Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Agility & a trip to Petco

The dogs are always tuckered out after a night at the dog center. I happened to catch a cute moment between Secret & Luke this morning (above). She loves him so much, and he's really coming to accept her more these days. Yay!

Secret had another good night of agility practice last night. We more or less did more of the same from last week, just working on sending through tunnels, hoops & jump standards. She's having lots of fun with this and was driving nicely through the tunnels -- so much so that I actually heard her wipe out a couple of times in the one with a tight turn (macaroni-shaped). Guess she needs to figure out her footing in there, yet! :o)

Secret doesn't seem to have a problem with different tunnels in different situations, so that is great! Last night there were three different tunnels -- a yellow tunnel (15'), a silver tunnel (15') and the red/white/blue tunnel (20') all in different degrees of curves and she treated them all the same. I do think that the 20' tunnel took her by surprise the first time through, ("Gee, Ma, this is LONG!"), but she thought it was grand. This is definitely a tunnel-loving dog.

I introduced the concept of the lead out last night and Secret surprised me with how well she waited in a sit. In several areas, I had two jumps or hoops leading to a tunnel, so we practiced our waits/lead-outs in multiple spots. I didn't push my luck and was able to lead out about 15' or so to start with. I think that's pretty good! Even better is that she ran forward with great excitement when I called her, and drove straight into the tunnel.

I brought the tippy board out at the end for a quick practice session. I'm still using the clicker with the board, to build up the positive association with it. Secret moved immediately to touch the board when I put it down and very quickly put all four feet on it. It took a minute or two before she felt confident enough to start going back & forth and turning around on the board, but once she got started she was happy to keep going for a good five minutes or so (while I, naughty me, sat and chatted with the owner of the dog center... -- Rule #1 of training, pay attention to your dog!).

After class, Secret took her first trip to Petco with me. I'm surprised that I haven't done this with her yet, and it's obviously something that is a fairly large & necessary part of her socialization training. She was very overwhelmed when we first walked in the door and kept trying to hide behind me. She got better as I let her explore. My little contortionist almost slid herself underneath the shelving as I was shopping for a new collar for her -- She is very close to outgrowing her puppy collar. :o(

The guy who checked us out is apparently a huge Border Collie fan and fawned all over her. She was not really into the idea of having him pet her, but offered him nearly every trick she knows in an attempt to get the treat from him. All he wanted was a sit, but she kept popping from sit to bow to down to shake to high five, etc. when the reward didn't come fast enough for her liking. He did touch her a couple of times, but she was really in no mood for petting.

I see many trips to Petco/Petsmart in her future....

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