Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last ABC Class

Iris had her last ABC class on Thurs. She was great! I think she's made a lot of progress since we started the class. During last class, I ended up keeping her in her crate when we weren't working on an obstacle. It wasn't originally my intention. The last couple classes she's been doing well with attention work outside of the crate once she's settled down. I kept her in the crate because there was a new dog in class, a black lab. He had such a big bark, and I could tell it was gearing Iris up. Inside the crate, she was doing awesome about glancing over at the direction the noise was coming from and going right back to making eye contact, that I wanted to keep that going with her. Also, she seemed more focused when I took her straight from the crate to the jump chute, so I wanted to try that for the rest of class. When we start our next class, I'll continue working with her outside of the crate, but on Thurs, the crate just seemed to be working for her.

The first thing we worked on a was a jump chute, with the tire as one of the jumps. Iris never has trouble with running and jumping! I figured she would be a good agility dog when she decided that jumping baby gates was a fun new game. The second time I ran her through the jump chute, she wanted to stop and sniff around at the beginning, but once she settled into running she did well.

Next we worked on the a-frame followed by a jump. Iris has no problem running up and over. She likes the contact obstacles. Her wait on the a-frame needs work (or probably more likely, I need to give the cue a little sooner since I know she's bounding over it).

After that, we worked on weave-polls. The way we introduced weave polls was by using sections of an x-pen attached to the polls to form the correct path through them. So, the dog can't go through the wrong way. The dogs were supposed to come out of the weave polls and into a tunnel or over a jump (depending on which direction we were going in). Iris did bolt once over to Baxter (lab) but just sniffed him when she got there. Once she came back, we did the weave polls and tunnel again, and she got excited and went back through the tunnel and half way up the a-frame before bounding back over to try the weaves again. I just need to get her to realize that she doesn't have to charge the other dogs before she can relax! She's lucky that Baxter was such a good, and tolerant, boy. Our next class is six weeks of weave polls, so it was good to see how this is set up. Once I get my weave polls put together, I'm going to get set up the x-pens and start having her practice the same way we did in class.

Last, we did the teeter, and I think Iris did better with her wait. She's pretty good about rocking back her weight when the teeter starts moving, which is good. I still think she'd like to see how far Aussies can fly...

Now Iris has a few weeks off (well, not completely off, we'll still be training :-) ) and then weaves! We decided to do weaves next because it will be a little less overstimulating for both of us, and I'll be able to work on both weaves and focusing with her. There'll be a few people from the ABC class in weaves with us, so it should be fun!


Jules and Ike said...

Good for you for staying flexible and changing your "plan."

Iris was AWESOME!

Lael & Neil said...

Iris is so good, I love her energy. Looking forward to the weaves. It will be fun to have some of the same folks in class.