circle. Then go the other way. 
 
How to make this more advanced?
 
Having their front end on something unstable, like a balance disc, will make this harder. Also added things for them to step over around the circle will target the muscles slightly differently and also make dogs slow down a bit.