Saturday, January 31, 2009

Misty goes to school

Misty had her first day of school today. She was a bit nervous, as I expected, but she did well. Misty's class has a couple lab puppies, a jack russell/poodle mix (cute), a blind pug, and another blue merle sheltie(who kinda looks like Ludo)! The other sheltie was even more nervous than Misty. Poor thing.

We started off with easy stuff - name recognition, touch the target, touch our hand. Then, we had the dogs walk a board. I've been having Misty do that at home (leaf in the table, not an actual board). She got on and walked, but never made it down the whole thing without letting a paw off. Still, she did good. I've seen dogs refuse to walk the board at all.

Finally, we ended with a small tunnel. The other shetlie went ahead of us, and had a really hard time going through. I cheered when he finally went through, with the lure of some warm meatball. Misty went right through the tunnel, so I was really proud of her, and she even did some tail wagging afterward.

Oreo barked a bit in the crate while Misty's class was going on, but not as bad as I had feared. I had planned on putting him in the car if he got too obnoxious. For the most part, he was patient.

Oreo's class had only 2 dogs show up today, so we got a lot of time on the equipment. We practiced a lot of sequencing, and Oreo did well. We did jumps with "wings" for the first time. I almost ran right into them a couple times. Oreo did OK with them, until we got to the jump by the heater, then I used a treat filled container to throw over the jump and that seemed to work.

Then, my teacher wanted to see Oreo weave. Most of the other dogs in our class had been learning to channel weave, which I think had been confusing Oreo since he already knows how to weave. The other dog at class today is learning the 2x2 method. So, today was the perfect day for both dogs to practice their own method. Our teacher seemed happy with Oreo's weaving, and asked what method he had learned. Uh, pulling him through the poles with a squeaky toy? Is that a method? It seems to have worked. She said his entries are very consistent. Yea.

At the end of class we did a bit more "go on" work. That didn't go so well. My teacher told me to bring his ball to class next week. Then, we did baby snakes! One of our favorites! Thanks to Lian, Oreo flew right through that exercise. We've been practicing baby snakes for months, since Lian emailed us the diagram. Where's the easy button when you need it?

When we got home, both dogs were completely exhausted!

My agility teacher gave me a video she took during one of our classes last December. It wasn't Oreo's greatest performance, especially compared to how he was doing today. I thought I'd share it anyway. You can see how all the distractions really get to him. He avoids a couple jumps, because a woman is sitting in the corner. He also does some tunnel refusals, which did not happen today, I think because I was running faster and didn't slow down at the tunnel (as per my teacher's instructions). She said, "Trust your dog to know what he is doing." Diana gave me the same advice the other day about weaving. So much to learn.


Diana said...

I didnt think that looked bad at all. I realize it isnt where you are now but still, she is at least trying. Im glad class went well for both dogs. Yea!!

Dawn said...

Glad class was fun for everyone. I enjoyed watching the video a lot. We are learning so much of the same stuff. What is a 'baby snake??'

Sara said...

A baby snake is when the jumps are angled slightly to get the dogs ready to do serpentines (when the jumps are all in a line). I'll see if I can post it for you. I think I saved it before I crashed my hard drive.

Sara said...

I couldn't find the file, but I found it on my blog! Go to this post:

and you'll see the baby snake.


Lian said...

Misty must enjoyed her school since her tail was wagging. She looks content in the photos. Glad to see some old video of Oreo and he has definitely more confident now!

Ludo van puppy said...

Another me? Wow! As long as he wasn't making eyes at Misty. BOL! I's glad the classes went well for both of them. Misty looks very tired and happy in the pics.
~lickies, Ludo

madcobug said...

A big hand for both of them for doing good. Great video. Helen

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Sounds like Misty and Oreo both did well in class and enjoyed it! I liked seeing the video of you and Oreo in class - fun to see where you were then and how far you've come!

Josh and Jess said...

After we've had school Mama usually doesn't see or hear from us for a while :) She usually finds us lying in a corner sleeping it off!! We're glad Misty had fun and good on Oreo for being such a patien boy!!!