Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Finding her gears!

Secret had an amazing night of agility practice at the dog center last night! Everything really clicked and it has made me so excited about our future!

We started with tippy board work using the clicker again. Secret moved quite quickly to getting on the board with all four paws again, but was fairly stuck on one end of the board. I tried to solve this by throwing her treats onto the high end, hoping that she would walk over and tip it, but she's a smart one and started to hop off and go around to fetch her treat. She was doing very well, overall, with dealing with the movement of the board, so I decided to give her a break and go play with tunnels.

Secret wasn't into tugging tonight, so we went straight to the squeaky balls for sending through jump standards & the tunnels. She was ready to go, which was nice to see since she's usually a bit more "subdued" after a clicker session. It's like her brain is in learning mode and has a hard time switching to play mode. Obviously I need to make learning more like playing!

At any rate, Secret found a whole new gear last night! She was RUNNING and having so much fun! She absolutely lit up the first time I sent her to the tunnel and came barreling out to run after the squeaky.

Even more amazing, though, was the enthusiasm she showed about going through the jump standards! We did a bit of work at home the other night with a hoop & the clicker and I think she now understands the idea behind targeting through the obstacle. I was even able to get several feet away from the jump standard while sending her through it -- the tunnels allowed for even more distance.

She was having so much fun that I was actually able to string together three "jumps" on a curve, then the tunnel and another jump, all while keeping her focused and happy -- and fast! It was so much fun to see her light up and enjoy herself. I have never seen her quite like this.

We went and played with a different jump/tunnel set-up in a different part of the arena to make sure she wasn't just getting comfortable with one spot. She did just as great in the new location -- I even rear crossed the tunnel entrance and it didn't phase Secret in the least. It was something I wanted to try right away since it was a huge issue with Kaiser in the beginning. Not with Secret!

I decided to go back to the tippy board before ending our session for the night. Imagine my amazement when Secret walked straight onto the board and tipped it to the other side! She repeatedly walked back and forth over the board for me and even turned around on the board while it tipped. Her confidence level skyrocketed out of the blue, it seems! It got to the point where I couldn't keep her off the board and had a hard time even being able to pick it up to put it away. :o)

I let the boys out to run around with Secret while I closed up for the night. Much to my surprise, I looked over at one point to see Secret following Kaiser up the a-frame. Eeek! Thankfully she did it in a safe manner, but I still told her she's not old enough for that just yet. lol Of course, then she just wanted to do it again... I think she'll have fun when I put out the a-frame at home this spring at baby-height!

All that excitement wore Secret out, because she actually zonked out straight away when we got home. That doesn't happen very often, but Kaiser was surely appreciative of it. :o)

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