Friday, January 8, 2010

back to school

After a two week hiatus, mostly due to my horrendous flu bug, Oreo and I finally made it back to an agility class.

On my way there, the main road was closed due to an accident. The firemen told me to turn down a dirt road, but no detour was in place. It was pitch black out. I had no idea where I was. Thank goodness for GPS. Last time this happened, I got really lost. I am so unfamiliar with all the backroads, and it is so desolate. We had to drive around a lake, but then ended up back on the main road. Whew.

I came to class prepared to work on tunneling. I feel like Oreo has been nervous about tunnels lately. I wanted to work on drive, maybe with targets. I also wanted to make sure I was always at the opposite end waiting for him. Jules had suggested that months ago, and I have been trying to incorporate it, but old habits die hard. Sometimes I remember, but sometimes I run to the next obstacle. I have been talking to him the entire time he's in the tunnel, so he knows I'm there.

Here is the course my teacher set up:

Well, our first run, Oreo flew through the course. I literally ran into him at the end of the tunnel, because he was going so fast, I couldn't beat him to the end! He was so fast, energetic, and made no mistakes. He was driving into the tunnel. He did his jump for joy trick. He even did 12 weave poles right in front of people, without me putting myself in between.

OK. Guess he's in confident mode today.

I decided to try and keep him as upbeat as possible, by remaining as upbeat as possible myself.

On our second sequence, we made lots of mistakes. Took jumps backward, tunneled, instead of doing the A-Frame. However, I just laughed, and went with it since he was still moving at a good pace. We tried the sequence again, and Oreo did just fine (minus the A-Frame). More jump for joys.

Our last sequence, I completely forgot the course, but I simply kept running Oreo over obstacles, until we got back to number one and started again. He never knew the difference. Then, Oreo did perfectly. He even hit the A-Frame! Wow. It was great.

When I got in the car to go home, I felt so good. Oreo had fun. He didn't have one stressful moment. I think it had a lot to do with my demeanor. I was completely relaxed, and so was he.

Tomorrow, we have a league match. Let's hope I can maintain that relaxed state.

Oh yea, Misty was so relaxed, she decided to do her version of "jump for joy" on the playpen. She succeeded in knocking the whole thing over, while both dogs were inside the playpen. I had two loose dogs on my hands, and one collapsed playpen. Guess it is time to zip the lid on.


LauraK said...

sounds like you had an awesome class! that entry into the weaves looks tough!

Lian said...

The courses look very interesting. Glad Oreo flew around the course, he is getting more and more confident. More practice makes a perfect dog! WooHoo! Well done you two!

Diana said...

Thats so great. The course looks tough too! I cant keep Miley in an ex-pen. She just jumps right out. LoL Diana

madcobug said...

That is great that you both did great.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Congratulations on an awesome class!!

Jules said...

Congrats! That is a great way to start back to school!!

How do you think meeting him at the end of the tunnel is working?

Dawn said...

Well you just never know what kind of a day it's going to be do you! I'd never be able to keep Katie in a pen either. Your two are so good! I bet "two lose dogs" just meant the two of them were standing there outside the pen waiting for you to clean it all up! LOL! GOod luck at the trial tomorrow! Remember. HAVE FUN!

Kathy said...

OH how funny, the image of the collapsed playpen and the two loose dogs in class sounds like a wild moment, and I am sure Misty was just still feeling her joy.

Sounds like an awesome class. The tunnel thing was one of the things a particular trainer really ragged at me about, to look my dog in the eye and connect when they get out of tunnels, that disconnect when they can not see us can be SAD for dogs, anyway, I used to be so worried about where I was going and what I should do that I had a hard time doing that-and thank heavens this particular trainer got on me every time I forgot, but it really helps, there is no way I can always be AT the exit of the tunnel, but I can always make sure to connect before I move on. That was HUGE for us.

Nicki said...

Great job, good luck on the match

Sam said...

Sounds like an awesome class. It seems like you both got off to a good start after a short layoff. Those courses look hard!

I've got a private lesson coming up on Monday before class to work on my A-Frame. I'm excited!

Sara said...

I do think it is working, although I need to be more consistent about it. Then, I expect to see much more positive results in his confidence. Tomorrow at our league match, I am determined to meet & greet him at the end of each tunnel.

I like the idea of "reconnecting" after the tunnel. Not just a matter of being there, but making a connection. Good point to keep in mind.