Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Training too much?

One of the things that has got me thinking is - how much training is too much?

With Scandal, from a young age she was running a plank twice a week, and we were doing things like wing wraps, practising 2o2o FP, putting paws on a seesaw 2" off the ground, and then the things like balance board, wobble cushion etc.

I've been watching a few vids recently as wanted to see what Scandal was like compared to these dogs age wise.

Now, one of them (not in this country) is about the same age as Scandal. She's just introduced it to channel weaves. In one of its 3 weave sessions in oen day, it did over 40 reps on the channel weaves. The channels were probably about 6" apart. So even though the poles weren't fully closed, I still think that's a lot of reps.

Then, the running contacts. My theory with Scandal was to do it from a younger age but then don't have to do it every day, so her muscles/joints/shoulders get rest days. Again, watching vids recently, dogs of Scandals age who've only been doing running contacts for a couple of months, are doing RC pretty much every day 10-20 reps. Some of them also include the dog jumping on to a table which the plank is on, at speed, so the dog is onto something hard, 20" heigh, 20 times a day, and lets say 5 days a week. And that's not including anything else such as jumping.

I am glad that now, I've done most of the dogwalk training with Scandal and we're still only doing it twice a week (if that). There've been times when we've trained 3 times or 4 times a week, but generally it's twice. I think it's better than waiting till the dog is 12 months and then hammering the dog almost every day.

I also think it's hard as many agility competitors/trainers take 1 of 2 views:

If your dog comes out at 18 months perfectly, ultra fast, and wins everything, it's because you did too much from too young an age.

If your dog comes out slightly steadier at 18 months, nice and consistent, with lots of room to speed up as it gets older, then you're a cr** trainer for not getting the dog speedy enough before it comes out.

That's my view anyway. Scandal's still jumping medium now at 14.5 months. She does some jumps at the height above medium (I think it's 2" higher).

Planning on going to 22" at 15 months and then full height between 16 and 17 months. I don't know what Scandal thinks of my plans though, so maybe it will be different??


I'm Helen said...

I think you need to stop worrying about what others think or do (apart from getting angry about those who do 40 repeats in one session..beggars belief) I just made sure with Nellie that we took things steady. I didn't stop to consider anyone else' opinion (and I mean anyone!) as I know her welfare (mentally and physicaly) dominated al my plans for her then and now. You should be happy just knowing you are doing the same. If anyone is horrid then they are just jealous! I did move Nellie up to full height on straight lines sooner than you are doing but moved it down to small when we were buidling up our knowledge of turns, rear crosses, outs, box work, pull throughs etc and that was ongoing right through to now. Was working on 'out' last week on small height jumps! And she is nearly three. As for weaves I have written about my take on weave training on the forum so often....grrr.I took a year to teach her to weave from 6 months to 18 months. She never did more than 4-5 repeats twice a week until she was 13 months old and the poles were far enough apart that she did not touch them. She was just fidning entries and running to her ball learning to ignore what I was doing. At 14 months I started bringing them in inch by inch ONLY after we had nailed all the different entries we had already done when they were wider, and did up to 4 repeats almost everyday. She loves the weaves and I LOVED teaching them so slowly.
Some dogs come out all guns blazing, some dogs take time to fidn their feet and so do some partnerships. Now where did I put mine and nellie's......? Just enjoy her. Hx

Dani said...

I agree with you in your time scale. Let them be pups while they can. Cove is nearly 6 months and does left/right and stands with 2 feet on a box, and loves running thro a tunnel but once or twice a week? Looking forward to seeing you this year and watching Scandal develop xx

Anonymous said...

I agree Char, Flynn has only just started doing some full height at 15 months but also medium height too couple of times a week. Whatever we do will be wrong in some people's eyes, I'm sticking with Flynn coming out when I'm ready too, not from pressure from others.

I'm Helen said...

PS Actually I keep forgetting that even at 18 months we still hadn;'t finished the weaves....we still had another 2-3 months of sorting to do so it took longer than a year in the end.(my target was 18 months..) But as I didn't bring her out to actualy compete (as opposed to playing in the ring at UKA and unaffil shows)til she was 23 months (at Mid Downs) it didn;t matter to me. Some people do brng their dogs out at 18 months unable to weave properly or do contacts but they can start then so they do. Or they rush the training to 'be ready' for that magic date. I suppose it is good to have a target but most people with any sense wait til the dog has got it all sorted (as far as any properly trained young dog can) and just needs ring experience.