Question for AgilityFusion.com:
My dog and I have been in an Agility class since February. Jenna, a rescue saved from euthanasia, ended up being Great Dane/American Foxhound according to a couple DNA tests, so you can imagine she is a tall girl. She has always been the class clown and would rather play with the other dogs or visit with their human moms and dads. However, as she gets closer to age 2, she seems to be focusing more. In fact, amazingly, our instructor said that two dogs in our class are actually very close to being ready for competition – a gorgeous, purebred black standard poodle named Sadie and amazingly, my Jenna, the only mutt in class. (Their human Moms however aren’t quite as ready!)
We really just joined agility to give high energy Jenna a “job” and to give me some exercise. But she is turning out to be quite a jumper and can successfully handle all the obstacles including the weave poles. (The big problem now is what happens “between” the obstacles. Many of the dogs, including Jenna, are still wanting at times to run their own courses and aren’t following their handler’s lead too reliably yet. Lots of class time is spent dealing with that right now.)
But, according to our instructor, it looks like Jenna and I may have to start thinking seriously about someday competing. We have both made progress especially in the past couple of months.
Except when the instructors put out orange cones to mark the obstacles. Jenna thinks these are toys put out just for her and she will grab each one and run with it and forget about doing any agility. She is also a serious chewer and just grabbing the soft plastic cone in her teeth can do damage to the cone.
How can we keep her from grabbing the cones without affecting her enthusiasm for performing the obstacle? Is there a positive way to teach her to leave the cones alone?
Thanks for any thoughts!
Karen (aka FoxyDane)