Sunday, March 8, 2009

Agility Class

Just so no one thinks the week was a total loss - we did make to a very cold agility class on Tues (and to the beach yesterday, but that's another post...) Plus, I think today needs a more upbeat post. Here's a cute dog photo to start with.

Iris! Quit making funny faces and pay attention. One of these days your face will get stuck like that.


Ok fine. You get weird dog photos instead of cute dog photos. My dog is weird.

Now about agility. Last Tuesday's class was the first class in a new session so three dogs (including Iris) are the same from last session and the other three are new. Also, there are three Aussies in class! All we need is a solid red Aussie and we've got the whole color set.

Iris was not impressed with the addition of new dogs and was really reactive. Other dogs barking is a huge trigger for her, and one of the new dogs barks the entire time he runs. Iris went nuts. It didn't matter if we were in the parking lot or if she was in her crate. She wanted the whole world to know that there is NO barking allowed. Sheesh. Note for future classes - I need to take Iris out when Remy runs. Not because Remy is doing anything wrong. Iris just can't handle it. It will probably be a good experience for her in the end. She had some moments when we were outside where she was doing really well. It will be a good opportunity for me to work with her around something I know really bothers her.

The course was another chance to practice rear crosses. We did the rear cross version (the maps are great, Julie!) Considering how fired up Iris was, I thought she did an awesome job of staying with me. She wasn't perfect. She really wanted to go cause trouble, but for the most part she seemed pretty happy to work. I think she likes this agility thing when she manages to take a break from supervising. Our second run was better than the first, which seems to be a trend for us - but a good trend! I know I was late on the rear cross between the two jumps. I need to let her get more ahead of me so I'm not practically stepping over her for the cross. At least she did it without spinning! That better than where we were a few weeks ago, so I'll take it.

Now I'm wondering if her stress at home is contributing to her reactivity in class. I know, I know. I meant to keep this post upbeat, but I'm still worrying about her anxiety during the week. I have to work and I have to find a way to make it comfortable for my dog. Thinking more about it and looking back through some of the old blog entries, it's an issue that's been building up since we were living at the house. I feel like I should go smack my head against a wall for letting things get worse, but I should probably go walk my dog instead.

And as a final note, thank you to everyone in class who moved jump bars up and down an extra time for me because the red dog was being too much of a brat to run with the other 20" dogs! Especially since I was trying to get her to settle down outside, so I don't think I was much help moving bars for any of the other dogs.

Iris would say thank you too, but right now she's busy trying to fit her tongue back in her mouth.


Katrin said...

Hehehe very silly photos! She did do well at class considering all the new stimulus for her. And the 2nd run was nice! :-)

Jules said...

Love the photos - does Ms. Iris' tongue ever go IN her mouth?! Just kidding.

Considering the distraction Tuesday, wow. Just shows you how much work you and Iris have done together. :-)