Monday, May 23, 2011

Graduated Again!

Leo graduated again! We had a quiet agility class last week with just three of us in attendance. It meant we got a lot more work in and left with dogs a lot more pooped. Autumn, our instructor, set up a full course of 17 obstacles! Wow. I was super pleasantly surprised to be able to run the entire thing with Leo. He handled my crosses well, I am having to figure out by trial and error whether front crosses, rear crosses, or blind crosses work best in some situations since he's so much smaller than his sister, but he's coming along fantastically. Our session a few classes back working on jumps with rewards was totally worth it though. He rarely goes around a jump now. Our next class starts soon - on June 6 and I already have a list of goals.

I chose to repeat the same class even though he could move up because ultimately I can teach him what he needs to know but he needs to work around other dogs and deal with those noises and distractions. There's one handler in the class we just finished that was going to be in the "move up" class and I prefer not to work with her in class, too. Besides, weeknights are better for us than Sunday nights.

Our goals for next class include:

  • Running the full teeter without hesitation
  • Solid start line stay (We have it most of the time currently)
  • Weaves
I have the 2x2 weaves training video now as well as the poles, so I just need to start practicing it. That means watching the DVD. It wouldn't hurt to put Vegas through Susan Garrett's course, too, to solidify our weaves. His start line is pretty darn good. However Leo has those days where he gets doggy ADD. His nose starts working, a noise startles him, he looks around and gets distracted, or he anticipates (not always a bad thing!), and fails to hold his start line. I would like to keep working it. In addition to just working the start line, I want to work on building drive off the start line. I want him amped up and flying off the start line. 

And the teeter. Still our nemesis, to an extent, but we'll conquer it. I need to finally get a board on the base our dear friend, Jen, gave us and work it, work it, and work it some more at home. The positive with the teeter? Leo always willingly "boards" this obstacle. He knows it won't hurt him; he just doesn't like it. So he gets on and the results afterward vary from backing off the "tip" to just simply completing the forward progression so slowly it feels like watching a Japanese Maple grow. Very painful.

Next Saturday the 28th Leo will get to participate in his very first fun match, too. This will give me an opportunity to proof him in a trial like environment. Should be interesting as its outside, too, at our favorite park in town. Since it's free for me, I've got nothing to lose and much to gain working with my little man. I can't wait to see how he'll do.

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