Saturday, February 19, 2011

rally class

Finally, we had our first rally class!   The wind was whipping at 40 mph, and I contemplated staying home.  When it is windy, the training building makes weird noises, that can sometimes bother Oreo. 

The snow banks must have been braking some of the wind, because it wasn't too bad in the building.

The whole class was in the ring, with their dogs, for the entire time. About 8 pairs.  This was a bit disconcerting to Oreo.  It took about 20 minutes or so for him to be somewhat OK with people being in his ring. 

Eventually, he started giving me eye contact, and was able to do some commands.  He got a TON of treats.

Our heeling was nothing like it is at home.  Oh well, we'll keep practicing.

What Oreo excelled at was sitting or laying down while I walked around him.  All those days and days of relaxation protocol paid off for those moves.  He was also good at 360 turns to the left, not so much with the right.

At the end of the class, we did some very short courses.  Our first try didn't go so well, he wanted to sit facing me, not next to me. But the second & third courses, Oreo did awesome!  I was really proud he was able to listen and do what I asked with other dogs/people in such close proximity.

I think this class is going to be so good for him.  We can practice lots of things that our behaviorist wants us to work on, plus we can do it with friendly people around. 

We may never do a rally trial, but I think the experience will be great for Oreo.

16 comments:

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I just left a comment and I think it disappeared. If you end up with two from me, delete one!

Glad to hear you finally made it to a rally class! Sounds like Oreo did really well and I agree that it will be a wonderful experience for him!

Amy Wood said...

Yay! I'm glad to hear Oreo did good at his rally class. It is tough when other dogs are in close proximity when they aren't comfortable with other dogs. This is the case with my sheltie Star. Hope Oreo continues to make progress. BTW - thanks for stopping by my blog. Funny that Oreo likes to sleep by the toliet too. At least Casey isn't alone. :)

Nicki said...

Love the header photo! Everything is always better at home, especially heeling and weave poles. lol.

betty said...

What a fun day for you and Oreo!

houndstooth said...

I'm glad it went better than you expected! Any class is a learning experience, and you never know when they'll surprise you!

Priscilla said...

With time and patience, Oreo will be where you want him to be. He is already getting there. I'm glad class was a good experience for him!

Diana said...

It sounds wonderful. Yea!!! Sometimes people will bring thier mats to class and after the dog does something well they release them to thier mat ( their safe place). Im not sure it can work in a rally setting. Its just a thought. It sounds like he was just awesome.

Sara said...

Diana, I did bring his mat to class, but I didn't use it. In hindsight, it may have helped him relax a bit. I like your idea of sending him there after he does something good.

Dawn said...

Katie and I went to a lot of Rally classes when I was off work. I think you can pretty much make it into whatever you need to, and if you tell the instructor why you need the mat it won't be an issue to use it if it helps Oreo feel more safe.

Katie was scared to death the first time we went into the big building (it's a pole barn basically) where we trained for agility and rally. The first day the class was almost over before she finally looked at me. I figured out I had to get there early...in the beginning a whole hour early, for her to acclimate to the building...eventually I didn't have to get there early at all...and she's really really good now about sitting and doing her downs in a row of other dogs. When they get up and move when they're not supposed to she just looks at me across the ring and I nod at her and she knows she's OK.

Oreo is going to grow exponentially from this experience...and I bet you end up with a Rally title too!

Sara said...

Our instructor know about Oreo's issues, so I know she wouldn't care about the mat.

I like your idea, "make it whatever I need to."

Jules said...

Sounds like a very successful first class! I am so happy for you and oreo. Bug actually started a rally class yesterday too! It is a fun sport.

AC said...

Go Team Oreo! It seems like having Oreo struggling at the beginning then focusing well at the end is a sign of a successful class! I bet he'll be quicker to get into the groove down the road.

Rob said...

Hi Sara, I'm pleased things didn't go to bad for you, will you be doing a video one day?

Sara said...

Yes, I will try & get a video

andrea said...

EXCELLENT work - pats to you both :)

andrea said...

EXCELLENT work - pats to you both :)