We are still taking class every Tuesday morning. I have a really good time - I LOVE dogwalks the most - sometimes I am sort of fast on jumps and tunnels and sometimes pokey.
At home though, I am FAST.
We sort of gave up on the multiple target idea but use them at the end of sequences - usually a thrown piece of chicken.
Mom is supposed to come up with a word or action that will get me jazzed up at the startline. Ideas?
Here is an interesting tidbit - when we first started learning agility and mom had no idea how to move for a front cross or a rear cross, she did a bunch of blind crosses (not knowing what they were). The instructors were all - NOOO - no blinds - keep your eyes on your dog. And nowadays what is all the rage? - the blind cross! LOL!
Mom says she will help me to write a proper post again one day with video and everything, but I am telling you not to hold your breath!
Yesterday Katie's mom and dad came to visit me! They came in the door and I immediately started licking both of them (my dad calls me Licky). Katie's mom said I was so small and she was surprised at how not shy I was. I guess she was prepared to have to be patient and wait for me to come to her, etc.
So the evening was all about me! I licked them, brought tug toy after tug toy to them, tried to steal blueberries and strawberries from them. Whined a little, jumped on them a little - did everything I could think of so they would have to keep all of their attention on ME.
For some weird reason, they went to work with my mom and dad. I took a nap so I would be refreshed and ready to go when they got home. And boy was I ready! But then it got late and the talking just went on and on. I got sleepy and knew that it was way past our bedtime. I was sleeping on mom's lap for awhile and then I couldn't take it any more and just started whining and whining. It was time for Katie's mom and dad to goooooo!
Finally the moms and dads agreed with me and I got some special good-bye pats. Katie's mom promises to come back some day and bring Katie with her. I think that would be a lot of fun!
Mom has been busy doing everything but helping me to blog. We have been to two classes since we last wrote about my target. We brought the target to both classes. The first time our teacher suggested that mom cut the target down and make it much smaller and harder to see. She also wanted me to work on driving to the target. Target = Drive. And mom should say "Target" to me.
I was taught to do the agility equipment first and then run to the target. So like weaves to target. I got very confused when all I had to do was go straight to the target. We worked on that and it was so easy once I figured it out.
At the second class, we had my tiny target and for the first time ever, I cheated and went from doing some jumps with mom to skipping straight over to the chicken on the target. Ha! So now I have to learn that if I hear "Target", I can go to it. If I don't hear that word, I should do whatever else it is that mom wants. We did an exercise where my target was on the other side of a jump but I was not supposed to go to it - just jump and go to mom. That did not work at all! I couldn't understand why - if I jumped - I could not go to the chicken. Even if mom had chicken in her hand, it was not as valuable as chicken on the target. I kept trying things - like the DW, or the tunnel, or going to the teacher. Anything EXCEPT going back to mom. Guess what we are to work on for this week? :)
Mom is not sure where all this is going to lead. She always knew that fading the target was necessary. I guess I am supposed to think there could be a target anywhere and keep going fast just in case. I don't know - I am pretty smart and I think I would know if there were a target or not.
To be continued.........
Mom is doing something called The Rite of Spring at work next week and we have to miss our class! I am not happy about it but she needs the money to pay for more of my classes. :)
Our agility class has been on a two-week break. So a classmate of ours asked if we would like to rent the training building with her once each week. We said yes! Mom had been thinking for a long time that she wanted to see how I would do in the building with my target plate since I love that at home so much.
It worked wonders! I cannot worry about anything when I know there is chicken sitting on the target waiting for me! Last week mom was totally flabbergasted at my dogwalk and aframe performance! I jumped the apex of the aframe - our classmate asked mom where I learned to do that and mom said that was the first time it ever happened and I learned on my own!
The video is from our practice this week. It's kind of hard to tell but mom is really running!
If you are on FB with mom, you already know this. But I turned 6 today! We combined my birthday and Valentine's Day yesterday and went on a hike! We drove about an hour south of here and were expecting partly sunny skies and 50. But we had snow and 35! The snow was very wet and was dropping in big globs off the trees. It seemed like it was raining. And it was windy.
None of that bothered me at all! We did the pet trail and parts of some side trails that don't really allow dogs but no one was around. It was very pretty and very quiet. I loved it!
