Tonight, we brushed up on some old Rally Obedience moves. We took Rally class in May and June, but haven't done much since then. Rally class was a very stressful environment for Marge, with 6 or 7 other dogs in a room smaller than this one, so I didn't exactly have a good first experience with it.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Now, since there's only so much agility one team can do, I'd like to start working on Rally again and maybe even do some trials at our home club building (this one). We have a run-through tomorrow with a few other dogs, so tonight was in preparation for that.
I set up a 19 station APDT course that was previously used at a trial (our instructor gave us sample course maps when we were in Rally class, and I found them the other day). Though we didn't work on everything, we did a lot of turns and some cone work.
Though Marge doesn't look as enthused as she does when we do agility, she does seem to like Rally. Turning is her weak spot, but she loves fronts and finishes (as shown by her assumption to left finish at the third station when I hadn't given her any direction yet). She's gotten pretty good at the cone exercises and pivots as well. She lagged a little bit in a couple of spots, but I think she did well over all.
Tomorrow, I'm going to use better treats, be more motivational and see where it gets me. I'm hoping that Marge will have no problem doing Rally with others around, especially since the number of entrants is much smaller than I expected it would be.
(I did drag out two Agility jumps after we ran this a couple of times. I couldn't help it! We worked on go-outs/distance, 180s, 270s, some crosses, an easy modified threadle, and just some fun speedy stuff. I figured it'd be a good way to end the night.)
MargeBlog started in early 2009 as a training journal for my newly adopted, skittish Lab mix, Marge. Marge's world was small back then; her fears really limited the things I could do with her. Aside from trips to the park and attending beginner training classes, Marge was mostly a stay at home gal - not because either of us wanted her to be, just because the demons from her unsuitable upbringing continued to haunt her.
Slowly, the fear diminished, her world grew. Now, Marge is a fun-loving, squirrel-chasing, winning Agility and Rally dog who accompanies me to a wide variety of places. Here, you will frequently find detailed training updates, snippets from Marge's every day life at home, and photo-filled posts detailing our many outdoor adventures.
This is more than just a dog blog - it is an actual look in to what one shelter dog's life ultimately became when she found her first and forever home and began to blossom.
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A rescue from Georgia bounced around from shelter to shelter and state to state with her siblings, Marge did not have the luxury of living in a home - my home - until just past her first birthday. A life behind bars had taken its toll on Marge, whose obvious fear of people, noise, and city life in general left a lot for her to learn about how to get by in New York.
Marge is a different dog now than she was back then. It took years of new, positive life experiences, but her fears, which used to consume everything we did, are now only one theme in a great big book of adventures.
These days, Marge enjoys going to training classes, taking trips to agility trials, having play dates with friends, and eating anything that's even remotely edible - not bad for a dog who spent her puppy days in cages.
My time with Marge has been a learning experience for which I am ever grateful. As my first dog, she has taught me and continues to teach me so much more than I ever imagined about dogs, training, and behavioral/fear issues. She's a fun dog with a sense of humor who loves life and learning.
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