Saturday, November 14, 2009

first league match

Well my GPS was telling me to go one way to the league match today, while my printed out directions were telling me to go another.

What did I do? Followed the cars on the highway with dog stickers on their bumpers!

We all hit a detour, but made it there on time.

It was a miserable day here. Pouring rain. Yuk.

Our first run was a standard run. The building was tight. The floor matted. Acoustics...LOUD! We encountered our first non slatted dogwalk. Can't tell you how many dogs thought it was a teeter, and bailed halfway up the ramp. Weird. Guess they are so used to the slats, they assumed the teeter must be broken!

Oreo seemed relatively at ease waiting his turn. Being it was a small building, we were in very close proximity to other dogs/people. He was still taking treats though, and not shirking away.

However, the minute we left the startline, he was a bit out of sorts as you can see on the video. After Oreo got up on the dogwalk, I think he started gaining some confidence, until the very end when he had to jump toward the crowd.

Needless to say, we got an "E", since I used treats. I'd rather not show this video of my scaredy dog, but here it is. The videos kinda get cut off on my blog, but if you double click on them, it'll bigify on youtube.

I had no idea what to expect for our games run. Would he be more worried, or would he feel better? I had him do some simple paw tricks while waiting his turn. Then, we ran to to opposite end of the building to do our run. I think it was good that the run began as far away from the entryway as possible. We got off to a good start, and I don't think we had any faults (we'll find out the results later). The judge called one, when she thought we went in the wrong tunnel, but then corrected herself. I think we made time too.

Here's the video of our "bowling run". It was a fun game. Two courses of 10 obstacles. You picked which one you wanted to run first. If you got a strike (no faults on your first run) you got bonus points, and then went on to do the second course. If you faulted on the first course, you had to run back to the tunnels, and start the second course.

Confusing, I know. I got lost a couple times on the course myself!

After that run, I was thrilled with Oreo. Being in a new place, indoors, with lots of people, the door opening/closing constantly, that was a lot for him, and he really pulled it off.

Most people seemed to be using the day for training, so I didn't feel alone or silly. I can really see this being a huge help for us in future trials.

One dog pooped on the dogwalk! Now, that takes some balance skills.


Dawn said...

Oh my! I felt so bad for Oreo, he looked like he just wanted to follow and keep close to you at first, but you could really see his confidence building by the dog walk. Then I actually got tears in my eyes I was so proud of him (like he's my grandson or something!) during the second clip because he looked so much more confident! Good job Oreo!!!

Yes this will be a big help, getting the two of you out to different venues and in noisy places. He will gain more and more confidence, and soon he'll be lightening fast!

Did he fall asleep when he got home?

Sara said...

I was so proud of him too. He conquered a lot of new things today. He's sound asleep right now.

Kathy said...

LOL, I have never even heard of a dog pooping on the dog walk, hahahaha, there should be a special prize for that! sounds like the league is going to be great, and looks like Oreo did TERRIFIC, that looks like a whole lot of new things, and sounds, and different equipment, and he still was able to do really well!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Wow - Oreo looked way more comfortable by the bowling game! It's really amazing how quickly he adapted to being in a new environment! The first time I started classes in my noisy training building, it took me 10 weeks of classes to get comfortable!

This league is going to be so great for Oreo! I bet he is a different dog by the end of the winter!

Pooping on the dogwalk is just GROSS!

Diana said...

Dont laugh but did the room remind you of a kindergarten classroom? Very bright.

Good for you. You kept going and didnt make Oreo do any obstacales, and he did it when he was ready. It drives me crazy when someone has a nervous dog and they just keep trying to make them do the obstacale. That dog must really love you, he can weave no matter what!! Most dogs cant work thur all that stuff, but Oreo did it for you. Congrats on a successful day. Diana

Nat said...

Yay Oreo, and good for you for doing such a great job with him!


Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh dear...we seem to be having a trouble downloading the video (am having that problem with my own videos too) - will have to pop back to watch them later!

But I just wanted to say that I think it's important to "break" the rules sometimes and use things like treats in order to make things more positive for the dog and to get more training opportunities!


Sam said...

It definitely looks like he did better the second time around. I know that fearful look all too well, so I certainly empathize with you that that's something you have to work through very often. You sound like you're doing a great job and have Oreo's best interests in mine.

BTW - that is one NOISY teeter! Would have scared the heck out of my girl.

Sara said...

It does look like a kindergarten. I wonder if the owner is a retired teacher. During the briefing she told us to "wash our hands" after flushing the tempermental toilet. LOL.

Sam, The teeter was really loud, especially given the acoustics of the building. I think it is the same teeter we use in class, but it doesn't sound as loud in our training building.

Jules said...

Yay, Oreo! You could definitely see his confidence building!!

Nicki said...

I wish we had a league here, I bet it will be a big help. Especiall for a nervous dog that needs exposure!