Thursday, July 16, 2009

agility class

I took Oreo to his weekly class last night. There were only two other dogs there last night, but there were lots of distractions.

-sheep bleating
-dogs in the yard playing tetherball (yes tetherball)
-people talking
-cows mooing
-classmate snapping photos from the sidelines (click, click....)
-teacher standing close to us/moving around the ring

All of the above had Oreo stopping and turning to check things out.

What didn't bother him was people shouting words of praise! Isn't that funny? Whenever my teacher or classmates said, "Wow!", "Good boy", "Good job", it didn't bother him at all. But the faint sound of the camera clicking made him stop midway up the A-Frame, and he turned and walked down the wrong way.

Go figure.

I was glad to have all the distractions, and be able to work through them with clicking/food/encouragement.

When Oreo was waiting for his turn, he was barking! This is new. He has never barked in class before.

I'm not sure what this means-if it is good or bad.

When we did our weave poles, I heard people saying "wow". I thought he was going slow, compared to what he does at home. They must have thought he was going faster than usual. I guess that is a good sign.

Overall, Oreo had a good class. We are getting really good at back crosses, which is quite surprising to me! I thought we'd never be able to do them, and now I do them all the time, without even thinking about it.

We'll be taking another class on Friday with a different instructor. This class will focus on independent obstacle performance. I'm not really sure what that will entail. She's starting the class with dogwalk and then moving to the tunnel, which is perfect for us! Those are the two obstacles I want to boost Oreo's confidence on the most!

The instructor has a lot of knowledge about clicker training, so I am hoping to get some help as to when I should be clicking in class the most. I feel like maybe I should be clicking more when he is doing the obstacle without being distracted. Recently, I have been clicking after he refocused. I'm just not sure I am sending him the right message. I know she will set me straight.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Gosh, that's a lot of distractions! It is really interesting what we dogs notice and what we don't really care about. Your class sounded good though. Hope the instructor on Friday can help you figure out your clicker timing. Mom doesn't think she'd ever be able to figure that out!

Dawn said...

Cllicker timing is way new to me. (I bought a clicker TOday!). so far Katie hates the clicker. She's afraid of it. I hope this all gets worked out! I probably need clicker training myself!

I think our dogs always do better in class than we think they are doing. No one but us (and our blogger friends) really sees all the work we do during the week, and then if the dog isn't perfect in class we're disappointed, but yet the dog has improved from the week before so the classmates see the results and appreciate them!

Diana said...

Well Im very impressed with both yours and Ricky's weave poles. Your dogs will stay in the poles no matter what you are doing. Do you know how hard that is to train. Man I wish I had that. Any little thing I do will pull my dog out. Ugh!

Good job working thur all the distractions at class. That must have been tough. Diana

Ludo van Doggy said...

I think it's a good thing. I can never tell what exercise we're supposed to be doing when we're shown because Ludo barks like crazy at any dog going mildly fast. He wants it to be his turn allll the time.

Honey the Great Dane said...

We've only tried weave poles a few times and it was a total disaster! :-) So I have great respect for people who can get their dogs to do them (although it probably would have been easier if the poles had been scaled to Honey's size & length!!) - Oreo sounds like he's doing really well, especially with that long list of distractions.

I love reading all about other peoples' training classes even if it's in something we don't do, like Agility - training is always just so interesting! (am I very sad?)


Ally Lifewithally said...

I did enjoy reading about you Training classes ~ and I would like to say your dogs are beautiful ~ Ally x

Lian said...

Oreo is so good! Well done for keeping him with you with all the distractions!