Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Teeter Will Not Get Us Down

We had an awesome agility class tonight. Leo was so good. At first I had my doubts - he was dragging his feet from the truck to the barn? But once we got in there, I got him warmed up by running the length of the barn four or five times. That got him revved up and happy. We started by doing our one minute stays with distraction. That accomplished, we introduced the weaves. Wow was that fun! Last time we took this class and introduced the weaves, Leo was nervous about the gates set up around the poles. This time around he was gung-ho and excited. He took to the poles right away! So did the rest of our class so Autumn, our instructor, was quick to give us multiple opportunities to practice them. Albeit the poles were offset and the gates set up as guides, but the dogs were really getting it and having fun!

From there we moved on to a sequence comprised of a jump, 90-degree turn to the dog walk, the table, and then a u-shaped tunnel wrapped under the a-frame. Leo thought that was tons of fun of course and we got to run that two or three times. Then it was time to review the teeter again. This week we didn't have it up on tables so there was a greater likelihood of the dogs stepping off. Surprise of all surprises, after a little sweet-talking, Leo stepped right on the board and went right across, feeling out the tip and then moving on. Granted, we only had a two or three inch range of motion at that point, but the progress was huge! Last class at this juncture he wouldn't even look at the teeter let alone choose to step onto it. This was a huge step! We repeated several times then it was time to start wrapping up class. We got to choose what we wanted to do so I alternately worked the a-frame and contact, the weaves (off lead and entries - wow was he awesome at finding the entry!), and the teeter at an increased height. The little stinker was really doing it and willingly. In fact, I no longer existed at the end of the board with Autumn there and offering Dog Lover's Gold kibble as a reward. It was truly a rewarding, golden moment in dog training. My little man has come so, so, so far and I couldn't be more proud.

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