Saturday, September 13, 2008

Agility and Reactive Dog

Iris and Makin were the only dogs at Tues night agility class, so we got lots of practice! Julie set up a course that was mostly jumps with just one tunnel and had us work out how we were going to handle it initially.

The first time we tried it, I planned on doing a front cross after the fourth jump (that little circle-thing. Front crosses don't translate well to diagrams) and another one after the tunnel. Ok, the very first time we tried it, my dog was much faster than I anticipated and beat me to the front cross. After that we did much better! I'm getting better at front crosses. Iris was really goofy, taking jumps while Julie was still setting up the bars, demonstrated her ability to jump 20" vertically from a stand still, and just generally happy and silly.

After we started get the hang of it, Julie told us to run the same course but change one thing. Oh no! Actually, it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. This time we did a switch after the fifth jump and front cross after the tunnel.

The dreaded switch! But we managed to do it without any weird spinning around or me tripping over my dog. Horray! Last time we did a sequence in class that included a switch, I was never able to get Iris to do it without a weird spin. I think we might be getting the hang out it. I even think I liked doing it with a switch better than with the front cross. My front crosses are still a little choppy.

Iris was getting tired at the end of class. It was a lot of jumping especially since it was just Iris and Makin, but I know a certain Aussie who's put on a little extra weight recently. I'm going to start calling her "Pudge," which maybe isn't a bad thing if you're a Red Sox fan. Regardless, my poor starving Aussie is going to have her food intake monitored more closely. She tired herself out faster than I expected her to in herding and agility, and I think the weight gain is a factor. We've also been doing walking instead of jogging more often than not lately. We both need to start running again.

The last thing we did, I had Iris wait while I led out all the way to the fourth jump. It was almost the length of the barn. Iris held her stay! For whatever reason, she did skip the first jump, but did the other three. That's definitely the furthest lead out I've ever done with her. Lead outs are harder for me than Iris. I worry about her breaking her stay to go harass other dogs even through that's something she's never done. Good girl proving me wrong!

Thurs night was the second Reactive Dog class. We worked on hand targeting and leave it with only one dog coming into class at a time. Iris loves hand targeting, but she does need a better leave it. The first two classes were slow, but Emma said they'd be the only slow classes. Regardless, Emma had some really good observations about the different dogs which just don't quite translate to text. I am looking forward to next week.

1 comment:

Jules said...

Everyone did great at class!

I agree that Ms. Iris would benefit from losing a pound or two. It's a lot harder when the whole household isn't on board.

I am loving the Illustrator course maps!