I went to agility class last night. Boy did it get dark quick. I don't think we'll be having many more outdoor classes.
My teacher set up the "back to school" exercise from cleanrun.com. It was really fun, and challenging. We got to practice all sorts of handling moves. We did the first 3 sequences.
My first turn, Oreo did a "line up" all on his own, but then was distracted by someone getting their dog out of their car. I decided to wait for eye contact. I waited, and waited..... Never got eye contact, so I just started running. Oreo never really connected with me, went around obstacles and kept looking toward the parking lot. I stopped running, and happily brought him back to the startline.
I started over with what we usually do...more of a drop and go...or a run together. It went much better. With each consecutive run, Oreo's concentration improved, and with that his speed & confidence. He did the occasional glance at my teacher, or dog barking on the hill, but no off courses, or stopping.
I also tried doing a couple tricks on the startline, then did a running start. That worked really well. We did...spin right, spin left, beg, GO! I wonder if he would do that in a trial. That might be a good way to start, especially with just the two spins. I know I really need to pick something and stick with it.
What did I learn last night? I cannot ask Oreo to do a startline stay. It stresses him too much. The less time he spends on the startline, the better.