Saturday, April 18, 2009

sense of relief

"Is that a hunk of cheese? I can reach it ya know."

Went back to our agility school this morning, anxious to see how Oreo would do, after our disastrous day yesterday. There was a 16 obstacle course set up indoors. We ran it twice, and then brought the dogs outside to see what would happen.

Oreo did great on the indoor course. He missed one jump the first time. The second go round he did perfectly. Weave poles, obstacle discrimination, jump sequences - no problem!

Oreo and I got to the outdoor course first.

I let Oreo off the leash, got him over one jump, then freak boy came back! He took off running randomly. My instructor told me to leave the ring.

I left. In a few seconds, Oreo realized I had left him and came running back. I clicked and treated, but still couldn't keep his attention.

I started calling his name, like we had been practicing since yesterday. Not much response. The instructor told me to stop saying his name, just to click when he turned his head and came toward me slightly. We did this for about ten minutes or so. Eventually, he seemed to calm and orient himself toward me.

My teacher had a dog run the course, and told me to have Oreo watch. Oreo half watched, half looked the other direction. Then, it was our turn. I decided I was just going to try and get as much out of him as I could. I wasn't concerned about following the course, or contacts. I just wanted him to pay attention to me.

Well, Oreo did practically the whole course perfectly. He got a little hung up when he saw one of my teacher's dogs in her backyard when he was on top of the dogwalk, but other than that he did OK. Much better than yesterday. I felt a big sense of relief. Now, I know it is going to be possible. It just is going to be an adjustment for him.


Oreo watched the other dogs run, and was whimpering a bit from the sideline. Not sure if it was nerves, or if he wanted to be out there again. I'm hoping it was the latter.


madcobug said...

His attention may have strayed because it was a new outside place. Hopefully he will soon get used to it and will focus on you better. Helen

Diana said...

Im glad things went better today. Diana

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Glad to hear Oreo did better today! I have never been on an outdoor course - I bet it's very hard to focus in the beginning! We don't have many outdoor classes or trials here - always too cold or too hot or too wet. Maybe I'll never compete outside?

We set up your backyard course today (from Clean Run) and tried the first sequence and then some that mom made up. It was fun!

Dawn said...

You know, Oreo's behavior reminds me of an exceptional kid in a regular classroom. He cuts up because he's bored and smarter than the material. He has it in him and when he's focused he does it perfectly, but most of the time other things are more interesting to him than the class, because he already knows the class. Plus I think he was whimpering because he wanted to be working, not watching. Katie does that too.

Sara said...

LOL! You think Oreo's "gifted", and I thought he was "special".

You are right though. He is super smart. I guess I need to treat him like my students with ADD. They always amaze me - when they are focused, boy do they shine!

Ludo van puppy said...

That was a lot of posts to catch up on. Dear me I feel so bad for not supervising the dogs at Ludo's party better. So many of them seem to have gone home with hangovers!

Oreo is doing fab with his training. Misty has inspired us aswell so I'm gonna take Penny to agility next time we go and see if she can have a little go too.