Thursday, July 16

Private Agility Lesson

I had a private lesson in dog agility at Kym Jarvis's Anything Goes for Dogs yesterday morning. I was a bit sore from having a horrible stomach problem the day before (possibly an ulcer?) but I sucked it up and learned a lot!

I took both Popper and Merlin, though when I scheduled the lesson I had really intended it for just Popper. I wanted to work on distance, rear crosses, and general handling. I will tell you right now, the biggest problem for me is handling. I have two left feet and my arms just sort of wave all over the place. I am not a coordinated person and I doubt I ever will be.

It was pretty hot, so it worked out very nicely that I brought two dogs so I could trade them off. Merlin is an extremely green dog, having not trialed yet, so I wanted to give him the opportunity to perform in a different setting. At first, he was heavily distracted by everything, and I couldn't hold his attention for very long at all. But towards the end he started behaving more like the awesome agility dog that I KNOW is lurking inside him! Popper also did marvelously; he was not as distracted as Merlin, but it was too hot for him and I spent a lot of time wetting him down and trying to keep his enthusiasm up.

Kym showed me a way to start making Popper deal with rear crosses into tunnels. A horrible thing about having a separation anxiety dog, when you're doing agility, is that they don't want to let you out of their sight. Popper was particularly freaked out with me rear crossing him into a tunnel, and then being on the side he didn't expect me on. He'd go 1/3 of the way in, and pop back out to see where I was. Front crosses were fine - rear crosses were evil. Well, we worked on it, and he's improved 200%! He even seems to really like tunnels now - he started getting "sucked" into them whenever he was walking by one. :)

Overall, it was a great lesson and I'm glad I took it. I feel better prepared for the upcoming Flash Point trial, and I understand what I need to do to correct some issues we've been having.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Hi! I enjoy your blog even though I don't have a dog right now. You're making me want one. ;) I wanted to let you know the link you have to Anything Goes for Dogs has an extra w in the www so the link doesn't work.