Agility went well last night. For the first time since Ike was ill he showed some spunk and “I wanna play” attitude.
It was a pretty fast course - jumps with tunnels and weaves not necessary designed for a moody schnauzer.
Our first run went well. We went back to handle a portion where I did a nasty front cross (FC) on the landing side of a jump versus the way I had walked it (doing a FC before the jump) and Ike started acting pokey again. Katrin had me finish up on a high note and suggested I put Ike in the car – maybe the time between runs is what is over stimulating him.
Great idea. After all, at trials I take him out of his crate right before he runs or just in time to give him a bathroom break and then run.
W-H-A-T-? Why aren’t you doing that at class? Katrin asked.
Huh, because it is practice. Bad answer!!
I know you are supposed to practice like you trial and trial like you practice. I never realized Ike might find class just as over stimulating as a trial atmosphere. I am such a dork!
It took me one and half trials to realize that the longer Ike is out before a run the more pokey and worried he is. How many years has it taken me to figure out it might affect his practice performance? I am not even going to say!
For the rest of the night I crated Ike in the car between runs – kept the runs short and sweet and tried to highly reinforce him. A couple of Katrin’s friends showed up during the last twenty minutes of class and I was very pleased that Ike wasn’t worried about them. This is especially impressive considering one was male and wearing a hat. Last time Ike encountered this gentleman (at a trial last summer) he barked his fool head off!
Perspective is an interesting thing. Sometimes we are too close to a situation to realize what we need to do and sometimes, like our dogs, we don’t generalize well. It never crossed my mind that the time between runs at class might over stimulate Ike, even though I would never in a million years put him in that situation at a trial.
Ike has a few weeks off until our classes start up again and I plan to utilize it with lots of hiking to work on that rear end. I am also hoping it will get his endorphins going and lift some of the worried/depressed mood/air he seemed to be stuck in.
4 days ago