Friday, March 28, 2008

ABC # 12

Adios, ABC Foundations class. Carmie and I had a blast. Carmen gets agility in a fundamental way; agility suits her personality.

This week we worked on:
  • A jump chute that included the tire and had the jumps placed at 10’, 15’, and 20’ (versus all evenly spaced at 20’ apart).

  • The A-frame and Carmen had none of last week’s hesitation. Yay!

  • The teeter. When we were working on the teeter we almost had a flying onion! Carmen was really motoring the first time up and I literally had to catch her from flying off. After that she gave me some VERY nice waits. I should have expected the near fly-off. She had been eyeing the teeter all night and I know she was itching to get on it. Isn’t that hysterical? But it’s true!

  • The weave poles. We introduced the weave poles. Katrin teaches weaves using the cage method. Essentially you break up a x-pen in sections of two and use the sections to create the correct path through the weaves. This method allows the dog to weave correctly from the beginning. Then you begin removing portions systematically over time.

I found the cage method to be a very successful with Ike and look forward to seeing Carmen master the weaves in our next class with Katrin. With Ike I had to retrain him using the channel method after he understood the concept of weaving to build speed. He was literally as SLOW AS MOLASSES doing weaves. I used to joke (not that long ago) it was like watching a semi-truck negotiate a windy road down a mountain – that slow and deliberate! I had practiced at home a few months ago with Carmen and she was VERY freaked out by the cages. She was much better last night. It is amazing what 2 months of exposure to a new environment, dogs, and agility equipment will produce.

Carmen’s reactivity in class has steadily decreased and I am VERY proud of her. I think everyone had a great class last night. It is awesome to see the progress everyone made on this 12 week session. We had a special visitor last night, Sandy and Baxter Black (one of Ike’s favorite dogs!). Even though (like it’s a bad thing! ;-P) Baxter is an exuberant Lab, sometimes a serious negative in Carmen and Ike’s opinion, both of them like him. Yay!

After vacation Carmen and I will start six weeks of weaves. I can't wait.

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