Saturday, February 7, 2009

not so freaky after all

Misty was nervous today when we first got to school. She was shaking like a leaf. I don't know why. There was a bird flying around the building, so maybe that was freaking her out. She hates things moving over her head. My teacher's husband came in, sat on a chair, and Misty walked over to him, and she let him pet her. That seemed to make her feel better, and she started eating hot dog and wagging her tail.

Perhaps she needed a male to make her feel safe?

I think Oreo's class is going to stay small. It was only 3 dogs today. I don't know what has happened to our former classmates. Unfortunate, because I had enjoyed having them in class and most had been doing really well. Now it is me, and two other women who currently have other dogs competing. So, I guess I'm the newbie.

I'm fine with the class staying small, it is good for Oreo's confidence, we get a lot of individual instruction, and spend most of the class on equipment. If it was 70 degrees out, I probably would be miserable. I ran my butt off today with Oreo!

We did a lot of jumping techniques, along with sending the dog into the tunnel. Our teacher set up a "figure 8", with 2 tunnels and a jump in the middle. That was a workout, but Oreo seemed to really enjoy it.
We also did our first "double jump" today. I like how our teacher is gradually exposing us to various equipment we could see in different venues.

At the end of class, she set up a sequence of 16 obstacles. Oreo got through 10, when some snow on the roof slid off, and he lost all concentration. I never was able to get him back on track, he just refused to do the weave poles (very out of character for him), which was where we were when the snow fell off the roof. So, I just ran him around other parts of the course to keep him happy. He was tired, I was tired, we had fun. Hopefully, next week, he will do the weave poles.

Misty's class had a lot more dogs. It was pretty similar to last week. My teacher knew I had been practicing with Misty at home, so Misty was the "demo dog". I hoped she was up for the challenge!

We worked our way up to a full size tunnel, which Misty did with no problem.

Then, we had the dogs "walk it" on a low board, with a target on the ground at the end. Misty did much better this week. She walked the entire board every time. Her targeting wasn't perfect, but she did OK considering there was a ceiling fan directly over her head, which she is deathly afraid of. After I walked Misty on the board, she kept going into a nearby tunnel, without me telling her to. I thought that was cute. She is used to doing more than one obstacle in the yard.

Finally, we did some jumps. I still have a hard time doing jumps with dogs on a leash, but Misty did her job perfectly!

After both classes, our classmates had left, and I was still picking up all my belongings. My teacher's husband was telling me stories about other shy dogs, like Oreo, who gained so much confidence through agility. I said, "That's good to know, because I feel like Oreo is such a freaky dog." My teacher and the other experienced agility handler looked at me and shook their heads. Both said that Oreo is no where close to being "freaky". Of course all three of them are accustomed to rescued border collies. Still, it gave me a lot of hope that Oreo's confidence will continue to grow each week.

No class for Misty next week. Oreo and I will be at our motivation and handling seminar. I am looking forward to that. I am also going to sign us up for a seminar in March geared specifically to start line stays!
Misty went to the same sunbeam this week after we got home from school.

A woman in class today asked how old Misty was, when I said, "10," she was shocked. She thought Misty was under 2! In fact, our teacher's helper was referring to the other sheltie in our class (who is 4) and said, " This sheltie is almost 11...." Oops, wrong sheltie! Misty has them all fooled.


Diana said...

Im glad things went well. Good for you!!! Diana

Painter Pack said...

Misty is like a movie star! She always looks young! I think Oreo is doing so good...he's so handsome! But Misty is THE girl!

Mya Boo Boo

Dawn said...

They are both beautiful! Glad they are getting out, that will build confidence in them. Katie often shakes like a leaf when we enter a big building, until she figures out that it's SCHOOL and she loves school. Silly girl.

Anonymous said...

You guys look like you are having so much fun! I'm learning agility too. I like to hide in the tunnels when the Mum wants me to do something I don't want to do!

madcobug said...

I think they both did really well. They are both smart dogs. Helen