Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Back to School

Last night, Barley and I braved the hurricane-related wind and rain to go to our first night of Intro to Agility class.  We took the class twice last year.  Usually, dogs take the class twice to get used to the equipment and for their people to learn the footwork (although since I am the world's least coordinated person, so I could probably take it 50 times and not remember it).  Since it had been a long time, we decided to sign up for Intro again.  Plus, the intro class is small (there were 5 dogs there last night) and the fewer dogs barking and running, the easier it is for Barley to focus and feel calm.

Bar was a very good girl in class last night.  She even got to be the example dog to show her classmates how to approach a plank and how to get on the dog walk.  We only had one little incident when we were practicing send outs--she wanted to visit the dog next to her (and by visit I mean charge--she doesn't something similar in the video below with poor Soth, but Soth runs away and the other dog engaged, but there was no actual contact between them and she calmed down and focused immediately).

Our normal agility trainer wasn't there because of an injury--I'm sure it was an emotional pain she felt when she saw Bar's name on her roster again--so we had a sub, who was awesome.  Last time, I really struggled with the different footwork.  This is probably because 1) class is at 8 pm on the day I teach the most classes, so I'm tired and 2) I have trouble with telling my left from my right and always have to hold my hands up to see which one makes an L (and when you have a dog to keep track of, treats to hold, and hand movements to do making Ls gets tricky).  I also just have trouble remember which name goes with which moves.

Last night, though, our sub gave us hand outs that have pictures of the movements!  I need to see things before I get them, so in class our sub showed us how to do it and gave us the picture handouts and I'm already feeling more confident about it!
The "Arthur Miller" steps for agility--Dancing with the Stars here I come!
Our sub even said that I had the movements down, so I think we're making progress!  We practiced them all today, too, so maybe one days I'll be able to make the connection between the names and the moves without any thought!

We also spent a little time working on getting the dog to sit in the contact zone at the end of the dog walk the dog walk and running over the A frame.  Barley LOVES the equipment--I wish I had a few extra hands so that I could take pictures/video of her having fun.

The dogs were so cute last night.  The training center has a tin roof (and a leak!), so the storm made things pretty noisy.  There was a baby pool set up to catch the drips, so sometimes there would be big splats in the pool and the dogs would all jump and stare at it.  Then when we were waiting for our turns and the dogs were sitting patiently, they all kept staring at the ceiling trying to figure out what the thumping up there was.  They are such dolls.  We had some small fluffy thing (his sister is a keeshond, who was in our agility class), an adorable little mix that looks likes my nephew pup but brown, a yellow lab, a black lab, and my Barley monster.

So, here's a little video of our practice tonight--just the send outs.  I don't have the steps down well enough to want to record our front crosses and blind crosses and everything else, but maybe someday soon I'll set the ipad on the window sill instead so that you can see those, too.  For now, Barley's the main star of this video.  We're working on adding distance to our send outs and I think she's getting pretty good! 

Big thanks to my awesome mom who made us two of these poles, so we can practice!  With all of the rain, we've desperately needed to have something to do to get Bar's energy out, so class started at the perfect time!

1 comment:

  1. Maddux perked up during the video :-) Must miss his Aunt B!!