Sunday, January 18, 2009

Earthdog x 2

Yesterday was Earthdog class and I brought Carmen and Ike! My in-laws were kind enough to take Carmen to class last week when I was at the show with Bug, and apparently Carmen worked quite nicely for my MIL Sue. They got up to two liners with a right angle (so three liners in total). Last week Liz, who owns a PRT Shelby also joined the class.

I decided to bring Ike because he has been expressing more interest than usual in my guinea pigs. We did have a bit of a terrier-stare fest at the beginning of the class. Carmen was off leash and she and Shelby started staring. As with all of these things, it happened in the blink of an eye that they were making all sorts of noise. Fortunately all it was-was noise. As Carolyn said, "These are terriers, people. Let's keep them on leash." I feel a bit like a jerk - the first week the dogs were off-leash the entire time so I wasn't thinking with more dogs (particularly TERRIERS) it is wise to err on the side of caution.

This week Carmen did liner-right angle, three liners, right angle-liner! And she did an awesome job. This is very close to what she would see in JE.

Ike just did one liner. He offered many other behaviors prior to figuring out I wanted him to go in the liner! And he had some trouble with the 90 degree liner. I think he is still a bit out of alignment. I plan on taking all three dogs to see Cheryl this Wednesday. I think Carmen is currently the only one who is completely sound.

Then we did some rat work. This consisted of one dog at a time spending time with the rats in their cage with Carolyn and the handler. All four dogs are interested in the rats but not barking crazy for them. Ike was standing at attention while every dog had their turn with the rats. Then when he got to be with them he would get up close, sniff them and take a scaredy dog step back. He did stand up on his hind legs trying to get a good whiff of them. Ultimately I can see him getting turned on to them before Carmen - which is unexpected.

The final thing we worked on was sending our dogs into a single liner. This is because at a trial you can not tap the liner, ect. You may give one command and THAT'S IT! We started with the dog close to the liner and then moved progressively further back. Ike had WAY more drive to do this than Carmen, which is interesting. Carmen didn't seem that interested. I could see working with the liner I made this summer and the Manners Minder to build both their drive.

Next week will be the fourth and final week of this course. I plan on bringing Ike as a drop-in again. There will be a week off and then the class will start up again. I think I will talk to Carolyn about whether I can sign Carmen up for it again. At the very least I will sign Ike up for it.


Diana said...

This sounds like such a fun class. But also hard because your dog really has to have drive to want to get the rats to go into those liners. Makes tunnel work look easy huh? Diana

Nancy said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I brought my Jack to a couple of Terrier Fun Days and did a bit of Earthdog. What a hoot. And I know what the terrier stare looks like for sure!
Nancy and Stewie

Jules said...

It's a great class and the liners and terrier stares are challenging! ;-)