Dad tried to get some pictures but none of them turned out. Here is one that is passable:
So I didn't get any presents or anything but mom thinks I should give her a present - now that I am 6, she wants me to stop barking at cars. Hmmm......I'll take it into consideration but I can't make any promises!
Yesterday was our last class until March. We got to run two courses. I had everyone cheering at the end of my first run! It has been a great experience for both me and mom to go back to agility classes.
A friend asked if we wanted to rent the building with her for an hour next week. I think we are going to and mom says she'll bring my targets! That will be so much fun - I can't wait!
We went to our class this morning! Mom warmed me up with a jump and the chute and the teeter. With the promise of chicken at the end, I tipped that big heavy teeter faster than ever before! Chicken is an amazing motivator!
Class started with us working at a single jump on taking the backside of the jump. Funny but yesterday at home we did a little treiball for the first time in a long time. Mom would send me around to the back of the ball and have me push it to her. This translated perfectly to me going around the outside of the wing to the back of the jump.
Little dogs got to run the sequence first. Mom messed me up some but I had fun any way. I got to do my first-ever wall jump too.
When class was over, we went out of the ring to get my harness and stuff. But I didn't want to go. While mom was listening to the teacher, I went back out to the ring and started up the dogwalk. Mom let me finish it and then tried to get me to go with her. I just laid down in the ring and stayed there. Mom walked away but I held fast. I wanted to keep doing agility!
Unfortunately class was really over so I had to leave with mom. I can't wait until next week!
Last Tuesday morning it was 6 degrees. This morning it was 60. Ohio weather is very schizophrenic.
We went to class and I don't have much to say. I did alright but wasn't on fire like last week. We did some weave-entry drills and some sequences with special timing of front crosses.
The news of the day is this:
Mom and I went on our usual morning walk in our neighborhood. We were a couple streets over from our house, walking on the sidewalk when we look across the street and see a COYOTE lying in these people's front yard. Dead. But looking like it just fell asleep in the middle of the grass. Now you know, we live in a Columbus city neighborhood with lots of houses and sidewalks, etc. Very out of the ordinary.
Poor coyote. But what the heck do you do with a dead coyote in your yard?
It was 6 degrees outside when we left for class yesterday! Thank goodness we had something indoors to do.
To get me warmed up and ready, mom had me do tricks and then one jump and then some tunnels. I had a really good time just doing one tunnel several times in a row. Class was centered around tunnels - including a straight tunnel. We worked on some serpentine handling and some rear crosses at tunnels. I had the best time ever in agility class! At one point, Susan (our instructor) was challenging mom to see if mom could put me in the straight tunnel and beat me to the end to do a blind cross before the tire. And mom COULD NOT beat me! It was funny because she was gasping and all out of breath.
When class was over, I didn't want to leave the ring. Susan gave me some liver treats, and I thought she was my new mom! :)
Possible secrets to my success: warming up with tunnels got me all excited and no one videoed me! Bring out the camera and you can be assured of getting the slowest performances ever! Haha!
Mom and I went to visit my cousin Wilson on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. We had not gone to see him in over a year - except for Christmas Day.
Mom and my Aunt Laura had a great time, I guess. They kept leaving me and Wilson to take care of the house. Of course Wilson just fell asleep and left me to stand watch on my own.Those silly Retrievers get tired from all that ball chasing!
He and I get along ok. We both like to bark a lot! He barks to get mom to throw the ball, and I bark to try to keep him in the herd.
Today I went to my first agility class in a year and a half! It felt like we had never left. I went right in and did warm up tricks with mom. Some of the dogs and people we knew from other classes and some were new to us. The theme of today's class was front and rear crosses on the flat. We talked about how a cross on the flat can really set up a clean line for the dog.
The first sequence started jump, dw, fc on the flat, pinwheel, weaves. I had to go first!! I showed everyone how it was done. My first dw and set of 12 weaves in a long time, but I did them like a pro. I am still a very thoughtful dog out there but I knew what I was doing. :)
Mom had a good time too! I am so glad we are back to classes!
My name is Ricky (Covewind Little Ricky, AX,AXJ,CGC) and I am a six year old tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. I do agility and I like to learn tricks too! This blog is about all that and some other stuff as well!