Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I started teaching a foundation agility class two weeks ago. Vegas had a chiropractor appointment Wednesday so I didn't want to have her do anything on Thursday. Instead I took Leo with the intention of at least getting some time working on exercises with him in the barn. It turned out we showed up really early and nobody was using the barn. Leo and I ran a bunch of exercises, the dog walk, the a-frame, tunnels, and jumps. We did some sequences and mostly I just wanted to see him enthusiastic and get some blood pumping. Once class started I had Leo out for a bit heeling and walking around, but then he was crated most of the class until we started working on the a-frame. I used him to show contacts and he did a superb job. All of my students got a kick out of watching him charge up the a-frame He nailed and held his contact well, too.
Then last night we had our agility class. We missed week two because of having a crazy, hectic week leading up to Rose City. Last night we did a jump sequence (two jumps from a recall), the a-frame, the chute, a straight tunnel, and the dog walk at a low level. In between our turns, I spent the entire class next to the teeter. We worked a ton just treating at the teeter, me gently bumping it on the ground, and the most exciting part was Leo was willing to step up as far as the edge of the blue to "touch" the contact plate over and over and over. We repeated this tons of times and it was very encouraging that he was even willing to step up. Too often he wouldn't go near the teeter so while he is still cautious about approaching it, when we were in that "mode" of exercise, he was quite willing. I'm starting to have hope with him and the teeter!
I'm also super excited that our friend, Jen, is giving us a teeter base. That means I'll be able to work him at home and continue the desensitization process. So exciting! I'm not quite ready to start planning Leo's debut, but it is somewhere out there on the horizon!