ARFF Agility Club's 2023 Workshops
of the benefits of our club is learning from each other. ARFF is offering a series of workshops at the field this year, given by ARFF members and outside presenters. All the workshops fall on Saturdays and run from 9:00–11:00 or 12:00. We welcome auditors as well as participants with dogs. Watch for a link on the website where you can sign up for as many workshops as you like and as early as you want to. We are in discussion with further presenters and will update you as soon as more info becomes available.
You can sign up for as many as you like and as early as you want at our workshop signup page.
August 19, 2023: 9:00–12:00
Agility people generally love or fear Snooker. The math seems intimidating. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a fun game. We’ll demystify Snooker, so that you can feel confident that you can come up with a plan that will work for you and your dog. You’ll get to test your plan on a Snooker course. Come play my favorite agility game.
Understanding and Training Extension and Collection
September 16, 2023: 9:00–12:00 [Stay tuned for further details]
Long-time agility competitor Linda Medcraft. Linda Medcraft was one of ARFF’s earliest stars with her border collie Lyric. She has competed in the USDAA Nationals with her border collies a number of times, reaching the finals. She takes a refreshingly positive and practical approach to training and excels at showing how to build on the basics.
Linda will spend an hour each on these essential skills that every agility dog must master. Collection and extension allow your dog to stretch out on straightaways or dial down his stride for tight turns. If your dog needs a refresher or lacks these skills, he’ll have a hard time negotiating tricky courses. There will be a nominal fee for this workshop.
July 8, 2023: 9:00–12:00
Are you frustrated by your dog’s weave-pole performance? Learn techniques to make your dog’s weave poles more consistent and independent. We’ll look at entries, exits, and handler position. You’ll come away from the workshop with some better training tools to help your dog be successful.
July 1, 2023: 9:00–12:00
Long-time agility competitor Abbie Tamber. Abbie is owner of Dogs on the Run and has been involved in training dogs for more than three decades and in teaching agility for almost that long. See her bio at www.abbietamber.com/About/about.html.
Abbie will demonstrate several methods to build your dog’s confidence on that devilish board that moves and makes noise so that your dog will develop a fast and reliable performance. If there’s time, she may also teach a variety of jump exercises to strengthen your dog’s understanding of agility’s most common obstacle. There will be a nominal fee for this workshop.
Stellar Startlines and Lead-Outs
May 27, 2023 (with a possible 2nd session June 3, 2023): 9:00–12:00
Agility veterans often refer to the startline as “the first obstacle”—and it can be a doozy. We’ve all had a botched startline ruin an entire run. This workshop will explore various aspects of startlines (there’s more to startlines than simply teaching your dog that staying at the startline can be fun and rewarding). It helps to think of the startline as a chain of events, which starts when you get your dog into line to run and ends when he takes the first obstacle. There’s a reason that many agility competitors develop a whole set of rituals to deal with this aspect of the game. This workshop aims to help you train the pieces of the chain so you and your dog can step to the startline with joy and confidence.
How to Build a Course
May 6, 2023: 9:00–11:00 (rescheduled from April 29)
If you’re new to practice, need a refresher in setup, or view course-building as an arcane art that only a few experts know how to do, join us in learning the basics. This session will help us set up future practices efficiently. Keep in mind that you can set up most of the practice offerings this season just by eyeballing and using the 5-foot jump bars to measure. We’ll use both wheeling and eyeballing to set up a USDAA Advanced Standard course. Dessert is running the course you helped build, perhaps with some coaching on the side.
Keep Moving, April 23, 2022
One of the hardest things to learn in agility is to keep moving. In practice, how many times have you stopped because you or your dog has made a mistake, and you go back to try to “fix it.”? At a trial, especially with a green dog, it can be demotivating to your dog if you stop. We’ll focus primarily on the interplay between motivating your dog and your body language in keeping your dog moving. I’ll put a lot of emphasis on running as silently as possible so you can concentrate on what your body is telling your dog.
How to Build a Skill (serpentines), May 14, 2022
It can seem daunting trying to teach your dog complex behaviors like the weave poles or handling maneuvers like threadles. Where to begin? What to teach in what order? We’ll go over some basic principles and apply them to teaching serpentines.
Backchaining for Success, May 28, 2022
Backchaining is a method both for teaching skills and for learning sequences. Properly taught, a backchained behavior reinforces the dog each step along the way, so it can make for a very happy, confident dog. We’ll discuss its advantages of backchaining and experiment using it to teach your dog to work away from you, even layering obstacles.
Wicked Weavies, June 11, 2022
Are you frustrated by your dog's weave pole performance? Learn techniques to make your dog's weave poles more consistent and independent. We'll look at entries, exits, and handler position. You'll come away from the workshop with some better training tools to help your dog be successful.
Those OTHER Jumps, June 25, 2022
How many times at practice have you done a tire? a double? a triple? Forget the long jump! Has your dog ever actually seen one? We’ll teach newbies the long jump and incorporate it and these other neglected jumps into sequences so your dog will feel more confident when he encounters them.
Building Better Contacts, July 9, 2022
Visualize a perfect dog walk performance: Your dog approaches the plank squarely, flies over the three segments, and nails a perfect 2-on-2-off landing, releasing only on your cue. Is that your dog? There are many components to a perfect dog walk, and we will work on some of these depending on the needs of the participants. If your aspiration is to running contacts, your dog will still benefit from many of the exercises. Although the A-frame is similar, we will be focusing on the dog walk and using exercises from Amanda Shyne’s book “Phenomenal Stopped Contacts"
Building Better Contacts
May 13, 2023: 9:00–12:00
Visualize a perfect dog walk performance: Your dog approaches the plank squarely, flies over the three segments, and nails a perfect 2-on-2-off landing, releasing only on your cue. Is that your dog? There are many components to a perfect dogwalk, and we will work on some of these depending on the needs of the participants. If your aspiration is to master running contacts, your dog will still benefit from many of the exercises. Although the A-frame is similar, we will be focusing on the dogwalk and using exercises from Amanda Shyne’s book Phenomenal Stopped Contacts.