Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shaping a Tire and my Lousy Timing ...

Had the chance to do agility twice this week! Miracles really do exist!

Tuesday Sally, Brody, Thea and I went to All About Dogs to crash Sophie's training session. Sophie is learning to work in the face of distractions  and really there isn't much more distracting than the red girls! (At one point when they were both in crates the two of them had the hall echoing like a flyball tournament) 

We did a jump grid, a J pattern from the Alphabet Book, some contact work and a little weave work. Lots of fun and Brody was driving his weaves very nicely. Thea was a wee bit stunned about the weaves but figured it out! Sally was awesome too. Great consistent contacts from her (fabulous flying dog walks and aframes from Thea too!)

Wednesday Sally and I headed to Spot On. I was tempted to bring the small crew too but decided to change things up and bring Sampson instead. I'm glad I did though the little dogs would have had fun too. 
The first agility thing I saw when I pulled up was a tire. I realized Sam has never seen a tire. Could I shape a tire? I wasn't sure as I have always taught the tire by having a touch plate or target of some sort on the other side. Guess what? A dog who understands shaping well, even in a brand new place, figures it out pretty quickly. We did a few low tables (also something he hasn't seen but he gets the concept of table very well) and a couple of jumps (WINGS! so cool!)  It took a little patience to get the first tire, set very low)  but we got it. Then we got it a few times in each direction. My timing wasn't perfect but it ended up being functional! Then we went a hopped over a few jumps.Then we went back to a 16 inch tire. No problem. It's not on cue yet but it won't take long.  I put Sam in the truck (interesting - he completely melted down at the thought of being crated in the back of the truck - something he had done lots of when young) and pulled GO GO Sally out. 

Sally was a little happy to be at agility. She was a little happy to be with me. She was a little happy to be out of the truck. Sally is a happy dog. All that happy added to one very happy dog. 

There was a course set up that we played with. One direction of weaves proved a little challenging for Sally at first but the harder direction was absolutely no issue for her. I don't get it but I didn't sweat it either just worked through it. Great contacts with comprehension. Good happy drive.  Some nice layering - even to a dog walk. Good girl. 

Then Sampson came back out. We did the tire a couple of times and hopped up on the downside of the dog walk a couple of times (again shaped only - very cool) We did a 8 obstacle sequence. Table, jump, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, jump, jump, jump. He stopped dead and stared at me at one point in disbelief. He really was astounded at the thought that agility in a great big field he didn't know might be possible. He opted out twice and went for a little gallop around but he returned to work quickly and happily. The opt out zoom by boy wanted to do agility! I am having so much fun with this only shaping thing. (I was very grateful for human companionship yesterday as it helped my patience enormously!)

What a fun couple of days. 
Until I figure out the picture thing  or start paying ~gasp~apologies for the recycled pictures - I will use ones from the farm blog whenever they fit!

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