Sunday, April 3, 2011

Trial Visit

Today I took the boys to Addicted to Agility's indoor trial. I brought Ike in alone and he showed signs of stress immediately, moving much slower than normal. I reinforced him highly for staying engaged with me. I went over to the secretary's table and said hello to some people while keeping Ike engaged. There was a poodle there which made Ike happy. For some reason he really loves poodles and poodle mixes. He saw one of his new favorite people, Alison with the Vizslas, and took cheese from multiple "strange" people.

Ben came over to say "hi" to us and my goodness what a difference. Ben is typically wearing a hat. I remember years ago he tried to say "hi" to Ike and Ike could not stop barking at him regardless of how non-threatening Ben tried to make himself. Today Ben was wearing a hat, of course, and Ike didn't bark once. Ike allowed Ben to pet him, and took cheese from him. Hurrah!! That was pretty darn cool.

I decided to try the practice equipment. Ike was slow in the poles and missed the entrance going one direction. I am not sure if this is because there was a patch of sun or just stress. Going the opposite direction he had no problems with the poles. He wasn't nearly as fast as he is in class, but he was willing to do it and chase cheese afterward. He did slip on the turf once, which kind of spooked him.

I decided that was enough for Ike. He was very brave given he was stressed. I put him up in the car and got out the Bug. Bug met a couple of new girlfriends and said hello to everyone! That's about it. He was a good boy and I felt more comfortable catching up with people holding Bug's leash, who isn't stressed at all, than holding Ike's, who absolutely is.

I would say it was a successful visit. Act-Up has a trial in two weeks at the outdoor location and I think I will do the same thing. If nothing else it tuckers the boys out!


Katrin said...

Yay for progress!!!!! :-)

Nat said...

Woohoo!! I know exactly how you feel about having a schnauzer who stresses. Sounds like he's making great strides in being more confident!