Friday, March 20, 2009

Weave Poles Class #3

First the bad, while I was chopping up some cheese and Bug was tethered (4 ft leash) to the wall literally beneath my feet – he lunged at Baxter Black. CRAP. I am not clear if he made contact or not. I didn’t think so, but I think Katrin said Sandy did think so. CRAP. Sandy left class. CRAP.

My brain left with her. Bug was the first dog to run and I was completely discombobulated. Yuck. I know, I know….these things do happen.

The only upside, I did not yell “HEY.” That used to be my old default when any sort of altercation occurred. I think I thought it helped to interrupt the behavior, but most of the time I think it just adds to the din. All I did was silently grab Bug.

Course contained three sets of six weaves. All the weave poles had one cage off at an entry.

His wait at the start line was piss-poor every run. Bug was convinced there was something delectable in the dirt. Maybe he is lacking B12. Hah.

Bug was MUCH more willing to jump. First set of weave poles - he was missing the entry. I was causing that – of course. Due to my distress about the incident that had literally just occurred I wasn’t in good trainer mode. I asked Katrin if I could lure him with cheese. She said NO – fortunately. Bug figured it out.

His run after the first set of weaves was great. I am so pleased he is a bit happier about jumping. I made sure to click and treat frequently. I meant to bring some smoked kippers and sneak in a VERY high value reward at least once a run for jumping. Next time….

After his run Katrin asked if anything had changed at home as he was a bit barky when Neil (with Viszla Tessa) entered the barn before class and at a horse before class. Initially I said no, other than adding the InFlight supplement (for coat). Then I realized my landlord is having an addition built and the guys are very loud. They are building a small room off our floor, too. Katrin wondered if he might be getting himself all wound up during the day. Hmmm….

I closed the door to the bedroom today and left the boys with plenty of water and toys. I suspect they spend most of the day on the bed anyway, so no biggie. Next Thursday I might bring Bug to work, and Ike to the in-laws. We’ll see if this has any effect on him.

Second run you could really see Buggie thinking. He is luvin’ his weaves. HOORAY!!!

I do not understand the start-line stay business. We practices waits in more novel locations than I can count with really high value life rewards. And he rocks them – he has super control. Why do they suck on the start-line? Katrin thinks it might be stress related to jumping. Frequently the first obstacle is a jump. Hmm

I decided I will practice waits at home with a jump. I will put Bug in a Wait and then move out and return to heel position or throw the treat behind him so that he is reinforced for waiting in front of an obstacle – nothing more – nothing less. See if that helps.

Given the incident with Baxter and how fried it left me emotionally, I feel like it was a surprisingly good class. I sure wish that hadn’t happened though. Since Katrin and I are the first people there I will make sure I tether on the opposite side of the barn with Bug. There is a bench and people tend to cluster around it, which (as we see) can lead to problems.


K9-CRAZY said...

Discombobulated, eh? :)

I finally watched the first few steps in Success with one Jump. All I can say is, as an agility newbie, it was absolutely worth it for me!

Jules said...

It's an understatement, for sure! ;-)

oh....thank you for the review!

manymuddypaws said...

could you bring a crate? you could practice your crate games- and you wouldn't have issues with other dogs. I try very hard to never tie my dogs up- it puts them at a disadvantage if another dog comes at them, and it can put them right into defense mode. just a thought.

Jules said...

Yes, I could definitely bring a crate and think that is an excellent idea.

I did so for Carmie for about the first year of her training as a safety measure. Not sure why I got out of the habit. This is an excellent reason to get BACK in the habit.

I agree about the disadvantage and defense mode. Bug can also lack confidence at times, which just makes thinsg more complicated and plays into the disadvantage and defense mode aspects.

I hate how hindsight is 20/20.

Blue said...

Oh Buggie! I know that emotionally fried feeling. I've have had those days with Iris.

I bet you're right about the construction bothering him, but it sounds like you've got a good plan for next Thurs.