Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Agility CLASS for the Mighty Maniac

Yes, it's true. The Mighty Maniac has begun agility classes. I enrolled her a little while back and her first class was last Monday.

Taking a step back, she IS learning already. You'll remember she's come with me while I taught classes the last session. I had introduced her to jumps, the tunnel (straight and curved), the dog walk, the a-frame, the tire, the teeter, and the weaves a bit. I tried the chute but didn't have any extra hands to hold it open and keep her at the entrance so she could understand.

Last week, week 1, we started out with brief introductions. Then our instructor had us working on stays at the end of the leash from a few feet away. We then worked on the dog walk and a-frame contact zone only. I'll admit; it was very tame even for a beginning/foundation class. Juicy clearly wanted to do more and kept trying to take me to the equipment.

HOWEVER. The key to taking a class with Juicy is getting used to working around other dogs. It's good for ME to get used to it. She's 3.7 pounds after all. And I had bad experiences with Leo in class so I need to get over that so I don't hinder their progress. Call it proofing exposure. Call it noise experience. Call it confidence building. Taking a class was important for her. Plus, for me as a handler I can still learn lots from other people. Different approaches have different results and affects. I am adding to my instructor toolkit by taking classes from others, too. I need the structure for teaching Juicy as well. So there you have it.

Fast forward <> to this week, week 2. Juicy was chomping at the bit, raring to go. She knew where we were and drug me - all but literally (cause she simply can't due to her diminutive stature) drug me into the building. We started by doing heeling laps around the arena with periodic stops to get a halt and focus. We spent about 10 minutes doing that and then moved on to the tunnel. She started us with restrained recalls and moved into running into the tunnel with us along side. 

We then worked on the wobble/buja board and attempted to work on our contacts on the edge of the board. Afterward we worked on the end of the dog walk just shortly and into a tunnel again after. And that was class.

Five more weeks. Juicy is loving it.