Thursday, November 12

Agility Class Recap

Gee, I really wish Merlin were in the group with the other small dogs instead of being with a border collie, wolfhound, and a big ridgeback-ish mix. Maybe then I could focus on agility instead of Merlin's aversion to large dogs. I almost think it was intentional - last night the little dog group only had 2 dogs in it, and one of them (and sometimes both) jumps the same jump height as Merlin. While it may be good for him to be forced to deal with the problem, I feel like I'm stressing out about it and it's affecting how Merlin learns and performs (and focuses). Last night he reverted back to growling and not focusing on me at ALL - like all our hard work just went down the drain. I think working that closely to these big dogs was too soon for him, and we may get thrown back to square one. And I'll have to go back to recreational agility again to de-stress.

Last week at class, we were working on weave pole entries - Popper did the set exactly once, and then would not even attempt the poles again. He normally loves the weave poles. He may skip a few poles, he may enter wrong - but he loves to weave. I figured he was just burnt out, and one of the instructors told me to take him back to channeled weaves instead. I worked on channeled weaves at home, but his work was sloppy and awful: he'd pop out a lot, and very, very rarely did I get a run-thru that was passable. I was discouraged.

Then this week, my other instructor found out about it, and feared he may have sustained some kind of strain or other injury in his back, since he just suddenly stopped weaving. She had me pat down his spine, and when I got over his very lower back, he flinched and backed away from me. She went to feel for herself, but Popper had wised on to us, and sat on my feet with his spine pressed into my legs. So, the chiropractor, who was JUST at our building the day before, and whom I had JUST seen to get Merlin's back adjusted, is being located at one of her many stops so I can make an appointment to get Popper's back possibly adjusted.

Hopefully, that's all it is. Both on the weaving front, and on the injury issue as well. We already take Merlin to get adjusted, so taking Popper too isn't a large problem (other than he is very excitable and clingy while we're there). However, if I continue to have problems with Popper's back, I may remove the weave poles entirely from his agility life and we'll just do level one forever. :) I don't anticipate this will happen, but then I never thought Popper would strain his back either. He was perfectly happy jumping, leaping, climbing, etc last night. Just would not weave. He did exactly one pole, and then ran alongside them.

1 comment:

Lianne Martin said...

Hey Susan I know this is an old post (hey I'm bored at work and your blog is entertaining me :), but seriously if it happens again w/Merlin in the big dog group (which was VERY odd, esp after I dropped out and I saw they still split you that way!), do let the instructor(s) know. Like you said, sometimes it's good to work on those issues, but not if it's going to be a big detriment to your or your dog's confidence and skills. Especially when you are still building together as a team! The instructors won't be offended, they probably don't even know about the problem, so just let them know you'd prefer to be in the small-dog group.