Yesterday was Bug’s first class in learning the obstacle
Weave POLES (or how to weave).
This class is large with mostly young dogs, and contained the most obstacles he has been asked sequence to date (13 last night, I think).
Overall I think it went REALLY well. He was distracted by all the dogs and people, but held his stays VERY nicely. Our hard work (and I kid you not, I have been analyzing this to death) is paying off. He was easily distracted, but given his baby-brain and the challenges the class presents – not a biggie. He came back to work when I called.
There were two sets of six weave poles and one set of twelve poles in last night’s course. Katrin wanted us to do the set of twelve with the
weaves poles on our left. I thought she meant out pretend-left and walked the course doing a FC with those weaves poles on my right! D’oh. As a result of doing the set of 12 poles on your left you had to RC into a tunnel. I was a very good doobie and did the rear cross on the flat with enough space (i.e. rather properly) – Bug was not phased at all. Hooray!
weaves poles with the cage method, which I like. I think Bug will have no problem with this method (unlike a certain very literal Schnauzer I know who is still fading a cage or two). Due to a dearth of cages not all the poles had cages on them. Good challenge for the baby-Bug. He made the “right” decision quite a few times. Very impressive considering he has only seen the poles/cages a few times before.
About 20 minutes into class a horse trailer arrived to drop off some new equine boarders. All the dogs went nuts. It was kind of funny, to be honest. The distraction level was SUPER high.
Between runs Bug worked on settling in a down – which he is really getting good at, stay, “hit it” (nose touch which he is quite mediocre at – guess we’ll be working on that), and STAND. “Stand” is better than it was – he is definitely getting the idea, but we still have a lot of work to do.
He does a very funny thing if he thinks I asked him for a “down” and he should be rewarded. He dips his head toward the ground and then looks up at me, almost like he is saying, “Alright, now what’s going on here – don’t you see I am “Down?” I think I should put it on some sort of cue and incorporate it into a trick. Maybe the cue could be “Don’t you agree?” I’ll have to think about it. Any ideas?
He wasn’t keen about jumping last night. A little worrisome, but given he had a chiropractic adjustment the night before and his sacrum was out of alignment I am pretty sure that is why. Also I have been packing the pounds on him (*sob*) for the show season and while he still has a waist at the moment, he is carrying a fair amount more weight than he was. Jumping might feel different to him right now.
I went and bought some Traumeel at lunch for him. In addition to Arnica it contains Hypericum perforatum (which acts as a natural sort of anti-inflammatory). Take a look at the description from Homeopathy for Health. Hypericum is specifically useful for spinal irritation and tailbone injuries (like the sacrum!).
Hypericum has been shown to be an important remedy in pain relief for injuries to areas rich in nerve endings.
For pain that radiates or shoots from the injury. Keep on hand in the first aid kit for crushed fingers from slammed doors, puncture wounds (including bites and from medical procedures), 1st and 2nd degree burns, tailbone injuries.
Hypericum is indicated in spinal irritation, sticking pains, tearing pain, hypersensitivity to pain.
All in all I felt like the Bug had a very successful class. He thinks agility is tough work - he slept the entire ride home!
My poles and a jump will be moving back into the mudroom today/tomorrow. I am looking forward to Bug learning this skill and loving the poles!