Saturday, September 20, 2008

2nd agility lesson

Last week, I was talking to Jeff about Oreo's first agility class, and he asked me, "Did they teach you anything that you didn't already know?"

I thought about it, and really couldn't come up with anything. The only new things we(Oreo and I) got out of the class, was the use of the equipment we lacked in our yard - the A-Frame and the catwalk.

I told Jeff that I felt bad for the other dogs in the class who were learning agility solely in this format.

Oreo learned agility completely off a leash, and each obstacle was taught as a game, with a ball in his mouth. It was always fun for him.

The dogs in the class were being pulled and pushed through the obstacles.

I'm sure the dogs will learn, but they aren't having nearly as much fun as Oreo did.

During this week's class, Oreo got the chance to show off a bit more.

Again, we started the class with some warm up jumps. Like last week, I broke some of the equipment. I don't think I will ever get used to holding a leash while Oreo is jumping over equipment. At least I wasn't the only person who broke a jump this week.

Then, we were on to the weave poles.

Oreo politely watched (really) while the other dogs were pulled, pushed and bribed through the weave poles. When it was our turn, I said, "Oreo weave, weeeeaaave, weeaavve,....". Oreo went through the poles, and it would have been flawless if the damn leash hadn't got caught on a pole.

After one round through the poles, we were split into our large dog/small dog groups again.

We got the good teacher for the second week in a row.

She led us to a shorter group of weave poles, which were easier to maneuver with a leash. Oreo went through them perfectly.

"Has he done this before?" I am asked.

Yep. Just a few hundred times.

Then, we are off to practice some sequencing with a short A-frame, 2 catwalks , a jump, and two tires.

Run through that a couple times, and you end up with one sweaty human and one long tongued dog.

The teacher walks us into a shady corner where a super long, 10 foot tunnel awaits.

I whisper to Oreo, "Look, Oreo your favorite, a tunnel!" Oreo gave me a little tail wag, then went off to sniff something fascinating under the A-frame.

Much to our disappointment, the teacher collapses the tunnel from 10 feet to about 5 inches! She tells us that she will hold the dog's leash, and we must get on the other side of the tunnel so the dog can see us and then we will coax the dog through the tunnel.

Oh please.

When it is our turn, I say "Tunnel Oreo", and he walks right through.

"Your dog has done this before?"

Yep. A few thousand times.

Gradually, the tunnel gets longer and longer. Oreo consistently goes through without any need for me to run to the other end and call him.

One older gentleman has to actually lay on the ground and crawl into the tunnel to coax his dog through! When his dog finally tunnels it is quite exciting! I cheered for him.

Then, we do a tunnel/table/sit combo. Oreo does so perfectly.

Class is about over, and we head to the dreaded 6 foot A-Frame.

I opt to go last. I really don't like this obstacle.

I say to Oreo "Wall, wall, wall." To my surprise, he goes right up and over.

However, at the top he walks dangerously close to the edge of the equipment, rather than the center.

I express my concern to the teacher.

She says, "Well, you are short and you bought a short dog."

We attempted it three more times, and Oreo went right up and over each time. Boy, is he brave. I tried to make it fun for him with lots of treats, sweet talking and dancing around at the end. I noticed no one else in the class is doing this. I don't care if I make a fool of myself. My dog will have fun.

The teacher noticed what I was doing, and said to the others in my group, "See what she's doing, that's the way to do it."

Maybe I should be teaching a class.

1 comment:

Lian said...

Oreo sounds wonderful, I can't wait to see some training videos of Oreo!