About two weeks ago, the day before the Nordic Championship in Denmark, the Danish kennel club arranged a competition day open for everyone. The Nordic Championship it self went really well and Lilli got team gold and individual silver. But the day before, Lilli got eliminated in the agility run because she made the wrong choice in one situation. She was supposed to take the A-frame but choosed the tunnel close to me instead. I got quite surprised (and a little annoyed), I had run with my other dogs before and they had no problems choosing the A-frame by verbal command. But after the run when we analyzed the situation we realized Lilli didn’t have these discrimination skills. And we also remebered we had experienced this challenge before and Lilli picked the wrong obstacle also that time. And also that time my other dogs didn’t have any troubles with this choice.
As we have running contacts and the dog walk is so much more complex than the A-frame we train the DW much more often. Actually we almost never train A-frame with her, to save her body and to have more time to train other stuff, because she’s always doing a good RC on the A-frame. We have trained discrimination between DW/tunnel quite a lot and I believe she knows the difference pretty well. So, I have just not at all been thinking about that she actually lacks knowledge about discrimination between A-frame/tunnel. After the first time she got eliminated because of this, we trained that specific situation one time, but then we forgot about it again. Now we got reminded and we’ve been training it more carefully this time. We’ll keep training it until we trust her discrimination skills, also when it comes to tunnel/A-frame… 😉 She might pick the wrong thing again some time, because she’s a dog and they sometimes make mistakes as we do, but at least she now has a fair chance to understand my verbals… 😉
I really love this kind of training and think Lilli doesn’t mind either! I spontaneously recorded our two first sessions with my phone and I made a small and simple video about our training. Enjoy!