Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, NE, SCN, SIN, SEN and CZ8B... 45 and counting...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Agility Rock Star

We got in a three mile walk before driving to class, so Gimme was pretty focused.  We were held up in traffic, so was 25 minutes late, still Blynn had us come out and I just made up a couple quick sequences. 

First, Gimme was inclined to run amuck right off the bat and I used Blynn's suggestion from our last class - multiple hand touches - left-right-left-right.  Gimme finds that very fun and its like a reward by itself.  I was trying to think of what I was actually rewarding, so I guess its more like a game that increases focus.  Anyway, once we do it, she's really engaged with me.

For our quick sequences, we did an opening that included two jumps and a tunnel.  Then we moved down course and did the weave-poles multiple times and from various angles.  Blynn pointed out that when I give Gimme a challenging entry and she misses it, I reset her for the challenge, but then I manage the entry.  So I'm not actually setting her up to learn something from it.  That is something I wouldn't ever see on my own. 

Gimme did some really good weaves and a couple times was blazing fast.  Sadly, like an idiot, I did it too many times.  I was trying to get too much and forgetting that "less is more".  So our last weave while successful for a tough entry, was pretty slow - slower than usual.  I knew as I was leaving I'd overdone it and essentially made weaves not-fun.  I should have not done the last couple of challenges and ended with the earlier successes.  Bad me.

When we came in for our second run on a course I had walked, it started out nicely.  However when we got to the weaves, Gimme simply wouldn't do them.  It was kind of weird what she was doing - trotting by and tipping her nose toward each gap in the poles as if she was going to go through, but not doing so.  In a way, I think she was saying "I know what to do, I'm just not going to do it."  So I finally walked her through once and then we moved on down course.  We bypassed them using jumps when we came back to that part of the course later.

Parts of the course were really great.  Of course, my bypassing the weaves when I hadn't walked that option led to a crunchy effort.  I am not really good at handling on the fly.  Still some of our best work was in the second half of the course.  Gimme got up to full speed.  Its awesome.  I've always known she is going to be fast, but tonight I was seeing speed I had not anticipated at all.  It was killing me trying to keep up.  I'm gonna need oxygen when I start running her for real.

Interestingly, while I was still trying to get her to do the weaves and some other small bobbles... Blynn kept telling me "don't reward her for that".  She said that so often in a short space of time that I realized how often I reach for my treat bag... whether I intend to give her a treat or not.  Too strange.  I had no idea I do that. 

As a result, I handed the treat bag to Blynn.  There was no sign that Gimme even cared.  While we were running and jumping and go-go-going, she was having a blast.  Sure she was happy when I said "woohoo" and then ran to Blynn for the treat... but mostly she was just having fun doing agility for agility's sake.  This tells me its time to take it to the next level...

Another cool thing, there is a gal in class with a reactive terrier and we are going to do some training together.  She's a snowbird, and so this is her last class until February.  But, once she returns and it starts staying light later, we'll be working together after class - doing BAT set-ups outside.  That's a nice thing to look forward to.

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