Thursday, June 5, 2008

Agility Level 1 Class 4

Last night was our 4th level 1 agility class. Mom and I went a little early so we could try the chute on our own before it got noisy and crazy in the room. We rolled up the chute material so I could try just going through the barrel part. After a little coaxing, I did it. But when mom fixed the material so that it was just a tiny bit out of the barrel and just a tiny bit obscuring the opening, I didn't want to go in there. With lots of encouragement, I finally went through and we decided that was enough for the evening. Mom is trying to figure me out - am I afraid of the blue nylon material - does it feel funny or smell funny? Because I don't have any problem going right through our chute at home that is made out of an old vinyl shower curtain. So I do know what it's like to push through material and come out the other end. Hmmm..... Later in the class while we were waiting to do another obstacle, mom had me touch the chute material with my nose (I didn't want to at first) and then she had me walk on top of it. Not so bad.

When we started the actual class, the instructor that was working with our side of the room said, "Ok we are going to start with the chute." Mom calmly said that she wasn't going to have me do it any more at the moment, so we started with jumps. Last night we did our first curvy tunnel and our first real dogwalk (lower one than the regulation one.) Still it was my first time to go across a real dogwalk! It was awesome because there was a Zuke's mini on the target at the other end and you know I love Zuke's! So I am doing great with all the obstacles except the chute and also the broad jump! I just don't get it - why should I jump the broad jump when it looks like a board that I should just walk across? I mean, we don't jump the dogwalk, do we? Mom is going to make a broad jump-type jump for me to practice on at home. That should help me out a lot.

Oh, we found out that the agility building is not air conditioned! We are having a heat wave in Ohio now and it was so hot in there last night! Great - I am not a fan of running and jumping when I am hot. It may be difficult to learn agility in that building this summer.

There are only 3 more classes to go and then hopefully we'll be promoted to level 2 (as long as they don't hold the chute against me). We won't learn the teeter until level 2 and then they start out with it not teetering at all. Crazy how slowly all of this goes. I have been doing my teeter at home for several months. You may be wondering why we don't go to a different training facility. Well, if you are a member of our dog club (pay membership dues of $85 once a year), you can take as many classes as you want for free. So even though mom is less than thrilled with the agility program so far, we are going to try to stick with it for the obvious financial reasons.

Gotta zoom,



Pacco de Mongrel said...

if i were u, i will sign up for ALL the classes available...

the chute appears differently every place i go...some are heavy thick green fabric, some is lighter fabric with red color, some are even not fabric material...

some times i do chicken out, but to ensure that i never fail it, my mum alwiz yell 'go! go! go!', so that i wouldn't stop to think.

Diana said...

I think its hard to teach the chute by yourself. Maybe someone can meet you there a few minutes early so you can work on it together. That way they can hold your dog and you can hold the chute open and call your dog. If the dog can see through the chute they will usually go through. Then after a few sessions when the dog is really running through, drop the chute close just as the dog comes out so it hits his back. Then progress from there. I think it was a good choice not to practice the chute anymore that night. Good for you. Diana

Johann The Dog said...

Pacco's got an idea there! Free classes, we are envious!!!

When Gracie learned the chute, Mum held her and the trainer gave the treat while holding up the chute a little and lowering it a little at a time. Gracie was having so much fun doing it, they had her going through the full chute in about 15 minutes without even holding her.

Keep trying stuff - you'll get it Ricky, some things are scary!!! I was a bit daunted by the tunnel because of how I was first introduced to it - kitties hiding in there and clawing my nose!! This was before agility was even a twinkle in my eye. It was the cats play tunnel, BOL!!!

Diana has a great point about lowering the chute just when it hits their back first, that's what Mum did with Gracie.

We are proud of your Mum for standing up for her! Only takes one time, right?

Have a good weekend, and stay cool! Have you got a kiddie pool yet? I love mine!

Woofs, Johann