08 May 2012

The Greyhound Agility Diaries - Weaving a Spell

I haven't blogged in a while, or updated the agility diaries... to be honest, I've been struggling with my motivation and have been a tad under the weather.  I've tried not to let it impact on my training sessions with Mina but, of late, both of us haven't been that motivated (I don't think the nearly constant downpours have helped)!

However, onwards and upwards (as they say).  Today, the sun was shining and we had an agility 1-2-1 session booked. My motivation seemed to be back (hopefully for good) and Mina was keen to get out in the sunshine.

As I've said, we've both been struggling with motivation...Mina's special agility toys weren't seeming to excite her and my 'world famous' liver cake just wasn't cutting it.  However, thanks to one of my college friends (Mr Spraggins - you know who you are!) I'd discovered Pet Munchies and the small roasted duck breast treats (aimed at cats but just the right size for rewards in training) and these little bites of duckie deliciousness seem to be weaving a spell on Mina.

I'm using them on a sheet of clear laminate, to help Mina's 'forward focus' and 'drive'.  Today we used them for getting Mina to go through the weaves.  I've got a set of 6 V weaves at home, but today was the first time Mina's had a chance to generalise and go through a set of 12 V weaves in our training field.

The weaves may not yet be fully upright but Mina's made great progress which, thanks to the power of my iPhone, has been captured on the video below:

Today's training session was great and just shows what a difference a change in mind/motivation (along with sunshine) can do.  I didn't manage to capture it on video but we had a dozen successful trials with the tunnel too, along with some good grid work.

So, what do you think? Will we make it round the grade 3 course next January?

I'll keep blogging when I can and continue to work hard on making the training fun and ensuring we keep our motivation.


  1. Yeah Mina! How long did it take you to teach her?
    You should also converse with Jennifer over at neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com - she has amazing agility GH - Riley and Seven (and Seven is now a movie star being in a movie with Mark Whalberg & The Rock!). Her other dog Katie was also amazing at agility!

  2. I've used that method to teach weaves and it has worked well. You definitely need a better arsenal of treats. Here are some ideas.

    Peanut butter, creme cheese, canned dog food, canned mackeral. Scrambled eggs. From the frozen section, pre-cooked meatballs and grilled chicken strips... just thaw out.. no need to heat up. Cooked hot dogs seem more tempting than not. Roast turkeys or chicken in the oven and pull the meat off the bone. I look for specials right after holidays. Look for pot roasts on sale and cook in crock pot. Also steaks on sale. I will also grill beef, turkey, chicken, and/or salmon burgers. Cheddar, swiss, mozzerella cheese.

    Especially for weave poles. I will put something very tasty in a plastic container with a lid and put about 15 past the end of the weave poles. Dog goes through weaves to target and then I take the lid off and let them lick the contents for 5 seconds. Close up. Repeat, but not too many times. :-)

  3. Thanks Cindi (I follow Jen's blog & we've 'chatted' a few times!)

    Thanks too Jen - the new treat ideas are great. I'll definitely be trying some of those ideas and give the plastic container a go. Do you put 15 containers at the end of the weaves, or 15 treats?


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