Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tues Night Agility

We switched to the Tues night agility class for this session, and it was a night of "firsts" for Iris. There are three other dogs in class - Makin the Vizsla who's been in class with us from the beginning, Sadie the Aussie who we've had a couple of classes with (and that means her Aussie puppy "brother" is there too!), and also someone we haven't met before with her two dogs (the dogs will be alternating weeks, this week we met Misty the Aussie). Me and Iris, and Neil and Lael with Makin are all new to agility. I'm so glad I'm not the only new kid! Sandy with Sadie and Misty's owner (I learn dog names so much faster than human names) have been doing agility for longer. I think we've got a pretty good mix in our Aussie dominated class.

Katrin set up a 19 obstacle course. When I went to walk the course, Iris stayed in her crate and she was so quiet. Ok, she did get in a couple of woofs, but no crazy barkbarkbarkbarkbark like she sometimes does.

Iris jumped 20" for the first time in class. She did more obstacles in a row that she has in a long time (ever?). She did contact obstacles for the first time since March. She did weave poles for the first time in 6 weeks because I don't have my own to practice with. When I got home from work on Wed, my sister said Iris is so much quieter during the day after agility. No wonder!

Iris was awesome. The weave poles had cages only on one side. She missed the entrance on the first try and got it right on the second. She was so proud of herself when she got it right. I was proud too! When we got to the dog walk, Iris remembered how to run up and across, but she completely forgot that she's supposed to slow down on the way down. Slow down? Crazy Aussies don't slow down! Then she started being really goofy, which made me laugh, which made her more goofy. We decided not to try the teeter with Iris right then since I'm sure she had every intention of flying off. Plus, Iris was starting to tire herself out. I think I need to start running again with Iris during the week. Both of us need better endurance, and I don't think it would hurt Iris any to lose a little bit of weight.

Later, we decided to just work on the dog walk and teeter. We kept Iris on a leash initially and after she did "wait" a couple of times, she figured it out. She says, "Oh, that's what you want!" Then she was happy to do both the dog walk and the teeter without a leash. I also learned that I don't really have to yell "wait." I can just say it and Iris will still hear me, even if sometimes she does try to convince me that her little witch-hat ears are too full of fluff to hear a word I'm saying.

I also realized that Katrin hasn't been asking the other dogs to leave the barn while Iris is off-leash, and Iris has been really good. It only took me weeks to notice. I think my crazy red dog is really starting to enjoy this agility stuff.


ann-and-partner said...

Good for Iris!!

Anonymous said...

Blue, I see more confidence in Iris and she looks like she loves to play w/ you. We have only been in a couple classes together and I have seen huge improvements w/ Iris.

Blue said...

Thank you Sandy! Iris is a good little crazy dog. I admit, I'm glad you and Sadie are in class with us again because it means Teddy will be there too. I can get my puppy fix :-) And Sadie is a good girl too!

Katrin said...

LOL! Yeah I can't really remember exactly when I stopped having others leave the arena, um that must have been part way through weaves class! So you made it through an entire 5D class with everyone in the arena and at least part of the weaves class! You're both doing great!!!

Blue said...

That's even longer than I would have guessed, but now that I'm thinking about it, you're right. It's probably a good thing I didn't notice because I wasn't able to worry about it.

Jules said...

Woo-hoo Blue and Iris. Sounds like you had a great class.