Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great night of agility!

Secret was a good little stinker at the dog center last night!

I had hoped to get all three of my dogs worked before class since it runs so late otherwise, but Secret got the short end of the stick. Just as I brought her out, my students started to arrive, so she had to go back into the pen and wait until after class.

One of my students came late and ended up staying after class to work on discrimination skills with her dog, so Secret had her first experience of learning to work with another dog in the ring. I have to say that I am very, very impressed with her ability to focus around distractions! The other dog in the ring was a very energetic Labrador and while Secret trotted over to check him out once, she pretty much ignored him the rest of the time.

I had four tunnels set up for class, so there were several places for Secret to play last night. We worked on pinwheels leading into the tunnels, straight lines into the tunnels and including the obstacle after the tunnel and she did GREAT! I also started to introduce turns/front crosses at the tunnel exit and she did well with this, too (crossed behind me once on a wide turn, but she figured it out quickly).

I was really excited about the speed and enthusiasm Secret had for her tunnel work. On the straight line sends into the tunnel she ran faster than I've seen to date and came barreling out of the tunnel for her toy. We had another good "toy-focused" night and used Luke's tug stick with the ball on the end for the majority of her reward. As she started to tire out, I moved to her squeaky ball on a rope to get her going again. I'm so happy she's developing more toy drive!

When she'd had enough running (and it took a while because the dogs have been so cooped up!), I grabbed the clicker to work on her 2-on/2-off behavior on the contacts. What a good, smart girlie! We are just hopping on the contacts from the side still, but she was hitting her position and holding it really well until I released her.

There was even one time when I was distracted and talking to my student, and when I looked over to Secret, she had assumed her position on the a-frame and was waiting for me to reward her. :o) I have been undecided about what contact performance I will ask for on the a-frame, but Secret does seem comfortable assuming the 2o2o position. Perhaps we'll start with that and work on a quick release in the future. I'd better decide soon, as spring is coming and soon I'll be able to bring out the equipment at home!

And really, spring can't come soon enough. Today it is raining and cold, so we will again be stuck inside all day. *sigh*

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