Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Low Bar for the High Jump

Today Winnie and I took out the Agility Starter Kit.  It's only been a few months since we got it but you know... better late than never.  Winnie spent a long day in her kennel while both my husband and I were at work so I thought "What could be a better way to stretch our legs and use are brains that to try something new?"  

I know what this means!
The first thing I did was go and get my treat pouch.  This is more or less a little nylon bag with a stiff mouth so your training treats are easily accessible and your pockets don't get all crummy with kibble.  I don't love this "clip on the pocket" model but it gets the job done.  I think I would prefer something more like a fanny pack.  I always seem to be bumping this one with my arm. 

Pish... can you say cake walk?
Next, we set up the "high jump."  Obviously, because this was our first time we set a "low bar."  :-)  Winne can jump surprisingly high for a corgi.  She can get on our bed, with a running start, which is 30 inches tall.  (I don't encourage her to do that by the way... but sometimes she can't be stopped.)  We set the bar at 6 inches just to get comfortable with it.  I put on her leash and showed her a treat then while moving the treat over the bar (and preventing her from going around the bar by holding her leash) said "over" while she jumped. 

I did a good job!
She did a good job although I could tell she wondered why she just couldn't go around the obstacle.  We repeated the jump about 10 times then I let her off the leash for a victory lap.  Who doesn't love a victory lap?  :-)

I amended this last part after Kelly left her comment asking "Was the Agility Kit worth the money?"  My long answer is in my responding comment but the short answer is this.  If you want to get started right away, get the kit.  If you are a creative person that likes to build stuff then get the book I reference in my blog post Dog Agility Step 1: Read The Book and build your own kit.  The book, however, is worth every penny.


Kelly said...

How fun! Would you saw the starter kit is worth the price??

Jenny said...

Love the victory lap pic! How cute! My favorite treat bag is this one Though I got mine on clearance from Petsmart so it wasn't as much as amazon sells it for. Anyways, you can wrap it around your waist and wrap it around you like a messenger bag. BTW, your package was mailed today :) Should be there no later than Monday I'm guessing...

Amy said...

Jenny - That treat pouch looks about perfect. Do you like it/use it much? Any pros or cons in your experiance? :-)

Kelly - My answer to "is the agility kit worth the money" is yes and no. It's a pretty simple kit and the contents are cheaply made. I would say about the only thing in it that would couldn't make yourself is the tunnel. So if you were to buy it at full price ($70ish) then it gets a big thumbs down. But Amazon has it for about $35 so my thoughts are this... I'm a hands-on learner so getting to actually play with something (cheap as it is) helps me understand it better. Now I KNOW I can make it myself. We started playing with it about 1 minute after we opened it which is a nice speedy pace. And I wouldn't have gotten THAT far without the kit. So if it leads to something more than it's worith it. If it stands alone, than no.

I also got a book that was WAY helpful in introducing dog agility. Maybe start with that. Linked here:

Jenny said...

Amy, the treat pouch is great. It's the one Victoria Stillwell uses on her show "It's Me or the Dog" ;) I guess I wish it had a zipper pocket somewhere on it so I could put a key or something in it. But other than that, I'd definitely recommend it!