Agility class #4 - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:19 am
Agility class #4

I can't believe this was already our 4th class! Wow. Time flies. I think there are just two more and then "graduation" (whatever that is exactly).

Now, you might recall that Dahlia was a complete chickenshit last week. She didn't even want to go through the tunnel, even though she had done so many times. It was almost like starting over and I wasn't quite sure what the issue was. I'm thinking now that maybe it was too much stimulation and uncertainty that day. We had taken her in for grooming so she spent quite some time at Blueprints that morning (from about 8:30am until 2pm or so). So it might have been an all around bad day for her.

Well, this week she rocked the agility equipment. I was so proud of her!

We started with the teeter. She was still nervous around it, but we managed to actually coax her up onto it, all 4 feet. The instructor let it rock forward a bit and Dahlia immediately jumped off when it moved, but it was a start. She's still more nervous around it than some of the other dogs, but she's much better than she was last class. When the class moved onto jumps (which Dahlia has been doing fine), the instructor took the teeter off the base and put it on the ground (so it only moved slightly when you touched it) and suggested I work with it really low like that. I managed to get her to put paws on it while it moved around a bit. She was still nervous, but definitely much improved. I got her to stand and it on it a couple times.

We moved onto jump sequences after that. The jumps were set side by side. We had to make the dog go over the first jump and then call them to and over the second one. Dahlia did great! I think she's ready to move the jump up a bit. She mostly steps over it, sometimes slightly leaps over it. I'd like to see it a little higher for her at this point, so we'll see if the instructor wants to move it up. Of course, little Cesar (the Bichon Frise) can't have it much higher. I think he might be jumping at close to conformation height for a dog of his size already.

Then it was back to the weave poles. We started with them pretty far apart and Dahlia went through fine. Then she moved them closer together, almost so they were completely straight on (each pole was moved maybe a couple inches out from the center). I wasn't sure how Dahlia would do with that, really. I thought for sure she'd avoid going through. Imagine my surprise when she went right through them like she'd been weaving her whole life! The only problem is starting her into it. Sometimes she goes the wrong way, but once I get her in the correct way, she just weaves right through without my having to guide her. Go Dahlia! I was so incredibly proud of her. She would come out of the weaves with this look of "wow that was fun mom" on her face.

We then moved onto combinations, which I find hardest as the handler because I just can't quite figure out how to get her to them smoothly. I suppose that comes with time. I especially have difficulty because I'm moving VERY fast and over excitedly to try to get her pumped up. I can't quite recall the first combo right now, but the second combo was pause box, teeter (at least just walking over and putting a foot on it), jump, tire jump, tunnel, weaves, jump, tire jump. Quite the combo! She did well on it, though I had some difficulty getting her set up for one of the jumps. She's going through the tire jump and over the regular jumps like a real pro. She doesn't even try to avoid them anymore -- she just heads right for them.

At the end of class, I directed her back through the weaves (in both directions) and she did awesome again. And then when I headed to get her leash she raced after me looking all excited. I think she's starting to get more into it!

The really nice thing about class last night? There were only four dogs there: Cesar (the Bichon), Ellie (the only other female dog, who is also a little more hesitant about things), and Samson (the pit bull). Samson is HILARIOUS. I don't think he's quite aware of where his feet are at every moment. He runs toward things with his feet going every which way and just barrels through things. He knocked the bars off both jumps (because he doesn't jump -- he just goes through it most of the time), knocked over the tire jump, and yanked the weaves apart. I don't think his owner is helping much because she gets him all hyped up to do it. I HAVE to do that with Dahlia or else I end up with a dog who wanders over to the obstacles. But with Samson I think I'd want to keep it all incredibly low-key. She managed to start doing that on the weaves and he went through at a much more sedate pace.

On a side note, I ordered a basic agility jump (yay!) so I can do some jumping with Dahlia at home. Our next door neighbor (with the GSD puppy) is interested in the jump as well. She won't set it high or anything, but just having him go over a low jump will be fun. Now I wish I could afford other equipment, especially the weave poles!

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11CommentReply

dogologist
dogologist
Ann
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)

I would love to see a pit bull doing agility!!


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)

Here's a video I found on youtube:




And you want to see something hilarious? Watch the bulldog on this page (Day 1, video 3). It's great!


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dogologist
dogologist
Ann
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)

Thanks for those! I love the bulldog one - bless him! The pitbull is loving it as well, isn't he? It's so nice to see something other than a border collie on an agility course.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)

I know...as much as I love my Border collies (and want one one day!), they (and Aussies too I think) dominate agility. It's fun seeing something else, especially a bulldog! doing it.


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angely78
angely78
angely78
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)

yay Dahlia!
I was talking to a lady at the store who had Border Collie stickers all over her car (according to the stickers, they play flyball with their dogs...have you heard of that?) about agility classes, and she was laughing over her dog who always had this "what's the point??" opinion when it came to agility. She'd do it, sure, but always looked at her mom like she was nuts afterwards! LOL!


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)

I've seen flyball. Dahlia's reaction to that would be "WTF who cares." LOL In flyball a dog leaps over a series of low jumps, pushes something to get a ball, grabs it in their mouth and comes back over the jumps. Then the next dog goes -- it's a relay race basically and they are FAST FAST FAST. Holy crap I've never seen dogs move so fast!

Check this shit out:



Dahlia could never move that fast in a MILLION YEARS.


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angely78
angely78
angely78
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)

hahaha, Kaitlyn watched that with me and clapped at the end. She wants me to play it again!

Their feet don't touch the ground!!!


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)

I know! They're like hover dogs! It's amazing how fast they can move. Of course, some of those agility dogs FLY through things too.



I also LOVE that guy's relationship with his dog. So sweet!


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angely78
angely78
angely78
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)

that dog is like I WIN AT LIFE!!! So cute. :-)


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)

Yes he (she?) was. Just adorable and so happy!


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shinoakkitenshi
shinoakkitenshi
Shi No Akki Tenshi
Thu, Jun. 4th, 2009 01:00 am (UTC)

sounds like she's having fun.


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