Saturday, July 18, 2009

independent obstacles class

I took Oreo to the independent obstacles class last night, and the minute we pulled into the driveway it began to pour.

Really pour.

The instructor had us all go under the huge tent and talk for awhile - to wait out the storm. I was so glad I had left Misty at home. She would have been a wreck.

The first question she asked us was, "What is your dogwalk criteria?"

Uh, I don't really have any. I just want Oreo to stop looking around.

The instructor knows my dog, she's pretty much been around him since the beginning. So, she said, "I know you think he's always going to make his contacts, because he's going slow and staying with you. But one of these days he's going to get his confidence and become fast."


Then she said, "If you give him some criteria so he knows what he is supposed to be doing, that will help him become more confident."

Makes sense.

I told her that he knows how to "target", and he knows 2o/2o, but we don't really train it.

We talked about all the other obstacles, and she had some really good and insightful things to say. I kept looking at the obstacles, wanting to get out there so we could try stuff.

It kept raining....and raining....and raining. But, at least it wasn't pouring anymore.

Finally, she said, "OK let's get your dogs on the dogwalk."

So, we went out in the rain.

First, I ran Oreo across the dogwalk like usual. He stopped to sniff on the up plank, which he never does. I think it was because it was wet.

Then, she put a jump bar on the ground about one and a half feet in from the end of the dogwalk, and told me I was not allowed to run past that bar. She wanted to see if Oreo would run all the way to the end "independently".

Hence the name of the class!

Well, I stopped at the bar, and guess who else stopped at the bar.

Oreo dog. He stopped, and looked at me like I was nuts, "That's a weird place for you to stop mom!"

Talk about a velcro dog.

That's when the instructor said, "You need to start sending him to a target on the flat. Once he's going gleefully from 100 feet away, then you start doing it from the down plank."

It starts to pour.

Really pour.

She gave us the option of continuing in the rain, or giving her less money for the class.

I opted to leave. Oreo doesn't even like to go potty in the rain, and I didn't want to create a negative experience for him.

But, I really would have loved to do the tunnel exercise she set up.

I guess we are back to "target practice". I'll be anxious to see if it helps improve his speed/confidence. It makes sense, because if he glances away, I can say "target", and hopefully he will look towards the end of the dogwalk.

Wish us luck. This seems like a lot of work.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Too bad about the rain - maybe she can reschedule the class? We don't really have dw criteria either since our main focus has been to go faster. We're in the same boat that you guys are. (a target worked great for me - if I know there is food out there, I don't care where mom is - lol!)

Diana said...

Ive used target to teach both my dogs. I really believe in them. Even now if Im struggling with something, I will use a target. I cant remember if I already posted this to you. But there is a recent article in Clean Run by Stuart Mah. He talks about targets and how to use them. Its a really good article. Sorry about the rain. Diana

Sara said...

I have been using a food filled target to do tunnel work at home lately.

I did read that article, but I think I am going to reread it.

Brittany said...

Thats a bummer about the rain! It sounds like a good class though.

Lol, I think Hobbs would have gone to the end, turned around and come back up to me!

Dawn said...

Dog walk criteria??? Heck I'm just trying to get her to walk a board on the ground! LOL! I think you did right by leaving. Running Oreo in that sort of weather would only cause problems, and you were at risk, as was he, of slipping on the grass and injuring yourself(s).

Morgan in Pittsburgh said...

We know what you are talking about. I stick to mom like super glue! Distance is really hard for us, and she isn't getting any younger! She really doesn't want to run all around the course with me. BOL!

Bob said...

Hi Sara, I wish you both luck and don't doubt you can do it, shame about the rain though. Bob.

madcobug said...

That was to bad about the rain. I hope she has the class again in better weather. Helen