What's that you say? Training? Outside? In December? On the 21st?
Why yes! Yes we did!
Yesterday I went and downloaded one of the "Video Trial" courses from the NADAC Yahoo Group to set up in the yard. I picked the "Stormy" course because it looked fairly easy to set, didn't use a ton of jumps (12) and it had a tunnel (which I wanted to have out for Joe). Because hoops are easier to pull out of the garage than jumps, I used all six of mine in this course and then used six jumps to finish it out. As I'd hoped, it was a pretty easy course to set and didn't take that long -- Which is good, because we don't have much daylight to work with right now!
I put the "big kids" in the house while I set the course and let Joe run around the yard with me. He doesn't do much when he's out there by himself. There were no toys outside or anything, but I was still surprised at how much he just kind of stood there instead of finding something to do. lol
I wanted to see how Joe would react to seeing agility, so I planned to hook him up to the deck to let him watch. Yeah.... That did not go so well. The first issue was that Secret was up first, and the two of them are kind of in the routine of getting to go crazy with each other when it's just the two of them outside. I had to break this up right away, which made Secret put on her grumpy face. Then Joe had a holy freakout when he realized he was tied to the deck and started screaming -- Secret got a horrified look on her face at that point and I had to put Joe back in the house.
At that point Secret did NOT want to play with me. When I came back from putting Joe inside she gave me one of her looks and I knew it wasn't going to be good. I showed her the Woolie Tug and she looked away from me. Great. I went straight to the big guns and grabbed the Jolly Ball. She mouthed it a few times on the way to the start of the course, but she was not enthused at all. The first run was really, really sad and pathetic. I more or less drug her around the course and when I threw the ball at the end she just stood there and looked at it. But then instead of rolling over with her tail tucked like I expected, she came and crawled up my chest and tried to lick my face. What the?? She's never done that before in this situation.
I switched toys to the bumper. I showed it to her and she still didn't really care, but she still followed me to the start. The second run wasn't a whole lot better than the first, but she finished with a little more speed and she actually targeted the bumper and brought it back to me for a game of tug. Once she did that it seemed like she was ready to play and she left the baggage behind. We ran the course twice more and she was much faster and happier.
I let her chew on her bumper while I moved all the jumps down to 8" for Kaiser -- Since she still seemed in the mood to play I let her run the course once more with the lower jumps. I was curious to see if the lower jump height would motivate her more, but it wasn't much different than the last two attempts. Granted, I don't usually do so many attempts at the same course with her, so I was asking a lot. I'm happy that she still felt like playing with me for what was what, the sixth time through the course?
Kaiser could do no wrong, so he just ran the course three times. I just increased my distance a little with him on each run, otherwise there wasn't much to change. Luke's session was a disaster. I was focusing on bonus line work and we just could not get it together. Finally by the end I gave up and just ran the course with him to end on a high note (which we did, so that's good). I found it a little discouraging to have so many problems with distance when we need that Chances Q at the next trial. lol Oh well, I'm sure it was just an off night for both of us.
I set the camera on a fence post and got video! I debated not including Secret's slow & crappy runs, but I figured it's for the blog and I may as well document everything!
Oh! And Joe did his first tunnel last night! I didn't get that on video because it was pretty dark by that point, but he did the full 12' tunnel with a slight curve in it. He's a smart boy!