Oh what fun!
Last night was our first class on grass! I was a little worried that Quick would zoom around, nose to the ground, oh boy oh boy GRASS, but nope. He saw agility obstacles! That was what he wanted! I’m so proud of my little boy.
We started the class with restrained recalls through tunnels. Since this class allows classmates to hold the dogs, there was no drama from Quick. I’m glad! He’s doing a little better about new people holding his leash. We’ll move on to leash tabs, then on to collars eventually.
Tunnel recalls taught me the importance of my body language. The tunnel was on my right, Quick behind me being held to go into the tunnel, and I looked over my left shoulder. Clever boy came to my left side, completely bypassing his beloved tunnel! The next run I looked to my right, towards the tunnel and back towards him, and he charged right into the tunnel.
All the dogs in this class are very, very nicely behaved. I’ve never seen a crew of dogs behave so well!
After the tunnel recalls, we worked on a lowered, ‘blocked’ teeter again. Quick prances up and down it easily enough, with side entries and exits, and some falling off. We’ve practiced on planks on the ground at home, picnic benches, and wood guard rails. He tries so hard to turn around that it’s almost sad- he falls off! He managed one turn though, for which he received many, many treats. Our trainer explained to us why she likes training boards this way. If a dog knows how to mount and dismount narrow, stable planks easily and fearlessly, turn around on them safely, and hop on and off the ends, they will be much safer in higher classes. They’ll know how to get off and on, even if they lose their balance and have to jump. I’m all for safe learning!!!
We have TDAA for small dogs- I want BDAA for big dogs! Can I please have a 14-16” plank for my big boy? He’s almost cross-eyed with focus just to stay on a 12” plank!
Next up was ladder skills. Quick, not so great with those ladder skills. More cross-eyed focus. Poles on the ground, though? He is so there! His stride is so long the trainer said to work him on poles on the ground or cavalettis instead of a ladder, for now. I’m good with that.
We were introduced to a tire! I’ve never seen anyone train a tire quite like this. It was very fun and interesting. 101 things to do with a tire! She laid the tire on the grass and let the dog interact with it. Then, she held it up half-way, and let the dog play with it more and get more rewards. Finally, the tire was held up (still without the frame, an assistant manipulated the tire) and the dog was rewarded for going through. This teaches the dog to look for the hoop! It sees a hoop, it means go through. It does not mean go under. It does not mean go by. It means go through. Can you imagine having your dog trained to view a tire jump more like a suspended tunnel? Go through!
I’m looking forward to next week!