Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back to Class for Ike

Ike had agility class Tuesday night. Hooray! We have not been to class in 3 weeks. Week 1 was due to the weather; week 2 I was sick; week 3 I had to go to a wake.

Course 1 felt very difficult when I walked it. I really struggled with how to handle 13 (jump)-14 (chute)-15 (jump)-16 (jump). Linda and I asked Kathleen how she would handle it and she said if you could get some distance from your dog and send them to the chute you could do a fx after the chute or you could do a landing-side rx at 15.

Ike has a very slow chute performance. For a very long time Ike was very afraid of the chute. He does now commando crawl through it with some confidence (for him), but it is still slow. I felt pretty confident I would be able to get a fx in after the chute. I was right!

The only bobble we had was I drove too far to 17 (tire) and when I called Ike back to wrap it he went very wide. He definitely thought I might be sending him to the A-Frame.

The second run I managed to stop short of the tire and the wrap was tighter. I probably could have stopped even sooner and gotten a tighter performance. Both runs were really nice and I felt very connected to Ike. I couldn't believe how much better the course handled than it felt when I walked it.

I did not handle Course 2 as well. Ike and I really struggled to maintain speed and momentum through 12 (jump)-13 (jump)-14 (jump)-15 (chute). I stopped him before the chute and we did that sequence again with more speed. However 15 (chute) to 16 (jump) was really difficult and demotivating for Ike. I think because he slows down so much coming out of the chute, the tunnel was directly ahead of him, and then I called him to the side to 16.

Kathleen recommended a game Ike and I can play at home to help his chute performance. She said she has her students play this game with dogs that have a fear of the chute or a slow chute performance. She suggested I purchase a tension curtain rod or shower rod. Set it up in my hall so that the curtain is not touching the floor – it is an inch or two above it. Practice sending Ike through it. Once he is confidently barreling through the curtain, lower it so it is flush with the floor. Once he is barreling through it, lower it so an inch or two is lying on the floor and so on. I am really looking forward to playing this game with Ike. Given how much he enjoys the “Go” games I am sure he will get a big kick out of this!

We will be missing class once again next week due to the CWCCA National Specialty. Ike would be pissed at me, but he gets to go on a road trip and that makes up for missing class!


Diana said...

Thats a good game to play for the chute. Diana

Sara said...

What a great idea for practicing the chute in a hallway. That's where I always set up my chute indoors anyway.

Glad you finally got to go to a class!

Blue said...

I really like that idea for teaching the chute!