I actually have a ton of training news to talk about - from walks, to teaching class, to training Marge - but I'll just stick with a couple of things for tonight since it's so darn late.
Walks have been few and far between lately (I'll get in to it some other time - let's just say that the summer has started to catch up with Marge a bit), so I took a ring rental on Monday before I helped out with the pet agility class for some training and exercise time. Marge and I covered a little bit of everything - worked on some fronts/finishes, some handling stuff in agility, and ran an APDT Level 2 rally course. Here's one of our attempts at the rally course.
As you can see, I rewarded her often and carried the treats in my hands. Since Marge will be off leash at our next trial on August 14, I really wanted to reinforce her staying close to me and keeping her attention on me. She hasn't been formally trained to heel, but she is getting closer and closer to doing so (I still do ponder about a career in Novice Obedience for Marge, but that's for another day, too).
Her only error was on the Call Front - Finish Right sign. She anticipates the finish. I don't want her to get in to the habit of doing something before I cue it, so that's why we went back and did it again. Her turns were absolutely lovely, though! I still need to use my hands and exaggerated body motions to cue the turns, but still. Look at those 360s at the end of the course!
O Little Playmate
Marge waited very patiently in a crate for about an hour while I taught the class. Afterwards, I invited one of the students (a fellow club member) to stick around for a few minutes to let her Chihuahua, Napoleon, play with Marge. They have met before and absolutely adore each other (and I REALLY like Nappy, he is an awesome dog with a very bright future in agility), and I thought some off leash playtime would be good for Marge.
They did very well together. Marge allowed herself to be chased - she's usually the one doing the chasing - and did lots of play bowing. I saw that after five minutes or so, Marge started to get tired; Nappy still wanted to play and tried to egg her on, but good girl Marge just ignored his behavior. Seems like they might be really good playmates for each other - perhaps we'll do the same thing again in a couple of weeks.