Today is another Dog Agility Blog Event Day - December 5, 2012; please visit all the blogs at: (http://dog-agility-blog-events.posterous.com/pages/backyard-training). Please leave comments, we all enjoy hearing what you have to say.
I don't have a lot of agility equipment at home or a lot of room in our backyard so a lot of our "backyard training" is working on focus or working with 4 jumps. My yard is not fenced either so working a small area makes it easier to keep the dogs in my yard. I do have a set of 12 weaves loaned to me from a friend and will have them until her puppy is ready to start training on them later next spring. I leave them in the basement since they are metal and too heavy to move back and forth. If the weather is bad I have an option to get some practice in on weaves and can still work on focus.
So what can I do with just focus and 4 jumps, a lot!!!!! I can set up small sequences to practice treadles, serpentine's, go outs, 270's, 90's, front crosses, rear crosses, obstacle discrimination, pull and pushes just to name a few. Where do I get these sequences? If we have a particular problem in a class I can pull a short sequence from our problem area; for example, if we have a problem on obstacle discrimination even though it was not a jump, I can put a jump where the obstacle was and practice the correct sequence. Another source is Steve Schwarz's (http://agilitynerd.com/blog/agility/courses/steve/BoxDrills.html) jump box drills. Steve also has a course box jump generator you can use to create a course you want to work on or you can create your own course from the "blank" course generator (http://agilitycourses.com/courses/box/create/).
In the winter we do our "backyard training" with classes plus I am lucky that our club allows the members to have a key to the building so we can train when no classes are being held at the facility. We also do some short sequence work there along with full courses if they are setup. My basement is not finished and has a very smooth concrete floor so I don't do any jumps there in the winter. Someday I would like to put some matting in the basement so I could do more at home. I do have rugs under the weaves so the dogs can get a grip or it would be too dangerous to let them weave.
I know that I will get some great ideas from the other bloggers participating in this topic and hope you will check out all their blogs too.
Run clean, run fast :-)