Fun with dogs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Agility classes this week....

Our normal schedule has Harry Potter taking classes on Tuesday nights and Lexi taking them on Thursday nights.

Harry Potter's Tuesday night class - Theme of the evening - Driving forward with speed

When we arrived to class, I noticed that most of the set ups appeared to be on grass.  UGH.  I hate working on grass.  HP has always trained in an arena, so this move to sometimes grass (my new trainer has a partially covered arena, but also a grass area) has been really rough on us.  He LOVES to rip out and eat grass.  I mean LOVES it.  He'd rather do that than almost anything.  So it becomes this frustration of jump jump stop and eat grass, jump weave I'd rather eat grass.  VERY frustrating.  So after a few passes of this, Kathy (my trainer) suggested a clicker.  HP is clicker trained, he loves his clicker cause it means food.  So I got out a pocket full of meatballs and a clicker.  I was rewarding him for nose-touches, heeling with focus, basically anything that wasn't stopping to eat the grass.  Finally, after about 15-20 minutes of this, we were able to move on to doing some of the sequences (specifically a line of 4 straight jumps with an immediate 90 degree right turn into the weaves, and another one that consisted of several 270's and 180's).  I was finally getting some focus, and much less grass eating.  I think we can work through this, but it is most definitely our most difficult challenge right now.

Lexi's Thursday night class - Theme of the evening - short sequences

So the baby dogs have worked their way up to short sequences.  These were set up so that it worked out as sort of a figure eight with two jumps on each end of a tunnel.  We started out working with the dogs on the left, the sequence running jump-tunnel-180 over 2 jumps-back into the tunnel-jump.  Lexi did great, stayed with me very well.  I was worried at first that she would zoomie, but quickly was able to reward her every 3 obstacles or so and she stayed with me.  I was even getting a really nice whip around when I'd call her name.  We then reversed the sequence and did it handling on the right.  We also did some restrained recalls (we did have some zoomies with these), then did some teeter work.  The teeter was set up with two different height tables on each end, so that there was some motion but obviously much less than with a full teeter.  Lexi was happy to walk back and forth on the teeter, with very little problems with the motion or the noise.  Go baby dog!

Stay tuned for next week's updates. :)

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