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Old 04-19-2017, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do you have a routine you do before competition?

Do you have a routine or something you do just before a competition to prepare you and your dog?

Do you have different routines for different sports? For example, do you do something different before agility than you would before obedience?

Or do you vary what you do depending on how you and your dog are feeling?

What do you do? And when and how did you start to incorporate it into your daily training?

And do you have a routine immediately after you compete?
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Before we go into a rally or obedience ring I do focused attention work and if needed a deep relaxing massage on Lily (think Brenda Aloff's "be still" exercise). Before agility we play tug and use the practice jump for start line stay rehearsals and crosses. When we come out of the ring I always invite Lily to "give hugs" which is a jump up and I give her some tasty treats when we get back to our crate. For tracking we have a get dressed ritual of putting on the tracking harness at our vehicle and then a clear walk to the start point with lead on collar and then a transfer of lead to harness as we get ready to get on the track.

I generally want training to look as much as it can like a trial so I always practice my ring entry routine for rally and obedience with both Lily and Javelin.

In addition to training exercises and getting into the ring I also practice moving from exercise to exercise. The dog needs to stay connected. Very helpful for releasing stress while moving from one exercise to the next are tricks that require no equipment or treats like spins on the move. If there is time between exercises during a set up like when waiting for articles or gloves to be put out I might also give a little chest rub and have a little talk with the dog too.

It is funny you asked this just now. My club's training director and I are working on some short summer classes to put in the beginner class time slot. We don't expect people to want to commit to 8 weeks on Friday afternoons, but want something to happen at that time. We are going to do a three week rally masters signs class and then in August I think we are going to do a "ring work choreography" class which is exactly what you are asking about. It is an important part of the work I see my OTCh friends do all the time.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is great - thanks so much. None of my classes have discussed this yet I think at some point in training it is important to train as well.

My agility teacher had me buy a Brilliant K9 harness for my dog to wear specifically in agility class as part of a signal that she has to work on both sides of me. For Obedience I bought a very light weight leather lead and collar to replace her heavier leather collar and lead. I guess these are akin to your tracking harness - to signal a specific behavior and work.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It is important to train those routines and behaviors in addition to the behaviors of the exercises for a particular venue! Make sure that training has the following elements: connectedness to the dog; destressing behaviors if you see signs of stress, with sneezing, yawning, licking lips being stress releasing behaviors that should cause you to ask for a reconnect behavior like a spin or a look at me or a little chest rub with some words of encouragement.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Before our run I always take Sugarfoot for a potty break, then coming back and as we're waiting, we tug or work some little obedience routines (spin, twirl, back up at heel, puppy push-ups). Sometimes I do the practice jump, sometimes we practice a few "park it"s (contact behavior) on a nearby bleacher stair. Tugging is great because it revs the dog but at the same time gets him focused on you, the handler.

After a run, we usually go dashing out and I throw his ball for him a few times, weather and circumstances permitting.

As you get to know your dog you just instinctively develop these little routines that get you both ready to compete. They just evolve as you go.

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Old 04-20-2017, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well guess what my instructor did today - not in as much detail as I would have liked, but before we did practice runs, he talked about how we need to sit down with our dog just before it's out turn and work on keeping our dog focused on us and petting the dog to destress. Then when we're called into the ring we are only to look at our dog the whole time and never look at the judge even if he is asking us questions. As you suggest, Catherine, I will do this every time before our class starts now as part of a routine. We always get there early so Babykins can had a potty break before coming inside. She also runs to go into a crate there because she knows it means treats. So I will now add on some focus and petting just before the class - focusing on her.

Quossum - I think you are right - I'm starting to see that our routine is developing. And I need to play more tug with Babykins - make it a fun game so it's a good reward.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That is great that your trainer started to introduce having a ring ready routine. I work a lot on this particularly with Javelin. I won't have time this week, but will try to get some video of some of our ring choreography wok in the next couple of weeks.

For the relaxation petting you might try searching for Brenda Aloff's "be still" exercise. I am not sure exactly what you will find, but there should be something good.

I wish I had understood much earlier in Lily's working life how beneficial these kinds of exercises can be.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lily cd re View Post
That is great that your trainer started to introduce having a ring ready routine. I work a lot on this particularly with Javelin. I won't have time this week, but will try to get some video of some of our ring choreography wok in the next couple of weeks.

For the relaxation petting you might try searching for Brenda Aloff's "be still" exercise. I am not sure exactly what you will find, but there should be something good.

I wish I had understood much earlier in Lily's working life how beneficial these kinds of exercises can be.
I looked Brenda Aloff up and found this some had written something and they copied out what the exercise was from her book. I didn't copy it here because I don't think I have permission to do so, but I did read it.

While I'm not doing the "be still", I do have a petting that is similar that I do to Babykins - I mean it's kind of basic and obvious.

I look forward to see what you're doing with Javelin.
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