Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Last week was our last Tues night agility class. Now the big question is, what next? The end of Tues night classes feels like the end of an era of sorts, especially since we're moving again in August. Here's a lot of thinking out loud because I've been thinking quietly for the last couple weeks and still don't have a decision I'm happy with.

For the last few months, I've had Iris in two weekly classes. The plan right now is to cut back to one weekly class (especially in light of recent veterinary expenses). For now, I'm going to keep Iris in the reactive agility dogs class at Dogs! Learning Center. It's right down the street, and I do like the class. Iris gets to practice working around other dogs, but the downside is that we won't be doing as much agility. The class is more focused on getting dogs to work around other dogs, which isn't a bad thing for Iris.

After we move, I'm not sure what we're doing. I can keep Iris in the class in Hudson, even though it is less agility focused. The other option is to check out Gemini Dogs. I don't know a lot about their classes other than that they're only about 10 min away from the condo we're moving into. Much easier commute than what I've been doing! Whether or not I can make it to class in Hudson on time is going to depend a lot on how long my commute ends up being. On the other hand, Iris isn't always a model student so the reactive class might just be better for her.

I just found out that Emma Parson is running a Control Unleashed class at the Methuen MSPCA in October. I have been dying to get Iris into a CU class. It seems like every time I try to get her into that class, something else comes up. I was going to take it in July at Masterpeace, but then it looked like we were going to move halfway through class, so I wouldn't have made it all 6 weeks.

The other thing I'd really like to do more of is herding. Iris LOVES herding. She was SO focused the last time I took her out herding, even with a group of dogs and people watching. We took one class with a new instructor right before Iris started having seizures and then had to cancel our next lesson. While Beth's style of training was a lot like what we're used to, the way she runs lessons is a little different. She runs it more like a group class. The plus side of this is that I got to watch a bunch of different dogs of various experience levels work sheep. You can learn a lot by watching! The downside is that each dog got less individual time on sheep. I'm having a really hard time deciding which way I want to go with that. The more I think about it, the more I think it would benefit Iris to have more individual time with the sheep. I could supplement that by trying to audit a couple of clinics. On the other hand, I know Iris can handle the environment at Beth's farm, and that is always a bit of an issue with Iris. And I did like the way Beth handled the dogs, which matter a lot too.

Decisions, decisions...


Katrin said...

Also check out Four Paws Academy (majority of the 'good' instructors from Gemini left and formed Four Paws when it changed owners)

Jules said...

How convenient that EP will be teaching in Methuen! I hope you are able to get into the CU class.

Blue said...

Thanks Katrin for the suggestion! I hadn't heard of Four Paws before, but they're right down the street too.