Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Great night of agility work!

Sassypants impressed me last night!

Secret and Kaiser were running around a fair bit while I was setting up a course for the boys, so it was obvious she had plenty of energy to burn -- but I always worry about her pooping herself out before we even get around to doing anything. It's a silly concern, really, since she generally only needs five minutes to recharge her batteries before she's up and running again.

I am still in the habit of putting Secret in her crate in the house while I work the boys first. I feel that if I were to tie her up to the deck to wait her turn, I surely wouldn't have a dog left when it came time to work her. She's starting to bark a bit more while we're outside, hopefully because she knows that her turn is next and she's excited about it.

At any rate, Secret had a fantastic session last night. We played around on the various sections of a Chances course I had set up -- There were two jumps that led into a tunnel under the dog walk followed by the option of another tunnel or a jump. We also had a wide open pinwheel of hoops to play with that led into the weaves, but we obviously haven't started on that yet. :o) I did get my 2 x 2 poles delivered on Friday, though, so we are all set when the time comes!!! I'm so excited to try that method.

I started with the first jump and kept building on it, working both on leading out and racing with her. Plain and simple, the faster I run, the faster Secret runs. We actually ended up connecting seven obstacles -- jump, jump, tunnel, tunnel, hoop, hoop, hoop -- which included a blind cross on the tunnel exit. What thrills me the most, aside from her increased speed & enthusiasm, is that she didn't go around a single obstacle! Even when I was running ahead of her, she hit them right on target. Good girl!

We did a bit of work on the dog walk. Secret doesn't feel confident performing the entire dog walk independently, for if I led out or raced too far ahead she would either completely miss the up ramp or she'd go up a couple of strides and jump off. So long as I stayed even with or just ahead of her, she didn't have a problem. Secret didn't seem to have an issue with the tunnel being under the dog walk.

We touched on the tunnel/dog walk discrimination. That one may prove to be a hard one for us in the future, thanks to the high rate of reinforcement that Secret has always gotten for the contacts. I did get the "out tunnel" through to her, but only by body-blocking the dog walk ramp. It's a start, though, seeing as she began by plowing through my body block to get onto the dog walk. lol

I let her play on the teeter a bit since she loves it. It cracks me up how she seems to be unfazed by the taller teeter, although the first time it drops she tends to get a bit of a surprised look on her face. She's holding her bottom on the teeter like a pro, although every now and then she does get a bit crooked on me.

When I bring the boys back outside, I like to put them all in a sit or down/stay and let them race across the yard to me. For as well as Secret holds her stay when it's just the two of us, she absolutely stinks at holding it when the boys are around. I resigned myself to walking backwards to keep an eye on her and ended up only going halfway across the yard. Secret actually beat Kaiser for the first time ever last night. :o)

The picture below is of one of Secret & Kaiser's many morning wrestling sessions on the bed...

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