Monday, January 28, 2008

agility update

Oreo is now weaving through 4 poles pretty reliably, even without a toy. Unfortunately, regulation is 12 poles. So, we are 1/3 of the way there. I bought some guide wires that you attach to the poles, to kind of make a path for the dog to follow. The trick is to set the wires at the right height, so that the dog isn't tempted to go over or under the wire. It seems to be working for Oreo. Once he is consistently weaving, I will gradually raise the wires and then remove them all together. I am amazed at how quickly he is learning the poles. A few days ago, I had my doubts, but now I know he will be able to do it. How could I have doubted this brilliant dog of mine? Smart and cute.

Yesterday afternoon, Oreo shined in the backyard. He successfully completed a series of 3 obstacles - tunnel, jump, tire jump - over and over. The best part was he seemed to really be having fun, and was proud of himself. I learned a lot about my own body language, and what works to guide Oreo to the next obstacle. How I position my body and my speed are critical to him doing what I want. A lot of times when Oreo missed a jump, I knew it was my fault for moving too far away from him, or going too fast. I really need to run, and at the same time get down to his level so he can see my hand gestures. Oreo tends to focus on my feet, so I have to get my hands down low. He's a pretty short dog, so this is an awkward running position, and my thighs are killing me today. I'm glad he's not a chihuahua. I think I may end up with bikers thighs by Spring.

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