I brought Chewy to a league match today that was held in a different facility. A place he had never been before. In fact, we've never done agility anywhere except our home and at our usual training place.
Chewy was definitely nervous when I brought him in the building to acclimate him. He was spitting out some very expensive, store bought meatballs! Then, he was spitting out liverwurst. Finally, I switched to grilled lemon mustard chicken, and that seemed to do the trick.
I think maybe I shouldn't have brought the food out right away. He's a big time observer, and maybe he simply wanted to look around rather than eat. I'm so used to having to feed Oreo for every little thing we do, that I did the same with Chewy. Must keep reminding myself that Chewy is not Oreo!
I knew right then that we would be using treats in the ring. I picked through my treat bag for all the pieces of chicken I could find.
Surprisingly, he did his little startline sit! Yay Chewy! The rest of the run was kinda pokey (for him), but he did his contacts, sat for five seconds on the table, and started the weave poles (popped out after two). We had a couple bobbles, he popped out of a tunnel and ran under the tire.
I was really happy, especially given all the newness. Even the equipment was very different from what he's used to and he's never done agility on a padded surface. I made sure to rub him down with a dryer sheet before we went in, because I didn't want him getting electric shocks every time he went in a tunnel.
After the run, he was back to eating meatballs and liverwurst, so I had high hopes for our games run.
I stuck to running with lots of treats, simply to make the run super rewarding for him. He sat at the startline (although he jumped the gun a little), got all his contacts and did all the weave poles (I gave him a mini jackpot for that). We only had one slip up at a tunnel entrance, I lost sight of him and we lost our momentum, but he finished strong and happy.
Very proud of Mr. Chewy!
And now, he's doing this: