Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to School for Ike

Last night Ike and I attended Rally Obedience class for the first time since early April.

I gave myself extra time to get there because the Patriots had a 7 p.m. game and I knew traffic would be terrible. I got there a bit early, walked Ike, put him up, set up my crate, and chatted a bit with some friends from earlier Rally classes.

I was nervous when I got Ike out of the car that he would be stressed, but he didn't seem to be at all. He settled in his crate very nicely - especially given there was a young dog raising holy hell in his crate about 20' from him.

The course consisted of:

1. 360 right
2. Straight Figure 8 Weave twice
3. Call Front, Finish Left, Forward
4. Right Turn
5. Left About Turn
6. 270 right
7. Offset Figure 8 with distractions
8. Left Turn
9. Down and forward
10. About Right Turn
11. Left Turn
12. Halt, Walk Around Dog
13. Moving Side Step Right

Ike was SO engaged, bright eyed, and perky. He was ecstatic to be working!!

We continue to need major work on our Fronts. Ike is very crooked. I do know his pelvis is out of alignment at the moment, so that accounts for some of it. However this is something that has plagued us since we began working obedience. I think a private lesson might be in order to try and sort this out.

He did a super Down and Forward. Moving downs and downs in heel position were something we were working on a lot before out hiatus and I am happy he has maintained his improved down even though I neglected him all summer.

Ike also had a very nice Halt, Walk Around Dog. Given that we haven't been in class or practicing and there are new people in the class I was VERY impressed at how well Ike did this.

About Left Turn needs LOTS of practice. I need to work on giving Ike an actual cue, like 'around' for this behavior.

Fortunately I have already begun to work on my practice area. This weekend I cleaned my mud room up and plan on buying some shelving to make it even more organized. I'll have to measure this room, but it is huge, and provides the perfect location to practice with the dogs individually. This room is on the first floor and our apartment is on the second with two doors between dogs. Given how jealous they are when one is training, this is a good thing.

I can't wait to get practicing with my boy. Class is great because it helps me define concrete things I need to improve on. Tonight is Bug's first Beyond Basics class, so he won't be neglected.

No comments: