Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Training 15

Woohoo!  What a pick-me-up after last night's bummed out posts about our walks.  Our final outdoor agility class of the season was a total blast.  Marge was social, mostly nonreactive, and looking to take treats from everyone.  Oh, and the agility went pretty well, too.

This course was HARD. Count it - THREE A-Frame/tunnel discrimination exercises (four if you count the initial tire-frame).  I just about fainted when I walked the course and discovered that horrifying fact. 

Yet, she did pretty well.  She was fast, under control, and totally unstressed.  The first tunnel entry was, by far, the hardest, and we did flub it considerably.  I'll break the whole thing down:

- start line stay tonight was phenomenal.  I cut most of it out, but our friendly Portuguese-Water-Classmate was bouncing around walking back to get her leash for a solid 10 seconds or so while Marge was waiting on the line.  Apparently, Marge's start line problems (ie., wanting to sit instead of stand) had a lot to do with where the start line was located - in the far corner of the field, filled with shadows and, I assume, pretty icky/damp.  She had no problem on the grass this evening, that's for sure.

- She hit her A-Frame contact on the first run, but on this one I had to put her back on it.  Still very much a work in progress.

- Next three jumps are straightforward.. AWESOME weave entries tonight, she definitely showed that she was looking for the entry point and took another step if needed to position herself right. 

- Jump to tunnel was fine.  Marge's problem was that the A-Frame crossed over to the other side, so she was looking for me on the right side rather than on the left.  This created confusion.  I finally got it right by running way up and showing her exactly where I was, rather than sitting back and waiting for her to come flying over the next jump.

- Dog walk was great.  Her contact is really nice on it, especially since she hasn't seen it in at least a month or so.

- The next tunnel entry was a lot less problematic than I thought it would be.  BIG kudos to Marge for reading my back cross (which I call "turn") through the tire even though I cued it super super late.  

- Another BIG BIG BIG kudos for backcrossing the jump after the tunnel!  We worked on this briefly during our last private practice session and I'm hoping it made a difference, because the speed was still there, but the CONTROL was there too!

- Again, a nice weave entry the second time around, but she popped out at the last pole.  We were running short on time, so I wasn't able to go back and fix it.  

I'm sad that we won't be at the field until January, but I understand why we're moving indoors.  It was SO cold tonight.  Can't-move-your-hands kind of cold, making it really hard to hold treats and a clicker and expecting to do something constructive with them.  I did wind up signing up for the winter session.  We'll probably only be able to go for about six weeks out of the eight.  Two of our classmates are in the class, and the class tops out at seven dogs total, but I'm hoping that the midafternoon time scares a lot of potential people away.  NOTHING beats a small-sized agility class.

Agility has opened up an entire new world for Marge to learn and grow.  The past six or seven months out at the field have enabled me to give my dog confidence, give my dog a job, and strengthen my bond with her.   She has met lots of understanding human friends and also many polite and compatible doggy friends.  Getting involved in this has been one of the best decisions I've ever made for her.


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With Khattledog November 18, 2009 at 12:54 AM  

THAT is sooo khool!

As we've pawed befur, woo and Marge are sooooo good fur each other!


Kari in Alaska November 18, 2009 at 1:41 AM  

congrats! it looks like she was having fun :)

Sara November 18, 2009 at 5:58 AM  

That was great! She looked like she was having a great time.

Hope your next class stays small. Can't wait to hear all about it.

I'm hoping to get one more outdoor class in myself next Saturday....it is supposed to be 50 degrees.

Golden Woofs! SUGAR November 18, 2009 at 6:27 AM  

Woof! WOW!!! You guys sure do have lots of FUN ... which is the most important part of agility. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

KB November 18, 2009 at 8:03 AM  

I thought that both you and Marge did great! You seemed very confident and assertive in your directions. And, Marge had the same control as last week but moved fast! And, I noticed how good the contact was on the dog walk - she slowed herself down and did it just right. You two are on the road to being a great agility pair! Man, what growth over this season.

I'm thrilled to hear that you're doing the indoor class. I think that Marge loves agility more than almost anything!

Frankie Furter and Ernie November 18, 2009 at 8:52 AM  

From Fragil to Agile.
Terrific. Good going Marge.

Sue November 18, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

She's almost like a different dog than during the hot noisy months of summer. You guys have made so much progress, you should feel really proud of yourselves.

Yes PWDs do have a silly, bouncy personality. They're a very happy breed.

PoochesForPeace November 18, 2009 at 1:24 PM  

Yay! You do so much for Marge, and it's nice to hear the bond it's creating :)

Martha November 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

The progress truly is amazing - Marge is one lucky dog!
We love seeing how much she has grown in confidence through your devotion.

The Army of Four November 18, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

You two are doing GREAT! This is good for Marge in sooooo many ways - confidence, bonding, exercise...... MANY more!!!
Tail wags,

Gus, Louie and Callie November 18, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

Ya we think you did awesome.. We have never tried that but we love our sheep herding. Mom loves it when dogs have jobs. It seems to give them purpose. You have a great job and are doing it excellently..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart November 18, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

Agility is indeed an amazing thing for any dog. Congrats on all your hard work and success so far.

Her trouble with the tunnel reminds me of one of the funniest agility moments I've ever seen. This woman cued and cued and cued the tunnel, and her corgi just stood there like "what tunnel?"

So, she got closer and cued, closer and cued, etc.

When both of them were standing RIGHT in FRONT of the tunnel, she finally hollered ... "It's the big hole right in front of you."

He finally went in.

Ruby and Penny November 18, 2009 at 8:03 PM  

You two look like you're having a blast. We really enjoy watching you.
Love Ruby & Penny

BRUTUS November 18, 2009 at 8:18 PM  

Weaves are looking good! I'll send you an email with our weekly video shortly :)


Lorenza November 19, 2009 at 12:10 AM  

The best part its to know Marge is having fun!
You are doing a pawesome job with her!
Kisses and hugs

Kathy Mocharnuk November 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

That was a GORGEOUS dog walk, and such a terrific contact, She is doing great reading the rear crosses, and those weave entries are awesome. I love how confident and sure of herself and her job she looked on the dog walk, really terrific.

Ms. ~K November 19, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

Very impressive...

Scout and Freyja November 21, 2009 at 1:46 AM  

Marge, you is a star. May we have your PAWtograph, please☺

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