Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday Night Agility Class

Tuesday night Bug and I attended Katrin's drop-in agility class at the barn. Brrr!! It was cold, but well worth it. I asked Katrin for a copy of the course map and she was kind enough to provide it. Thank you, Katrin!

I was really excited to see that the course contained both the dog walk and the teeter. Contacts! I asked Katrin if she would support the teeter when we got to it since Bug is in the process of getting over his teeter fear. I wasn't sure what he would do about the dog walk. I don't think he has been on the dog walk since he jumped off Amanda's this summer and landed on his post-sternum. I could be wrong though - we might have attended a run through after that.

It was a great class! Bug did hesitate on the up-ramp to the dog walk (and did Eeyore ears), but once he "got" that it wasn't a teeter he moved pretty nicely. At the end of the dog walk I tried tossing his Cuz for him but he wanted treats! So I put the Cuz away. I need to buy some of those thistle sacks - I have been lazy and haven't gotten to the hardware store.

I did a front cross after 4 and sent him into the 180. Bug has so much more natural propulsion that he handles 180s really nicely.

I gave him plenty of room at the tunnel and he got the near entrance correctly, then on to the weave poles. Bug has not seen weave poles since April when he injured his iliopsoas (8 months ago). We put them on hold until he fully recovered. At that time I think we had only taken one cage off. Katrin had cages on one side. Guess who did his weave poles effortlessly with no help from me - at all? Bug! Wow! Who is this dog - apparently he learns by osmosis? The break was good for him? I am really excited.

After the year long debacle with Carmie's weave pole performance I was nervous about training poles with Bug. I borrowed the 2 x 2 dvd from Kathleen to have a back-up plan. I will probably use it too, but it looks like we are partially there!

I handled 11 to 12 with a switch. Not my strong suit, but it was relatively smooth. Bug tried to blow by the teeter initially but then agreed to try it. Katrin noted that when the teeter banged his ears went flat against his skull. Given her teeter isn't that noisy (it is wood covered with rubber on a sand floor), she wonders if his Lyme is acting up and making him more noise sensitive. I have noticed he has been noise sensitive and wondered if his head is out of alignment. He is coming up on his six-month c6 test in January - hopefully the titer will give us some insight, and I plan on having Cheryl look at him.

We worked a bit more on the switch with me trying to give Bug more room. Unfortunately then I started stopping my motion too abruptly and Bug started looking at me like, huh? When I wasn't thinking about it I was doing it better - although too close to Bug and the jump. Once I started thinking about it, it became very choppy.

Next run through Katrin gave me a line (about 4' out?) at the weaves because Bug was handling them so effortlessly and she didn't want me on top of them when I don't need to be. Bug could have cared less. So exciting!

We worked switch some more. It is something I have to focus on because hopefully Bug is just going to get faster! We were beginning to get a bit smoother.

Second time on the teeter Bug was committed to the obstacle but not really 100% about it. I really hope between class and the workshop I am attending in February (down in CT) on teeters that we can kick this fear to the curb. While Chris was getting his dog out of his car I put Bug on the teeter once more. He is definitely gaining confidence but isn't crazy about the noise.

I really enjoyed the course and felt like Bug and I got a lot out of the class. Katrin thinks that Bug has more obstacle focus than he used to - which is absolutely true. Everyone else in class kept commenting on how much happier he seemed. I don't know why. I suspect the fact that I agreed to focus on herding and we did the Beyond Basics class has had a big impact - that and being skinny and treated for the Lyme.

Kathleen is on vacation next week too, so I have asked Katrin if we could attend her class again. We'll have to see how the holidays go - I might need a mental health break and not be up to it.

It's an awesome opportunity to work on different equipment with trainer who's focus is different. For example, I haven't worked on Switch since Katrin changed her class schedule and I couldn't attend most weekends!

I wish the classes weren't on the same day and, more realistically, that I could afford to take two classes! I can only imagine the improvement we'd see!


Katrin said...

It was great to see you both again and do hope to see you again soon. Those weaves were AMAZING having seen where you had left off months ago!!! And yes he is doing down righ awesome!!!!!

Diana said...

Wow, sounds like Bug did great! Diana

Sam said...

Sounds like a great class. Perfect weaves after months of not doing them? Amazing!

I totally feel you on the noise/teeter issue. Marge is very noise sensitive, as you might know.

BTW, I don't think I ever thanked you for referring those sound desensitization CDs to me. I've heard of them before, but never really looked into it more. Though we won't be trialing indoors anytime soon, it might be a good purchase down the line.

Happy Holidays!

manymuddypaws said...

corgis are pretty darn smart! :o) especially the blue ones..... haha...

that is so awesome that he is having so much fun!

101mutts said...

Yay for a great class! Yay on those weaves! I definitely think sometimes dogs are much better after taking a break.

It looked like a good course. Glad to have the visual. Seemed like there was some discrimination, might just have been the condensed nature of the course layout.

Nancy said...

Glad to hear about the great weaves and good Bug is going the teeter again. Keep working on Switch, once it becomes more automatic, it will be an awesome skill to have!