Saturday, May 7, 2011

Good Agility Practice

Tonight I talk week 3 of foundation agility for the Spring session. I brought Leo along to practice with before and after. When we got there I set all the bars at 8" and mostly just worked with what was set up. Leo was doing really good. Fast, motivated, focused. He's gotten much better about taking every jump in front of him lately.All it took was one class where I spent two or three minutes working a single jump and treating it. I think what someone said to me was right. I was rewarding everything but jumps as if they were no big deal so he must have gotten the idea that they were no big deal.

When my students showed up I hooked Leo's leash to the wall and got to work switching things around a bit, dropping all the bars, and lowering the teeter. Leo's so good - for the most part - about laying and watching us work. I say "for the most part" because he did have a few moments tonight. He chirbles. It's this funny little sound he makes in his throat that's clearly impatience but not obnoxious. Mostly it's adorable and funny. One of my students' husband comes along and asked if he could sit next to Leo. I told him of course and Leo got spoilt the rest of class sitting on his lap. Would you believe the little stink still chirbled on occasion on his lap? It was truly too funny. I'm glad my class gets a kick out of him and his cuteness.

So after our awesome class, Leo and I worked a bit more. It was so cool to see him drive toward the obstacles like he does when he's truly motivated - like for breakfast or dinner or his post-bath zoomies. He was so glad to be "free" and get to work. What a joy this boy is. He's really trying hard and building confidence all the time. The barn had some noisiness tonight...lots of baby birds roosted in the rooftops, some metal clanging and banging in the wind alongside the wall, dogs barking. It's good, though, for him to work through it and while he'll startle stop sometimes he quickly gets back to work.

So anyway, we were doing mostly the obstacles that were there and I threw in quite a few crosses to see how he would handle it and he mostly did well. I "lost" him a couple times behind my arse but that was more due to him learning queues than anything. All in all a good practice session that allowed us to continue to build on what we know, work on driving ahead, and gave some more teeter practice (which he's rebelling a bit against againz). Yay for a true working toy dog! Love my Leo.

On another note, Leo participates in the Yahoo Flickr group 52 Weeks for Dogs. I take a picture of him every week between Monday and Sunday and post it. The picture from yesterday was this week's submission. Kindly enough, someone posted a really great article about teaching the retrieve in obedience. It makes me really excited to start some serious work on that, especially, too, after having been at the obedience trial all day and watching how awesome dogs can work in this sport.

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