Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blog Action Day - Backyard Training

So Dog Agility Blog Event for 2012 or Action Day?  
is Backyard Training.

With Tibby's issues I have been doing most of her training in the basement.  Although there was a period of time when she didn't like the basement any more either.  So I just trained Dhali!  Outside, inside - he doesn't care.  Now Tibby will go downstairs, but she still isn't interested in doing much training (hope the meds. will work eventually!), but she is surprisingly interested in playing with the teeter.  I think she has always liked contacts because, 1 - I put a ton of time into them and 2 - they are always the same, which Tibby likes. 

So where and why do we train at home?  Where: backyard 50x30 bumpy grass/dirt/weeds.  When I first brought Tibby home my yard looked like this and this and this and this - then Tibby arrived and I did this, but it still looked like this.  Can you imagine me as your neighbor LOL!  
So I had Tibby and we started doing agility and the yard moved on to this .  But I still had my pond that I had hand dug 14 times.  YES 14 TIMES.  It was 5 feet deep too - *sigh*.  I liked my pond a lot.
Now my yard looks like this:

Sooooo boring.  And it's not flat.  I try and try to get it flat and nope, bumpy.  ARGH!  I hate grass.  And it's muddy.  I would love to cover it all with artificial turf, but that would cost like $25,000.   Well, that's not gonna happen!  It's good training for the pups (and me) to run on it though.  Very difficult to run on and you get a good work out.  Especially in the dark - might break an ankle in one of Dhali's freshly dug holes too.

So now why: We train at home, because it is the only option.  1- Because of Tibby's anxiety issues and 2 - Because I live in the middle of an agility black hole (not just agility - ALL dog training).  1 hour drive/65 miles to take a class.  2+ hours/120+ miles to take an actually good class.  Ring rental?  Nope.  I could drive for hours and still not find a ring rental, because I'm not a club member or taking a weekly class.  Stupid rules!  It would actually be cheaper for me to buy all my own equipment - gas isn't cheap!  Plus when I have taken a class: I drive for 2 hours/leave work early/brave snowy, icy roads and my dog gets 2 mins. of attention and working time in the class.  2 hours = 2 mins?  Not worth it.

Plus at home I can stop training if it isn't working and I don't feel like it was wasted time.  We'll try again tomorrow.  In a class, after all the effort I put into getting there, I want magic things to happen!  

Does that stop me from dreaming about the perfect house with the perfect agility yard?  No, I have been known to creepily check out nice houses with big yards.  And fenced in yards?  Whoo hoo!  The trifecta of perfection!
I also drive slowly past all large flat pieces of land and imagine fencing them in.  Is it wrong to have a dream? Remember I'm the person who re-dug a pond 14 times by hand. :P

Now the basement was created just for agility training - just for Tibby and now Dhali too!  I have my big teeter down there and the channel weave poles.  Those 2 things stay downstairs, because the teeter is too nice to take outside LOL! - it was expensive! and the weave poles don't sit on the ground right.  Like I said the ground is bumpy - grrrr bumpy grass >:(
Also there is a long plank for dog walk training.

I also have the 'inside' tunnel that stays in the basement.  It's all nice and clean. 
I have carpet on the floor and extra thick padding underneath the carpet.  

Outside I have 5 jumps,  2 tunnels and some versa weave poles plus a plank for dog walk training.

The jumps and travel teeter go both inside and outside.  I just have to wash them off a lot if they are coming inside, which takes a long time, so usually if something comes inside it might not go back outside for a looong time.  Until I forget about how long it took me to clean all the yard dust off of it!

I don't know if it is possible to train a dog with just a handful of equipment in a backyard/basement, but I'm trying my best!

The other Blog Action Day posts are here 

Dhali wants to be a MAX200 model.

Tibby is tired.  Drugs kicking in?  or just tired from the stressful appointment?

1 comment:

minnow said...

Yes, we back yarders do what we can do! :)